Acer today held its yearly global press conference today in sunny New York. While the event didn’t garner the excitement last year’s event did, there’s no denying that everything that got updated, got updated well.
Acer and its past year
Acer bossman and super-chill host, Jason Chen came on stage and immediately began talking about the past year Acer has had. He started with the many awards the company has won in the recent years and stressed on how design has been a huge part of their growth.
Next, he moved onto Star VR, which is now also the world’s ‘first solely focused on VR stock’ being traded in the world (Well that was a mouthful). Dubai also came up in the presentation as the home to the world’s largest VR Park which is built in partnership with Star VR.
Just before moving onto the announcements for the day, Mr. Chen called on Paul Donovan, General Manager for WW OEM Operations at Microsoft, along with whom he discussed the growing relationship between the two companies.
Acer Swift 5
First in line for this year’s updates was the Acer Swift 5. The ultra slim series gets a larger 15.6″ version but it keeps to the name and is still ultra-light and ultra-portable with a weight under 1 kilogram.
The Swift 5 is powered by Windows 10 with Intel® Core™ processors and is said to have battery life that ‘lasts through the workday’. The Swift 5’s Full HD IPS touchscreen features narrow bezels measuring just 5.87 mm, giving it an 87.6% screen-to-body ratio that maximizes the viewing experience.
The ultra-slim laptop also comes with up to 1 TB of SSD storage, 16 GB of DDR4 memory, one USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 2 port (10 Gbit/s data transfer, supporting power delivery and display output), two USB 3.1 Type-A ports (one with power-off charging functionality), an HDMI port, and an SD card reader. The Swift 5 supports Windows Hello through a fingerprint reader, allowing users to log in to their accounts faster and more securely.
Unfortunately, the Swift 5 is due for release in the UAE only in December and there is still no indication on the price of the device.
Chromebooks for Education and Business
Acer then spoke of their success with Chromebooks, especially in the Education sector. The company also launched two new Chromebooks.
Chromebook Spin 15
The new 15.6″ Chromebook comes in two versions, with a 360-degree hinge and without. Both versions will come with 1920×1080 resolution displays, two full-sized upward facing speakers, a Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad and obviously the support of Android apps via the Google Play Store.
The Chromebook 15 and Chromebook Spin 15 will retail for Dh1499 and Dh1699 respectively and will be available between June – August 2018 in our region.
Chromebook Spin 13
A very interesting product to come out of this year’s conference was the business-focused Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13.
Apart from the difference that one of the devices can spin on its 360-degree hinge, the laptops are quite similar. Both have premium all-aluminium bodies, a 3:2 aspect ratio FHD+ (2256×1504) 13.5″ displays, Corning Gorilla Glass touchpads and are powered by 8th generation Intel processors. The Chromebook Spin 13 also comes included with a Wacom EMR stylus which lets customers sketch, take notes, capture ideas, and interact with programs and apps.
Both devices have been made with a focus on business but at a reasonable price segment. The Chromebook 13 and Chromebook Spin 13 will be available for Dh3299 and Dh3999 from September and November respectively.
Next up, the Nitro series. Acer introduced the Nitro 50 budget desktop powered by up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processors and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPUs. The Acer Nitro is aimed at people who need just a little more for their casual gaming or even graphics-intensive tasks. They deliver 4K resolution visuals and can support up to four displays. The desktop comes with up to a 3TB HDD and a 512GB SSDas well as a handy wireless charging deck for keeping users’ Qi-enabled wireless devices powered up and ready to go.
The Nitro 50 gaming desktop PC will be available in the UAE in July of this year and will retail at Dh3699.
Predator Helios Series
The Predator Helios series gets a boost with the new overclockable Helios 500 and the Helio 300 will be coming in a Special Edition White and Gold colour.
The Helios 500 is a 17.3″ monster with up to overclockable 8th Gen Intel Core i9+ processors and overclockable GeForce® GTX 1070 graphics. The laptop will be available in 4k and IPS models, both with 144Hz refresh rates and supports NVIDIA G-SYNC technology allowing for buttery-smooth imagery without tearing or stuttering. A backlit RGB keyboard offers four lighting zones with support for up to 16.8 million colours. The Helio 500 comes with dual Thunderbolt™ 3 ports, and display and HDMI 2.0 ports support up to three external monitors. There are also two speakers, a subwoofer as well as Acer TrueHarmony and Waves MAXXAudio technology. The monster gaming machine 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 customized through the PredatorSense app.
The Helios 500 is coming to the UAE in July of this year for a price of a whopping Dh11499.
The Predator Helios 300 stays budget friendly but now comes in a new Special Edition with its distinctive white chassis accented with elegant gold trim. The Special Edition features 15.6-inch FHD IPS displays with an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate, 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processor and overclockable NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics.
The Helios 300 is not coming to Dubai anytime soon (it comes all the way in December 2018) and there is no confirmed price for the device either.
Predator Orion Series
After the success, if their largest and most powerful desktop offering, the Orion 9000, Acer announced yesterday that the series would be grown with the 9000’s younger siblings, the Orion 5000 and 3000.
The new Predator Orion 5000 Series gaming desktops feature up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ 8700K processors paired with the latest Intel Z370 chipset and up to 32 GB of Intel Optane memory. The PC also comes with up to 2-way NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti GPUs in SLI for hardcore gaming as well as VR experiences.
The Predator Orion 5000’s chassis has a transparent side panel to show off its internals and is EMI-compliant to protect users and peripherals from potential electromagnetic interference. The easy-open side panels allow users to quickly swap out components and cables during upgrades. The IceTunnel 2.0 airflow management design segments the system into different thermal zones and provides each sector with its own airflow tunnel to expel heat. A front mesh panel with dust filters allows the Predator Orion 5000 to inhale massive amounts of air while filtering out annoying dust. Additional features for core gamers include Killer LAN high-speed Ethernet, cradles for audio headsets, a carry-handle for portability and Acer’s signature Predator design.
The Orion 5000 is all set to drop into the UAE in August of this year and will retail for Dh7999.
The Orion 3000 is the smallest in the family and comes with up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ processors, and up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs. The VR-ready Predator Orion 3000 supports 4K gameplay and it can be configured with up to 32 GB of Intel Optane memory, and up to 64 GB DDR4-2666 RAM.
The Predator Orion 3000 Series features the same attractive design language as its bigger brother, with a transparent EMI-compliant side panel, RGB lighting, sleek lines, blue accents and built-in headset cradles.
Unfortunately, as of now, the Orion 3000 is not making its way to the UAE.