Predator. A menacing word that describes a creature that preys on others in its specific food chain. In gaming, it refers to Acer’s line of hardcore gaming gear designed, no doubt, with a similar concept in mind: To dominate the competition.
But, with Acer‘s latest Predator launches at their Global Press Conference event last week in New York, the gaming line seems to have taken a peculiar turn. A turn that might cause some to question if the Predator was starting to become the prey.
Both of these devices are behemoths when it comes to performance, packing top-of-the-line specifications into incredibly portable form-factors. Acer also utilises their “expertise” in thermal management to ensure that despite the small cases (which are notorious for poor airflow and cooling) the devices will still run at acceptable temperatures.
So, why this focus on portability? Well, when I had a chat with Acer IT Products Business president Jerry Kao, he was very passionate in explaining their direction when it came to these two new Predators. The gist? It was what gamers wanted.
Take the Predator 17X for example. On the surface, it looks (and feels) a lot like the older Predator 17 laptop with its nice soft touch finish and red LED accents. That’s because what’s new with this is on the inside.
Along with the Predator G1, the new Predator 17X is “VR Ready”. Virtual Reality is likely going to be the “next big thing” when it comes to gaming because it offers immersion like no other medium has before this. The problem with that level of immersion is that it requires a whole lot of high-end hardware to run smoothly.
In fact, a recent article by BBC News suggests that less than 1% of all PCs out there right now are VR Ready. With the new Predators, though, you can join that exclusive 1%. What’s more, the Predator 17X is one of the few gaming laptops in the world that is capable of performing this feat and a lot of that is down to the full desktop-grade NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card with 8GB of GDDR5 memory.
That means, when you hook this laptop up to VR headsets like HTC’s Vive and the Oculus Rift, you can be confident that there will be no stuttering or performance issues during your gaming sessions. That’s pretty darn awesome for a laptop.
Sure, it hasn’t got a water-cooling unit like ASUS’s ROG GX700 or a mechanical keyboard like the MSI GT80 Titan, but it sticks to the roots of what makes it a gaming laptop — maximum power that still manages to be portable.
Well, portable in the most literal of senses because the Predator 17X weighs a massive 4.55kg. But, at least it doesn’t have a gigantic optional water-cooling dock mounted on the back. Instead, Acer opts for a new triple-fan solution that sucks in cool air from the front of the laptop (not the bottom) and shoots it out the back.
The Predator 17X, according to Acer, isn’t an exercise in pushing the boundaries of what you can feasibly add to a gaming laptop like the GX700 and GT80 Titan. Instead, it is an innovation that Acer says stems from giving gamers what they want.
This means that while these new Predators may not have the flashy fangs of their competition, it doesn’t mean that they have lost any of their edge or lethality. They’re honed to accomplish one purpose and one purpose alone and on the surface, Acer seems to have done a pretty good job.
What do you guys think of the new Predators? Are they really what you want when it comes to gaming?
Predator G1 specifications:
Operating System: Windows 10
Processor: 6th Gen Intel Core processors
Memory: up to 64GB of DDR4 2,133 Mhz (4 DIMM, 2 channels)
Graphics: Full-sized NVIDIA GeForce GTX up to Titan X
Storage: 3.5″ HDD: Up to 4TB, M.2 SSD: Up to 512GB, 2.5″ HDD
Ports: SD Card reader, USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2, 5x USB 3.1 Gen 1, headphone and microphone jacks, GigabtEthernet port.
Predator 17X specifications:
Operating System: Windows 10
Display: 17.3″ FHD 1920×1080 IPS G-SYNC, 4K 3840×2160 IPS G-SYNC
Processor: Intel Core i7-6820HK, Intel Core i7-6700HQ
Memory: Up to 64GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX980 with 8GB GDDR5, NVIDIA GeForce GTX980M with 8GB GDDR5
1. SSD 9SATA/PCI-e) 256GB or 512GB
2. SSD (SATA) 128GB, 256GB or 512GB
3. SSD (SATA) 128GB, 256GB or 512GB
RAID 0 support for SATA SSD: 256GB or 512GB, or 1TB
4. HDD 1TB or 2TB
Dimensions: 423 x 321.5 x 44.95 mm
Battery life: Up to 3 hours
Camera: HD Webcam