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
Chromebook Spin 15 and Chromebook 15
Based on the supplied hardware specifications, the Chromebook Spin 15 and the vanilla Chromebook 15 clamshell model only differ at the hinge: The Spin a features 360-degree hinge supporting Laptop, Tent, Stand, and Tablet modes while the Chromebook 15 is just your typical clamshell design. Meanwhile, the Chromebook 15 CB315-1HT clamshell model supports 10-point touch input while the CB315-1H clamshell does not (the Spin 15 supports touch by default).
As for the main ingredients, you’ll find these models relying on three processors ranging from the Celeron N3450 to the Pentium N4200, an integrated HD Graphics 500 component, and up to 8GB of system memory. The only storage options are 32GB and 64GB capacities on an SSD. Powering everything is a battery promising up to 13 hours on the Spin model and up to 14 hours on the vanilla Chromebook 15 version.
Finally, these Chromebooks provide a 15-inch IPS screen with an FHD resolution. They also support Wireless AC connectivity up to 867Mbps and have the same dimensions of 11.25 (W) x 10.31 (D) x 0.78 (H) inches. The Spin model is slightly heavier at 4.62 pounds while the clamshell model weighs only 3.96 pounds.
- Availability: July
- Starting Price: $449 (Spin), $349 (non-Spin)
Chromebook Spin 13 and Chromebook 13
Here we have the same situation: two nearly identical devices differentiated by their hinge and form factor capabilities. Marketed for business, both sport a 13.5-inch IPS display with a weird 2,256 x 1,504 resolution, only the Spin model supports 10-point touch input while the vanilla clamshell model does not.
Outside the hinge, the big difference between the two are their processor options. The Spin 13 only provides two – the Core i5-8250U and the Core i3-8130U – while the clamshell model offers the same Core i3 chip but ditches the Core i5 for the Pentium 4415U and the Celeron 3865U chips. Both models rely on the graphics component integrated into Intel’s processors.
Other features found in these two Chromebooks include system memory of up to 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of storage, Wireless AC connectivity (867Mbps), an HD webcam, and a battery promising up to 10 hours. Both models measure 12.18 (W) x 9.67 (D) x 0.64 (H) inches and weigh a mere 3.48 pounds.
- Availability: TBD
- Starting price: TBD
Chromebook Tab 10
Finally, Acer reminded us of its Chrome-based tablet during the show given that it was officially revealed in March. It’s based on a 9.7-inch IPS display with a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, integrated touch, and support for an included Wacom EMR stylus. It’s backed by a processor optimized for the Chrome OS platform, 4GB of LPDDR3 system memory, and 32GB of storage.
Acer’s Chrome OS tablet still doesn’t have a launch date, but we know it’s packed with two built-in cameras – a front-facing camera with a 1,600 x 1,200 resolution, and a rear-facing webcam supporting a 560 x 1,920 resolution – along with Wireless AC connectivity (867Mbps) and a battery promising up to nine hours on a single charge. It weighs a mere 1.21 pounds and measures 6.77 (W) x 9.377 (D) x 0.39 (H) inches.
- Availability: “Soon”
- Starting price: $329
Swift 5 (SF315-52G, SF315-52)
Finally, Acer introduced a refreshed Swift 5 for the mainstream market with five processor options ranging from the Core i3-7020U (7th Gen) to the Core i7-8550U (8th Gen). It ships with up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory but you can manually upgrade the laptop to 32GB (2x 16GB). It also supports 16GB of Intel’s Optane memory.
According to the specifications, this laptop can rely on Nvidia’s GeForce MX 150 discrete graphics chip or solely on the integrated component in Intel’s processor. On the storage front, configurations include up to 512GB on a PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD, up to 512GB on a SATA SSD, or up to 2TB on a hard drive. Other ingredients include Wireless AC connectivity (867Mbps), an HD webcam with Super High Dynamic Range imaging, and a battery promising up to 10 hours.
Finally, the Swift 5 packs a 15.6-inch IPS screen with a narrow bezel design, and options for a FHD or 4K resolution. The laptop measures 14.13 (W) x 9.56 (D) x 0.66 (H) inches and weighs up to 3.96 pounds, depending on the installed graphics component.
- Availability: TBD
- Starting price: TBD
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