Acer’s just unveiled a slew of new products at their annual press conference in New York City.
ile the products are all pretty much what you’d expect from the company, it shows that Acer understand their consumers and know how to build on their already impressive offerings without having to resort to flashy, unnecessary gimmicks in order to sell their products.
Beyond the Swift and Spin devices, Acer has also unveiled new Predator gaming laptops, rigs and accessories – things that will definitely be on the “must-have” list of die-hard gamers and power users.
The company has also made further strides into the education segment with its all new Chromebook Tab 10.
Officially announced back in March this year, the Chromebook Tab 10 is the first tablet to run on Google’s Chrome OS and it’s also the first serious competition to iPad’s dominance in the education sector.
In terms of specs, the Chromebook Tab 10 has a 9.7-inch 2046 x 1536 IPS display, front and rear facing cameras, 4GB RAM, 32GB storage, an OP1 processor, USB-C port, microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
What makes it even more impressive is that the tablet has Wacom stylus support – and unlike some companies who won’t put a stylus in the box, Acer has housed the stylus in the device. The Chromebook Tab 10 also supports Google Expeditions AR, which means that educators can use the tablet to make learning far more interactive and immersive.
Acer’s new Chromebooks – the Spin 13 and Chromebook 13 as well as the Spin 15 and Chromebook 15 – also run on Google’s Chrome OS but differ in screen size as well as versatility.
The Chromebooks operate as regular laptops while the Spin devices have a hinge which allows the display to rotate all the way around and gives you the option to use the device in tablet mode.
All four Chromebooks feature similar specs – 10-finger touch support (with the exception of the Chromebook 13 which has no touch support), between 10 to 16 hours battery life and either an Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron or Intel Core processor.
The true star of the laptop lineup is the all new Swift 5.
An improved version of the current Swift 5, the new device has a 15.6-inch display and is being touted as the world’s thinnest laptop.
In the tech world, companies tend to prioritise thinness over battery life, so we’re very happy that Acer has not fallen prey to that same mistake and comes with what the company calls all day battery life.
The rest of the features include “the latest Intel processors”, up to 1 TB of SSD storage and up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory, a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 port, two USB 3.1 Type-A ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. To boost security, the new Swift 5 also supports Windows Hello via a fingerprint reader.
The Swift 5 is expected to reach South Africa later this year.
In terms of gaming, Acer’s Predator division has become a force to be reckoned with and this year, the company’s new gaming devices further solidify its dominance.
The company unveiled two new Predator Helios gaming notebooks, including the powerful Predator Helios 500 which features up to 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors, and the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition that includes upgraded specs from its predecessor and a new white and gold chassis. Both feature VR-Ready performance, advanced thermal technologies, and blazing-fast connectivity.
“We’ve expanded our Predator Helios gaming notebook line in response to popular demand from gamers seeking extreme performance on the go,” said Jerry Kao, President of IT Products Business, Acer Inc. “The Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 gaming notebooks feature Acer’s proprietary thermal technologies and powerful components that, coupled with our award-winning software, deliver unparalleled gaming experiences.”
“The 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor for gaming and creation laptops is the highest performance Intel has ever delivered for this class of devices; purpose built for enthusiasts who demand premium gaming experiences whether at home or on the go,” said Steve Long, Vice President and General Manager, Client Computing Group Sales and Marketing, Intel. “Intel and Acer’s long relationship has produced amazing products over the years, and the new Acer Predator Helios gaming notebooks are powerful examples of what’s possible with this unprecedented level of performance.”
The Predator Helios 500 is an absolute gaming beast. Its features include the option of an overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processor and overclockable GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. Intel Optane memoryis used to increase responsiveness and load times, while ultra-fast NVMePCIe SSDs, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and up to 64GB of memory keep the action going, making the Helios 500 the ideal gaming notebook for graphic-intensive AAA titles and live streaming.
In terms of display, it has a vibrant 4K UHD or FHD IPS 17.3-inch displays with 144Hz refresh rates for blur- and tear-free gameplay. NVIDIA G-SYNC technology is supported on both the built-in display and external monitors, allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. For those looking for maximum gaming immersion, dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. Two speakers, a subwoofer, and Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology deliver what Acer says is incredible sound as well as hyper-realistic 3D audio using Waves Nx.
The Helios 500 stays cool with two of Acer’s proprietary AeroBlade 3D metal fans, and five heat pipes that distribute cool air to the machine’s key components while simultaneously releasing hot air. Fan speed can be controlled and customised through the PredatorSense app.
A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colours. Anti-ghosting technology provides the ultimate control for executing complex commands and combos, which can be set up via five dedicated programmable keys.
With so many new devices – and operating across both the Windows OS and Google’s Chrome OS – it’s hard to believe that Acer is more focused now than its ever been before. There’s a sense of surety and certainty that’s been demonstrated both on stage at the launch as well as in discussion with executives from the company that show that they’re interested in being the best they can be in all that they do, by listening to consumers and giving them what they need.
If this is what’s next at Acer, then I can’t wait to see the next evolution.