Remember when gaming laptops were big, heavy, and prohibitively expensive? Apparently those days are not over. Not for Acer anyway, which will soon make available its previously announced Predator 21 X laptop starting at $8,999 (£9,999).
Credit Acer on the price tag because who can afford (or justify) dropping nine grand on a notebook? Close call, but at $8,999 the Predator 21 X is a veritable bargain if you can overlook its size, right?
Okay, maybe not. However, it is rocking a drool-worthy foundation, including a 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i7-7820HK processor paired with two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs in SLI. That's excessive even for this laptop's native 2560x1080 resolution with 120Hz refresh rate (G-Sync is supported, too), which spans a 21-inch curved IPS panel. But hey, all that power could come in handy down the road if you feel like tethering the Predator 21 X to a 4K display.
The display is at least one corner that Acer seems to have cut here. For nearly $9,000, it seems stingy on Acer's part to go with anything less than 4K, though perhaps finding one with a curved panel suitable for laptops would have driven the cost up even higher. By going this route, Acer is able to market the Predator 21 X as "the world's first notebook with a curved screen."
Buyers will find 64GB of DDR4-2400 memory underneath the hood, a copious amount even by professional standards. Storage consists of up to four 512GB solid state drives in a RAID 0 configuration (including two NVMe PCIe SSDs) and a 1TB HDD. Since Acer does not mention exactly how much storage comes standard here, it suggests to us that not all four SSD slots are filled. And while it may seem like we're picking on the Predator 21 X at this point, only 1TB of bulk storage in a nine grand configuration feels a little skimpy, too.
When flipping the lid users will find a full-sized mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown key switches and per-key backlighting. For those who want to, Acer includes teal WASD keys to swap out with the black ones.
Other features include a three-way audio design (tweeter, midrange, and woofer), a numeric keypad that can be flipped over and used as a precision touchpad, support for Windows Hello, and a metal maintenance panel just above the keyboard on the right that provides easy access to the RAM modules and one of the 2.5-inch drives.
Acer expects to sell at least a few hundred of these laptops, as the first 300 will featured a limited edition series number on the panel. Each Predator 21 X also comes with a hard shell carrying case.
The Predator 21 X will be available in February.