Acer has doubled down on gaming here at the IFA tech show in Berlin, unveiling a barrage of new gaming gear including a Predator tablet and phone, 15- and 17-inch gaming laptops with Intel's new Skylake processors, powerful PCs -- plus Nvidia G-Sync gaming monitors, including a 200Hz ultra-wide curved display.
Powerful New Predator 15- And 17-Inch Gaming Laptops
Acer’s new Predator gaming notebooks feature Intel's new 6th gen/Skylake Core i7-6700HQ processor, Nvidia GeForce GTX980 graphics, up to 32GB of DDR4 memory and 512GB NVMe PCIe solid state drives. The 15-inch line-up includes a 4K (3840x2160) display option.
Acer has also packed in a number of innovative cooling ideas:
• FrostCore: An Acer-exclusive third fan module from Cooler Master that swaps out with the optical drive to lower the CPU/GPU temp by 5 per cent.
• DustDefender: Two fans and vents on the back of the device that use reverse rotation to remove dust build-up, improve heat dissipation and reduce noise. Added benefit of helping to improve the laptop's lifespan.
• AeroBlade: Acer claims to have patented the world's thinnest metal fan blade and a process built on its efficiency that improves thermals by a further 9 per cent.
• CoolBoost: Lastly, Acer's CoolBoost app lets you customise fan airflow, including kicking into a turbo mode for heavy use.
Acer's PredatorSense gaming software also lets you tailor macro programmable keys for up to 15 in-game shortcuts and adjustable lighting controls. The Predator ProZone backlit keyboard is divided into four lighting zones which can be lit or dimmed individually and features a programmable key. And a dedicated physical key allows gamers to lock both the Windows key and touchpad quickly to prevent accidental key presses.
Both the 15-Inch and 17-Inch Predator laptops support up to three displays, pack in four built-ins speakers (plus two subwooofers), and include USB 3.1 Type-C support.
Shipping with Windows 10, the line-up hits the US in November with prices starting at US$1500 for the Predator 15 and starting at US$1600 for the Predator 17. Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. No word yet on Australia.
Acer also refreshed its V Nitro gaming laptop with a with a more responsive keyboard, USB 3.1 Type-C, fancy keyboard lighting and better wireless. The new slot-antenna design is discretely positioned on one corner of the display ensuring 360-degree wireless coverage with no dead zones.
Predator Gaming Tablet And Phone
Then there’s the 8-inch (1920x1200) Acer Predator 8 gaming tablet (aka GT-810). Powered by an Intel Atom x7 processor and Android 5.1, the 8.7mm thin device includes four array front-facing speakers, extended grip pads and ‘Predator TacSense’ haptic/vibration feedback.
Gameloft’s Asphalt 8 racing game works seamlessly with this vibration system and the tablet 0 will be preloaded with Asphalt 8 and 320,000 game credits (approximately US$50 value). The 350g Predator 8 tablet also incorporates touch sensors that are smaller and more densely arrange than usual.
Ideal for FPS games, but also sketching and writing – by hand, or via any 2mm fine tip tool such as graphite pencil or optional stylus. No info yet on Australia, but the device will sell for US$299 in the US from November.
Who knows if it'll ever come to Australia, but Acer also scaled the concept down to 6-inches. The Predator 6 is a high-def Android gaming phone with MediaTek 10-core processor, 64GB expandable storage, 4GB RAM and a 21-megapixel camera. It also has haptic feedback to feel "like a gaming controller." Stay tuned for more on this one.
Two New Predator Gaming Monitors
Acer claims its new Predator Z35 display is the fastest gaming monitor in the world. Cutting through the number jumble, that's basically a reference to its refresh rate of up to 144Hz (overclockable to 200Hz). Yes, monitors can be overclocked. Combined with the Z35's 21:9 ultra-wide Full HD (2560x1080) panel and 2000R curvature, that's a pretty immersive, wraparound gaming experience. More so if you take advantage of its Nvidia G-Sync support. From US$1199 in December.
As background, Acer previously announced its X34 gaming monitor at Computex in June.
Then there are Acer's regular flat screen gaming monitors: the new G-Sync-ready 27- and 28-inch Predator XB-1 range.
The 27-inch models have a ZeroFrame edge-to-edge design with 4K UHD (3840x2160) or WQHD (2560x1440) IPS panels, while the XB271HU supports Nvidia Ultra Low Motion Blur and refresh rates of up to 144Hz. The 28-inch model (XB281HK) has a 4K UHD panel with fast GTG (grey to grey) response time of 1ms, designed for fast-moving action without smearing or ghosting. From US$799 in October.
Predator Short Throw Laser Projector Built With Gamers In Mind
We won't get to test it ourselves until 2016, but Acer is also working on a laser projector that can throw an ultra-wide 120-inch diagonal image while positioned just 50cm from a wall. It’ll incorporate the Predator line’s polygon/stealth fighter design language and include specialised gaming features that the company teased, but wasn’t yet ready to announce. Rocket League split screen anyone?
New Predator G3 Desktop
Acer launched its redesigned Predator G6 design last month at GamesCom, and will now include 6th generation Intel core processors in it, and the new G3 model. The systems target gamers who want to build their own PC, but don't necessarily want to start from scratch.
The Predator G6 and G3 desktops support up to 64GB DDR4 memory, Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics, one-button overclocking and use Acer's 'IceTunnel' enhanced thermal system.
Acer is serious about graphics in general. This week we also learned it plans to sell two computers with external graphics options by the end of the year. The Aspire R13 touchscreen convertible will have a 'NitroKit' external Thunderbolt 3 graphics dock much like the one we saw at Intel Developers Forum. We snapped this prototype at Acer's IFA press conference:
Meanwhile, Acer's upcoming Revo Build is a stackable modular mini PC. You can add more graphics grunt (storage, or high-res audio) by purchasing an external graphics module and simply magnetically snapping it into your stack.