The [email protected] press event revealed most of the company’s mid-year product refreshes today. While most were the usual bumps in processor tech and adjustments to chassis design, a few of them are worth highlighting above the rest. Specifically, a rugged laptop that doesn’t stick out, a refreshed premium Chromebook, and a new bombastic gaming laptop.
The new Acer Enduro hardware line is what caught my interest the most. This sub-brand is all about laptops and tablets that can take a lickin’ and keep on cycling processors. Most of the products look like something you’d see sitting on the bumper of a giant Caterpillar machine, with the usual bulky bodies and built-in handles. But the Enduro N3 is a laptop you might actually consider using.
Only a little more chunky than your average budget laptop at .98 inches thick and 4.4 pounds, the N3 is MIL-STD 810G and IP53 certified. That means it can shrug off some intense dust and a rain shower. Though it’s not protected from, say, a completely immersed dunk, a full thermos of coffee isn’t going to faze it, and the internal fan is specifically designed to eject water. Other features include impact resistance, rubber covers for all external ports, and Gorilla Glass for a nearly scratch-proof display. A suite of software security apps rounds it out.
The Enduro N3 uses 10th-gen Intel Core i7 processors and up to 32GB of RAM, with an optional GeForce MX230 graphics card upgrade bumping it up to a mobile workstation device. Its 15-inch body gets a quoted 13 hours of battery life. It’ll be on sale in North America starting at $900 sometime in August.
Elsewhere in the Endure line, other products were announced without prices or dates:
- Enduro N7—A more conventional rugged notebook with a more armored body, integrated carrying handle, hot-swappable batteries, and IP65 certification.
- Enduro T5 tablet—a 10-inch Windows machine with similar design language to the N7, with hot-swappable batteries and four shoulder strap attachment points.
- Enduro T1 tablet—Rugged Android tablets in 10-inch and 8-inch varieties, with screens that can be used with gloves on.
Chromebook Spin 713
Premium Chromebooks are still the exception rather than the rule, but Acer’s Spin line has been a popular alternative between the budget bottom and Google’s more expensive self-branded options. The Chromebook Spin 713 is the latest upgrade, and it looks like a serious contender.
The 713 uses a full aluminum chassis with a convertible form factor, including tough Gorilla Glass on its touchscreen. Acer says it can take a fall of up to 48 inches. Note the more squared-off look, too: that 2K, 13.5-inch panel is using a 3:2 aspect ratio, for a focus on work over media. Acer isn’t skimping under the hood, either. It’s using the latest 10th-gen Intel Core processors, up to 16GB of RAM, and a max of 256GB of storage (huge for a Chromebook).
The 713’s tapered body design allows it to keep a full-sized USB-A and HDMI port on hand, as well as USB-C for charging, video, and data, and a MicroSD card reader. Prices for the consumer model will start at $630 when it lands next month. An enterprise model with more management-focused software will be a pricey upgrade at $1100.
Acer also announced a cheaper model, the Chromebook Spin 311. This 11.6-inch convertible is powered by a mobile MediaTek processor that won’t break any speed records, but should push it to 15 hours of battery life. Despite the small stature (and thick bezels), this laptop gets an IPS screen behind Gorilla Glass. It’ll start at just $260, launching next month.
Predator Helios 700 Gaming Laptop
Acer has always loved its over-the-top gaming notebook designs, and this year is no exception. The Predator, Triton, and Nitro gaming notebooks get updates to the latest Intel processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs, as well as some screen panel updates topping out at 300Hz. But the showstopper is the Predator Helios 700.
This beast barely qualifies as a “laptop,” since you’d need to be eight feet tall to actually fit it on your lap. Beneath a 17-inch 144Hz 1080p G-Sync screen is an proudly-displayed “PowerGem” thermal conductivity system, combining copper pipes, vapor chambers, and twin fans. That’ll come in handy if you opt for the top-of-the-line i9 processors and RTX 2080 GPU.
Next up is an RGB keyboard, with swappable keycaps (a first for a gaming notebook) allowing the user to customize each key for focusing on either typing or gaming. Gamers can actually adjust the actuation point of each switch within the software. The bottom deck with the integrated touchpad folds out like a ramp, preserving a more traditional laptop-style hand position while keeping a full-sized key layout.
Naturally the laptop is packed to the gills with the latest gaming hardware, like super-fast 2933Hz memory, double Thunderbolt 3 ports, dual SSDs in RAID 0, and Killer-brand wired and wireless networking. Acer isn’t talking about more mundane things like dimensions or battery life for the Helios 700. (My guess: “quite a lot” and “not very much at all,” respectively.) But it’ll go on sale in North America in October, with entry models starting at $2400. China gets it in August, with most other markets getting a slightly later look in September.
Other Acer gaming notebook announcements:
- Helios 300 notebook: Upgraded with the latest Intel and NVIDIA Max-Q chips, with an option for SSD RAID or a 2TB hard drive. The 15.6-inch screen is available with a 240Hz refresh rate. It’s coming in July starting at $1200.
- Triton 300 notebook: Similar to the Helios 300 above, in a slightly thinner and lighter package. Expansion is limited to SSDs. It lands in September starting at $1200.
- Nitro 7 notebook: an updated all-metal chassis covers a maximum i7-RTX 2060 configuration. Triple M.2 slots mean you can load this thing up with storage, though the 15.6-inch screen tops out at 144Hz. It goes on sale in October starting at $1000.
ConceptD 3 Ezel Notebook
The ConceptD line of laptops is geared towards creatives, and none more than the new 3 Ezel model. Its screen (14 or 15.6 inches, dealer’s choice) can swing out over the keyboard for an ideal drawing position. Naturally, it comes with a stylus included. The screen can also fold back on itself, convertible-style, for a more tablet-like form factor. The 1080p screens are Pantone-certified.
The laptop has enough power to make use of those creative chops, too. In addition to 10th-gen Core i5 or i7 processors, it gets a discrete graphics card—Quadro T1000 or GTX 1650Ti, depending on loadout. Storage goes up to a terabyte on the SSD, and the body includes a full-sized SD card reader (a huge boon to photographers).
Acer claims that the ConceptD3 Ezel gets 18 hours of battery life. You can test that claim for yourself in August, when it goes on sale starting at $1500.
If that’s a little too rich for your blood, Acer also announced more conventional ConceptD 3 notebook. It uses similar hardware in a standard laptop form factor, with those same 14 or 15.6-inch color-accurate displays and discrete GPUs. Prices for these models start at $1000.
Swift 5 Notebook
One of Acer’s most popular lines is the Swift, a standard thin-and-light with an emphasis on both. The new and improved Swift 5 features upgrades to the latest Core processors with either Intel Xe graphics or a discrete GeForce MX350 GPU. That should push it over the usual power threshold of these thing laptop designs.
Despite a .6-inch body and 2.2-pound frame, the Swift 5 holds on to full-sized USB-A and HDMI ports, as well as USB-C for charging. It can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and a full terabyte of SSD storage. Acer claims that the 56 watt-hour battery can last “all day” with a four hour boost on just 30 minutes of charge. A Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader is included.
The Swift 5 arrives in October with configurations starting at $1000.
- Predator Orion 9000: Acer’s top-of-the-line gaming desktop. Its configurations include all of the latest Intel and NVIDIA hardware, with options for dual card SLI configurations if your budget has no limit. The massive angular chassis includes dolly-style wheels for moving it around. Inside is room for three full-sized hard drives and two 2.5-inch SSDs, as well as a USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C hot swapping dock for even more drives. Naturally it’s chock full of LEDs and cooling fans, and tempered glass to see it all. There’s even a cradle for your headset. Configurations start at 2800 Euro in October—no North American release was mentioned.
- Predator Orion 3000: a mid-range gaming desktop with configuration options that take it a lot higher. Specs top out at a 10th-gen Core i7 and RTX 2070 Super, 64GB of memory, and 1TB of SSD, with several free expansion bay drives. RGB lighting is included, but the tempered glass is an upgrade. Prices start at $1000 in September.
- Nitro 50: An entry-level gaming desktop, with minimal lighting and no glass. Graphics cards top out at the more mid-range RTX 2060, but you can load it up with 1TB of SSD and double 3TB hard drives. Prices start at $800 in September.
- ConceptD 100: a creative-focused small form factor desktop with the same white aesthetics as the ConceptD laptops. This is a more budget-focused design, relying on last year’s 9th-gen Core processors and just 256GB of storage. Acer boasts that like the laptops its noise is under 40 decibels. Pricing starts at 800 Euro—no North American release is confirmed.
- Predator X25: a 24.5-inch 1080p monitor with an insane 360Hz refresh rate. Naturally it includes LED lighting and onboard G-SYNC. No price or date for this, but you can expect it to be extremely expensive.
- Predator XB3: This monitor comes in 32-inch, 27-inch, and 24.5-inch flavors, all with 240Hz panels. All three are G-SYNC compatible (meaning that they don’t have the extra hardware, but they’re tested as working with G-SYNC graphics cards), tilt and swivel bases, and integrated LED lighting. Prices start at $430 in September.
- ConceptD CM3: Designed specifically for 3D content creation. At 32 inches, it can handle 4K resolution, 60Hz, and HDR. In addition to a charming a charming bamboo base, this model comes with an integrated anti-glare hood for $710. It’ll be available in August.
- ConceptD CP3: Similar to the CM3 above, with a smaller 27-inch panel boosted to 165Hz. $620 in August.
- ConceptD CP5: a 2K (2560×1440) 27-inch monitor with insane color accuracy and 1ms response time, with AdaptiveSync refresh at up to 170Hz. It’s ideal for animation and gaming creators. $750 in August.
- Predator Cestus 350 Mouse: a high-end wireless mouse with a 1600DPi sensor and eight standard buttons. The poling rate is 1000Hz in wireless mode, an impressive 2000Hz at .5 milliseconds if you go wired. Available today for $125.
- Predator x OSIM Gaming Chair: A collaboration with OSIM, this Acer-branded chair includes “V-hand Massage technology” and can recline at up to 145 degrees. Extra cushioning in the small of the back, neck, and shoulders round out the package. No price or release date mentioned.
Source: Acer Press