The Acer Predator 21X is the biggest gaming laptop I’ve ever seen. It’s rocking an ultrawide display with eye-tracking tech, packs a pair of Nvidia GPUs and will likely last a picosecond away from a plug socket. It’s crazy and beautiful in equal measures.
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I thought gaming laptops were meant to be getting smaller. I thought, with the launch of Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors building on the maturing 14nm production process and Nvidia lifting the lid on their super-efficient new 16nm Pascal GPUs, that we might have seen the end of the bulky gaming beasts of yesterday.
Nah. They’re just jamming more and more tech into the spaces left behind by better CPUs and graphics chips.
The new Acer Predator 21X is a huge machine, with a 21-inch IPS screen and a 2560 x 1080 native resolution, Intel Core i7 processor and twin GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI. Despite what Acer are calling it, it’s as much of a laptop as Deep Thought; the Acer Predator 21X is more a compact desktop machine than gaming notebook, but with all that gaming tech it’s one with the performance to match.
To keep that all in check there are five cooling fans on chip-chilling duties, and because of that Acer have decided to go hog-wild and overclock the 21X too. But while it may not be responsible for burning through your lap flesh it might just break your legs at a hefty 8kgs.
Underneath that bizarre, but beguiling curved laptop screen is a full Cherry MX-toting mechanical keyboard with a numpad that can be flipped over to use as a trackpad instead. There’s also a little peep-hole for perving on your laptop’s innards and a maintenance hatch for easy upgrading.
The Predator 21X also comes with Tobii eye-tracking integration so it will be staring deep into your eyes every second you’re sat in front of it.
But Acer aren’t just putting the eye-tracking tech into their monstrous new gaming laptop, they’re also releasing a new line of Predator monitors with the same Tobii hardware. Acer are a lot more excited about the potential for eye-tracking in gaming than I am, it has to be said, but they are claiming it will introduce another level of immersion allowing for a third input and intuitive game controls.
The caveat here though is game developers will need to code for it and right now there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support out there. Acer’s demo at this year’s IFA show in Berlin gave examples of where its three different eye-spying features can be used in-game, but every single one of those examples was Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
The three monitors rocking the Tobii eye-tracking are the 27-inch 1080p, 144Hz Predator Z271T – sporting almost as tight a curve as the Samsung screen they’ve just announced – the similarly 27-inch 1440p, 165Hz XB271HUT and a 24.5-inch 1080p panel with a super-high 240Hz refresh rate.
The Predator 21X will be available for pre-order this year, with the new Predator monitors going on sale from October.
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