Acer held its annual Next@Acer press event in New York City on Wednesday to show its new line of products rolling out across the summer and into the fall. A big chunk of the show focused on gaming, revealing new desktops, laptops, peripherals, and other accessories. The company also teased the Predator X, a gaming desktop that borrows the typical workstation two-socket design to utilize two Xeon processors. Unfortunately, that’s all we know about that product at this time.
Outside gaming, Acer also introduced some mainstream laptops including a premium Chromebook meant to compete with the Pixelbook. There’s a lot going on here after the Next@Acer event, and Acer CEO Jason Chen said even more will be announced several months down the road at the company’s next press event. Until then, let’s first dig into Acer’s updated gaming arsenal for 2018.
Predator Orion 5000 Desktop (PO5-610, PO5-600)
For starters, the PO5-610 provides four processor options ranging from the Core i5-8400 to the Core i7-8700K, all of which support up to 32GB of Intel’s Optane memory. The real kicker here is that the model shown during Acer’s event had two GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards running in SLI mode, so expect to pay a pretty penny for a configuration sporting this duo. Other GPU options include the 1080, 1070, and 1060 graphics cards.
Outside the CPU and GPU aspects, the PO5-610 supports up to 64GB of DDR4 memory clocked at 2,666MHz, up to 3TB on a hard drive, and up to 512GB on a PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. Audio is handled by a Creative Sound Blaster X 720 component while connectivity includes Wireless AC, Bluetooth 4.2, and Killer Ethernet wired networking. The dimensions are 9.96 (W) x 20.47 (D) x 22.16 (H) inches.
As for the PO5-600, it’s mostly similar to the PO5-610. You only have two processor options with this model (i7-8700 and i5-8400), and only one installed graphics card (GTX 1080, GTX 1070, or GTX 1060). That means it has one less PCIe x16 expansion slot, otherwise it provides the same expansion options consisting of two PCIe x1 slots, one M.2 2280 PCIe x4 slot, and one M.2 2230 slot for the Wireless AC card.
- Availability: July
- Starting price: $1,499
Predator Orion 3000 Desktop (PO3-600)
Think of this desktop as a smaller, more cost-friendly version of the PO5-600. Feature-wise, it’s nearly identical, providing the same processor and memory options. But with this model you’ll find an expanded list of graphics add-in card options that tacks on Nvidia’s GTX 1050 Ti and vanilla GTX 1050 variants.
What you won’t see here is Killer wired networking (replaced by Realtek Dragon) or the same EMI-compliant transparent side panel provided on the Orion 5000 models. Instead, the left side plays host to a view of the inner components through a rectangular, grid-like window similar to what covers the intake fans mounted on the front. The dimensions are 6.57 (W) x 14.64 (D) x 14.48 (H) inches.
- Availability: October
- Starting Price: $999
Nitro 50 Desktop (N50-600)
Moving down the gaming line we find the new Nitro 50 desktop packing three processor options ranging from the Core i3-8100 to the Core i7-8700 supporting up to 32GB of Intel Optane memory. The system memory, hard drive, and SSD options are identical to the Orion desktops. Connectivity includes Wireless AC, Bluetooth 5.0, and Realtek Dragon Ethernet networking.
What sets this system apart from the Predator Orion desktops are options for AMD graphics cards: the Radeon RX 580X or the Radeon RX 580. If you cater to Team Green, the GTX 1070, 1060, 1050 Ti and 1050 cards are on the list too. The overall dimensions are 6.41 (W) 13.77 (D) x 13.38 (H) inches.
- Availability: July
- Starting price: $799
Predator Helios 500 Laptop (PH517-51)
Technically Acer introduced two Helios-branded models, but the only new gaming laptop in this bunch is the Predator Helios 500 – the other model was a white and gold edition of the current Predator Helios 300 (along with similarly-themed peripherals). This 500 model packs a 17.3-inch IPS G-SYNC display with options for a 4K or FHD resolution and backed by four processor choices spanning the Core i5-8300H to the Core i9-8950HK. The only discrete GPU option you have is this laptop is Nvidia’s GTX 1070 chip.
The Predator Helios 500 can be configured with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory but manually upgradable to 64GB (4x 16GB). The laptop appears to support two storage devices: one M.2 SSD up to 1TB of storage and one 2.5-inch hard drive with up to 2TB of storage. The overall dimensions are 16.85 (W) x 11.73 (D) x 1.52 (H) inches while its weight is 8.81 pounds.
- Availability: June
- Starting price: $1,999