Updated: We’ve had a bit more time to play with the Acer Predator 21 X at CES 2017 and have updated our impressions.
We’d scoff if you told us about one of the Acer Predator 21 X’s crazy features. A curved display? On a laptop? Twin GTX 1080 graphics cards?
And, a tiny window through which you can peer in to see the processor’s cooling fan spinning around? Yeah, pull the other one.
As it happens, the Predator 21 X is very real, and it’s a marvel to look at. It requires two power supplies to provide juice to its dual GTX 1080 GPUs inside.
The crazy doesn’t stop there: it has a mechanical keyboard that uses Cherry MX Brown switches, with RGB backlighting built into each key. It felt just as tactile and satisfying to use as any keyboard you’ll find in our best gaming keyboard guide.
Above the keyboard is a triangular window used to show off just one of the machine’s three cooling fans, giving notebook lovers the sort of visual satisfaction that desktop PC gamers have enjoyed for years.
There’s also Intel’s new 7th-generation Kaby Lake Intel Core i7-7820HK processor on the inside, in addition to 64GB of DDR4-2400 system memory, and up to four 512GB SSDs in RAID 0 (two of which can be NVMe PCIe solid-state drives).
Overall, there’s more than enough disk space here to store your ample Steam library and your friend’s too.
On the left-hand side of the keyboard are macro keys that can be used to fire off specialized commands in-game. Slip around the side, and you’ll find a pair of full-sized USB ports alongside a microphone and headphone jack.
Another interesting point about the Predator 21 X – and there are many – is its removable side panel that instantly converts from a number pad to a trackpad. It’s an ingenious idea and one that we can see being done on smaller non-gaming laptops, too.
At 8kg in weight, the Predator 12 X is hardly portable – quite the opposite. But, if you’re looking for a desktop replacement machine with insane amounts of power, its 2,560 x 1,080-resolution curved display is a viable replacement for a regular monitor.
It even has Tobii eye-tracking built in, which allows you to peer around levels and change camera angles by focusing on certain parts of the screen with your eyes.
It’s huge, loud and about as brash as can be, but it’s hard to deny that the Predator 21 X is a little bit genius, too. However, with an eye-watering price of $8,999 (around £7,350, AU$12,500), most will have to remortgage their house to buy one.
Kevin Lee has also contributed to this article