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Acer equips its gaming arsenal with a 4K HDR monitor and student-savvy laptops

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On Thursday during Acer’s press event in New York City, the company revealed five new products for PC gamers — three laptopsone desktop monitor, and an updated desktop. They are part of the company’s overall back-to-school rollout, which will begin shipping to stores later this summer, and apparently includes the “lifestyle gamer” crowd. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Nitro 5

Acer started its gaming-focused segment by teasing the audience with the Nitro 5, which is pictured above. Although the company confirmed the unit will arrive sometime in July, Acer didn’t reveal much about its specs. Instead, Acer confirmed it was indeed a “tease” after the presentation.

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What we do know is that the Nitro 5 relies on Acer’s CoolBoost technology, which enables users to manually adjust the speed of the fan cooling the innards inside. This enables Acer to inject the slim notebook with seventh-generation Core processors from Intel, and discrete GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB/4GB) or GTX 1050 Ti graphics chips.

Other minute details spilled during the press conference include PCI Express-based SSD storage and Dolby audio.

Predator X27

The Predator X27 desktop display will support Nvidia’s G-Sync technology for synchronizing the visuals on-screen with the output of a GeForce graphics chip. This prevents screen tearing, stuttering, and visual input lag caused when the display and graphics chip are generating frames at different rates. This tech is backed by High Dynamic Range (HDR) for the blackest of blacks and incredibly bright whites for a huge, rich color spectrum.

Even better, the panel is based on Quantum Dot Technology, which relies on nanocrystals of different sizes, each of which can emit light at different frequencies. The panel also sports 384 individual backlights that can be controlled on a per-light basis, providing perfect void-like blacks and a maximum brightness of 1,000 nits (the average display is only around 300 nits).

There will actually be two models released later this summer: the vanilla “flat” Predator X27 with a 3,840 x 2,160 resolution at 144Hz, and the curved Predator Z2271UV with a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and a curvature of 1800R. The latter curvy model will sport a ZeroFrame edge-to-edge design, support for 125 percent of the sRGB color space, a 1mn response time (3ms native), and an overclocked 165Hz refresh rate.

Not mentioned during the show is that both panels will include integrated Tobii eye-tracking technology. We presume Acer plans to sell displays with and without the Tobii technology, but we won’t know the full scoop until Acer gets ready to toss the monitors out into the PC gaming community later this year.

Here are the specs provided by Acer during the press briefing:

Predator Z271UV Predator X27
Panel Type: TN IPS
Max resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 @ 165Hz 3,840 x 2,160 @ 144Hz
Response time: 1ms 4ms
Contrast ratio: 1,000:1 typical 100M:1 (ACM)
Brightness: 400 nits 1,000 nits (peak)
Color space: sRGB 130 percent
DCI-P3 95 percent
Adobe RGB 99 percent
sRGB 100 percent
DCI-P3 96 percent
Color support: 16.7 million 1.07 billion
Color depth: 8-bit 10-bit
Ports: 1x HDMI 1.2
1x DisplayPort 1.2
4x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C
Audio output
1x HDMI 2.0
2x DisplayPort 1.4
Audio: 2x 7-watt speakers 2x 7-watt speakers

Predator Helio 300

With this laptop, Acer coughed up a bit more detail than the Nitro 5. The Helio 300 will arrive in July in 15.6-inch and 17.3-inch flavors, with the smaller model sporting a starting price of $1,300, and the larger unit with a starting price of $1,400. Both models appear to be based on In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel technology, offering rich colors and wide viewing angles. Acer only specified a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution.

There will be different configurations for each base unit, which include the seventh-generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ and Core i5-7300HQ processors, and discrete GeForce GTX 1060 or GTX 1050 Ti graphics chips from Nvidia.

During its presentation, Acer spent some time talking about the AeroBlade 3D fan cooling component, which enables the company to pack in those high-performance Intel and Nvidia chips without throttling back their full potential due to heat generation (hot = bad performance).

According to the company, the cooling fans use a new metal design consisting of a reduced thickness in the actual blades. The fans also aren’t enclosed in a case, enabling Acer to cram in even more cooling blades. Thus, Acer claims to increase the airflow more than 35 percent over a normal laptop cooling fan.

As for the other specs, all units hitting the market will have up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory although they will be capable of 32GB. The laptops appear to have dual storage configurations, as well, consisting of an SSD with up to 512GB of storage and a hard drive with up to 1TB of storage.

Other ingredients will include a USB 3.1 Gen2 Type-C port (10Gbps), one USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port (5Gbps), two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI 2.0 port. It will have a Wireless AC component (2×2) and gigabit Ethernet connectivity as well.

Here are the size and weight differences between the two:

15.6-inch model 17.3-inch model
Dimensions (in inches): 15.3 (W) x 10.47 (D) x 1.05 (H) 17.02 (W) x 11.41 (D) x 1.14 (H)
Weight: 5.95 pounds 6.61 pounds

Predator Triton 700

Next, we have the Triton 700, a super-thin gaming rig measuring just 18.9mm thick (0.75 inches), and weighing a mere 5.7 pounds. It will have a 15.6-inch screen based on an IPS panel with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution. Nvidia’s G-Sync technology will be baked into the display as well for stutter-free, tear-free visuals while playing your favorite PC games.

Acer will provide many fixed configurations when the laptop arrives this summer based on Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5-7300HQ and Core i7-7700HQ processors, and discrete GeForce GTX 10 Series graphics from Nvidia. That means it too relies on Acer’s AeroBlade 3D fan cooling system to keep those high-performance chips cooled and working optimally.

On the memory front, Acer will toss in up to 16GB of DDR4 system memory although the laptop is capable of 32GB (via two memory slots). The storage options are SSD-only with capacities of up to 512GB (PCIe Gen3 x4).

The Triton 700 will include a clear trackpad mounted just above the mechanical keyboard. This trackpad will consist of clear Gorilla Glass, enabling owners to see the spinning fans underneath. The keyboard itself includes per-key RGB illumination although Acer didn’t specify what type of switch it’s using to power the keystrokes.

Other notable features advertised with the Triton 700 include a built-in HD webcam, Wireless AC connectivity, Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, two USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A ports, one USB 2.0 port, one HDMI 2.0 port, one DisplayPort connector, and a gigabit Ethernet port. The laptop’s size will be 15.47 (W) x 10.35 (D) x 0.74 (H) inches.

Ultimately, consider the Triton 700 as a cheaper-in-price spinoff of Acer’s $9,000 Predator 21 X curved gaming notebook. The Predator Triton 700 will be available in August with a starting price of $3,000.

Aspire GX-281

Technically, the Aspire GX desktops hit the scene in January with a starting price of $900. There are five models in all based on Intel’s seventh-generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors. However, starting in May, Acer will offer additional models based on AMD’s new Ryzen 7 and Ryzen 5 chips that just hit the desktop market, which promise more bang for the buck.

“Performance-oriented Aspire GX desktops will be available with powerful new AMD Ryzen 7 1700X processors capable of handling graphic-intensive tasks for smooth everyday entertainment and gaming,” the company said.

Here are the specs provided during Acer’s press event:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X
AMD Ryzen 7 1700
AMD Ryzen 5 1600
AMD Ryzen 5 1400
Graphics: GeForce GTX 1050 (Nvidia)
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
GeForce GTX 1060
GeForce GTX 1070
Radeon RX 480 (AMD)
Memory: Up to 64GB DDR4 @ 2,400MHz
Storage: 3.5-inch HDD up to 3TB
M.2 SSD up to 256GB
Audio: 5.1-channel surround sound
Connectivity: Wireless AC (2×2)
Size: 15.66 (H) x 6.88 (W) x 18.24 (D) inches
Operating system: Windows 10 Home 64-bit

The Aspire GX desktop packing an AMD Ryzen 5 1600 processor is actually up for grabs right now costing $900. It includes 8GB of DDR4 system memory, one hard drive with a 1TB capacity, a DVD writer, a GeForce GTX 1050 4GB graphics card, and a 500-watt power supply. Here are the desktop’s ports and slots:

Expansion slots: 3
PCI Express x16 slots: 1
USB 2.0 ports: 4
USB 3.1 Gen1 ports: 2
Ethernet port: 1
Audio input: 1
Audio output: 1

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