This Meet Acer’s Insanely 4K-capable New Predator Laptops with GTX 1080 X GPUs and Kaby Lake Processors
Stephan Jukic – January 12, 2017
There are gaming laptops that push the boundaries of conventional notebook processing specs while trying to maintain competitive prices and then there is the Acer Predator 21 X. This is a laptop which takes notebook hardware and power specs to such extremes that it it’s obvious how little its designers decided to give a crap about details like size, practicality or affordability in this case.
So yes, the Predator 21 X is a case of pure engineering bravado of the coolest and most outlandish sort, but for a certain deep-pocketed subset of PC gaming enthusiasts, it’s going to be downright awesome.
Not only is this laptop absolutely huge with its 21.5 inch display, and massive overall size, it’s also the only notebook machine we’ve ever heard of which comes with a curved screen. That’s right, it even imitates 4K TVs and the largest, newest curved 4K PC gaming monitors in its screen curvature. Something we didn’t even quite think possible until this monster came along.
Oddly however, the Predator 21 X doesn’t offer 4K ultra HD resolution. Instead the Predator Instead, you’ll have to make do with the machine’s relatively modest 2560 x 1080 specs. This is indeed odd because as the specs we describe below show, this is absolutely a laptop with the display space and hardware to handle full, high frame-rate 4K gaming even with some of the most detail-intensive games in existence today.
However, if you happen to have a 4K PC monitor laying around your home, the Predator 21 X will deliver full 4K gaming to its display as well as any hardcore gaming rig, so it is absolutely a choice to consider for real 4K gaming.
The Predator 21 X was first presented to the public at IFA 2016 in August and then later unveiled again at CES 2017 in January with pricing details also released. Needless to say, this laptop is way beyond the territory of remotely budget-friendly by most standards, but for those who don’t mind plonking down the price of a newer model 75 inch OLED 4K TV on a single laptop, the good news is that Acer has announced availability for February for the Predator 21 X.
Moving back to the actual design of this monster machine, we’ll start things off by saying that the Predator 21 X is simply ridiculous. Not only is this laptops so big that it completely foregoes all of the portable gaming practicality that laptops are supposed to be about, it’s also quite frankly one ugly machine. No part of it is graceful or elegant and the stylized external design that Acer gave it translates into endless protruding black edges and flanges that only get in the way. Then there are the simply gaudy aspects of the Predator’s look, such as the blue dragon graphic above the keyboard and even the bizarrely curved screen. In essence, this laptop looks like what you’d get if you asked Michael Bay to slap together a design for some soldiers hacking notebook in one of his movies.
Then there are the specs of the Predator 21 X. As can be expected, these are pretty much absurdly powerful and they’d damn well better be when we’re talking about plonking down $9000 for this machine.
For starters, the Predator 21 X comes crammed with dual GeForce GTX 1080 X GPUs that come SLI-linked. Then to back these up, there’s a spanking new seventh-generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processor of the kind that also supports HDR10, VP9, HEVC, HDCP and all the other major goodies for playing back 4K ultra HD video from a source like Netflix on your laptop display just as if it were a 4K TV. In addition to these superb specs, the Predator 21 comes with four DDR4 memory slots for up to a whopping, insane 64GB of RAM and of course, for some truly serious and lightning fast data storage, it comes packed with as many as four 512GB SSD drives if you pay the full price of $8,999. It’s also worth noting that two of these storage drives can be of the NVMe PCIe SSD variety, meaning that they offer up five times the data transfer speed of a normal SATA drive.
Then there are the other add-ons that Acer has crammed into this machine. These include a Tobii eye-tracking system, a mechanical keyboard and a numeric keypad that can be flipped over into a touchpad. Of course, with all this power, the Predator 21 X also comes with some serious audio chops, packing four speakers with dual subwoofers and a total of five different cooling fans to keep this whole rig from simply melting in your lap if you’re brave enough to put it there while you play some high intensity UHD games.
On the downside, cramming this much hardware into a laptop with a 21 inch display means getting a “portable” computer that weighs a hilarious 17.5 pounds.
Acer is releasing the Predator 21 X in February and the first 300 buyers of the machine will be getting the bonus of a limited edition series number engraved into its graphics panel. To us this seems like a pretty weak-sauce extra to offer someone who just spent the price of a decent used car on one of your laptops but if you’re seriously considering buying this machine, it’s because you see the value of its specs and really don’t care about much else.
For those of us who can’t quite reach the price of the Predator 21 X, there is the far more modest but still insanely powerful Predator 17 X. This slightly smaller and lighter model is still an absolute beast of a gaming laptop with the same Kaby Lake i7 processor power from Intel and the same quad-DDR slots for a total of 64GB of RAM. However, unlike the Predaotr 21 X, the 17 X only comes with a single GTX 1080 X GPU and a more limited SSD storage configuration. It does however feature G-Sync technology in its smaller 17.5 inch display. This other model is definitely more to our liking for heavy-duty 1440p gaming and it sells for “only” $2,599.
Acer is also releasing several much more modest but absolutely awesome other gaming laptop models on its Aspire line of notebooks. One of these is the new Aspire VX 15 gaming laptop, which starts shipping as of late January for a highly reasonable price of $799 and will feature Intel’s latest processors and a much more modest but still robust NVIDIA GPU for HD gaming. Then there will be the C 15 and V 17 Nitro notebooks, which both come with Kaby Lake processors and will sell for $1,119 and $1,299 respectively.
Story by 4k.com