Take a look what's 'Next' for Acer

Subject: Systems, Mobile | April 12, 2019 - 02:47 PM |
Tagged: Predator Helios 700, Predator CG437K P, ConceptD, Chromebook 715, acer

Acer showed off quite a bit of new kit at their Next event in New York, including a variety of laptops, wood grained desktops and a gigantic adaptive sync display.  The Predator CG437K P is a 43", 4K VA adaptive sync panel with a top refresh rate of 144Hz.  One very big benefit to using a VA panel is that this display is VESA-Certified DisplayHDR 1000, none of this HDR 400 on this $1200 panel!

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They also introduced the new ConceptD family of workstations, aimed at content creators and looking fairly sharp.  AnandTech got a nice shot of the two desktop workstations, three mobile workstations, two professional monitors and the Windows Mixed Reality headset that currently represent this new brand. 

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The desktop workstations are impressive, the ConceptD 500 has a mere Core i9-9900K with up to 64 GB of DDR4, for serious power you want the Concept D 900 with two Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors paired with up to 192 GB of DDR4, both offer a choice between NVIDIA's RTX 4000 or Quadro RTX 6000.

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The mobile versions include the ConceptD 5, ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 9 all of which contain Intel processors ranging from the Kaby Lake-G with AMD’s Radeon RX Vega M GL in the ConceptD 5 to the ConceptD 9 which contains an unspecified 9th Gen Core i9 and a full GeForce RTX 2080, no MaxQ for this mobile workstation.

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Last, but not least is are the gaming models.  The new Predator Helios 700, a gaming laptop has a new trick to show off, as it can transform.  The keyboard, touchpad and palm rest all slide forward allowing you to choose your preferred layout, you can see it in action over at The Verge.  When you slide the HyperDrift keyboard forward, the palm rest assembly tips down on an angle turning into more of a wrist rest while you use the keyboard and it reveals the cooling fans which should give your laptop a performance boost as the thermal efficiency improves.  Inside the 9.9lb 17.3" laptop is a 1080p display, an Core i9 CPU and either a GeForce RTX 2080 or RTX 2070, not the Max-Q version either.  Depending on the model you chose, you can have up to 64GB of DDR4 and a 1TB SSD or 2TB HDD.

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If you prefer to stay in one spot when you game then check out the Predator Orion 5000 desktop.  It has a watercooled i9-9900K with an RTX 2080 and a Realtek Dragon 2.5 Gigabit NIC for those who prefer something other than a Killer NIC.  The RGBs are big, while the case itself is smaller than you might think at 30L.

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There is even more to see over at Acer.

 

Source: Acer

Who is the super mega ultrabook winner?

Subject: Mobile | March 26, 2019 - 02:24 PM |
Tagged: ultrabook, acer, asus, dell, hp, Lenovo, microsoft

Over at Ars Technica is a close comparison of a half dozen ultrabook models from a variety of manufacturers, with the purpose of determining which stand above the others.  As there are as many ways of using an ultraportable as there are people who carry them around, they've split their findings into a number of categories.  Take a look to see which models are tops for business use, best overall, best convertible or best detachable, just to name a few. 

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"Ultrabooks have become the standard design for most premium Windows laptops, and they represent the best of what companies like Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Microsoft have to offer in terms of design, power, and innovation."

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Source: Ars Technica

NVIDIA adapts to the market and frees their displays

Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2019 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, g-sync, freesync, benq, asus, AOC, amd, adaptive sync, acer

G-SYNC is showing some signs of defeat as today NVIDIA announced that several Adaptive Sync monitors have been tested and rated as G-SYNC compatible.  Adaptive Sync is the official VESA technology which is present in AMD's FreeSync monitors and it offers a definitive financial advantage over NVIDIA's G-SYNC as the module required for G-SYNC can add hundreds of dollars to the price.

So far only a dozen monitors out of around 400 tests have been rated as G-SYNC compatible, so don't expect to be mixing your monitors quite yet but it does imply in some cases the extra controller is not required for variable refresh rates with either NVIDIA's or AMD's GPUs.   The results of this test give AMD bragging rights for implementing adaptive sync in the most attractive way but this change could hurt GPU sales as users can now opt for an GeForce card paired with a FreeSync display.

Even if your display is not listed in those models, you can try enabling adaptive sync over DisplayPort and see if it works, though your results may vary. Ars Technica lists the models here.

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"Besides being unexpected good news for gamers who already own one of these FreeSync monitors, this is also great news for gamers that want to add VRR to their Nvidia graphics card setup without breaking the bank."

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Source: Ars Technica

Get Predator vision with the new X27 display from Acer

Subject: Displays | October 17, 2018 - 04:32 PM |
Tagged: acer, Predator X27, displayhdr 1000, 4k, 144hz, 4k gsync; 4k 144hz

On paper, Acer's X27 display has everything you want, plus a fan to cool the controller when you are displaying HDR content.   The 144Hz GSYNC display is 4K and sports a DisplayHDR 1000 rating, but there are of course limitations.  For instance 4:4:4 RGB at 4K is limited to 120Hz in the SDR and 98 Hz in HDR mode thanks to the bandwidth limits of DisplayPort, if you want to max out your refresh rete you are reduced to 4:2:2. 

Head over to Techspot to see if this is worthy of a $2000 investment.

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"Well, the Asus isn’t the only such monitor on the market. The new Acer Predator X27 uses the same AU Optronics panel, so they’re both equipped with the same specifications, but that doesn’t mean they perform the same as I’ll discuss a bit later."

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Source: TechSpot

Podcast #511 - IFA 2018, StoreMI, and more!

Subject: General Tech | August 30, 2018 - 12:58 PM |
Tagged: podcast, xps13, StoreMI, Samsung, radeon pro, nvidia, Intel, ifa 2018, freesync, Azulle, amd, acer

PC Perspective Podcast #511 - 08/30/18

Join us this week for discussion on IFA 2018, StoreMI, and more!

You can subscribe to us through iTunes and you can still access it directly through the RSS page HERE.

The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!

Hosts: Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano

Peanut Gallery: Alex Lustenberg

Program length: 1:24:43

Podcast topics of discussion:
  1. Week in Review:
  2. News items of interest:
    1. IFA 2018
  3. Picks of the Week:
    1. 1:27:09 Jeremy: NordVPN deal
    2. 1:29:00 Josh: 3 free games!
    3. 1:33:25 Alex: http://paletton.com/
  4. Closing/outro
 
 
Source:

Acer shows off their stuff at IFA in Berlin

Subject: Shows and Expos | August 29, 2018 - 02:27 PM |
Tagged: Swift 5, Predator XB273K, OJO 500, Nitro XV273K, g-sync, freesync, aspire, acer

Acer announced a variety of new products at IFA, from monitors to laptops by way of a gaming throne. First up are a pair of monitors, the G-Sync Predator XB273K and FreeSync Nitro XV273K and two other models.  The 4k IPS Predator sports an impressive 144Hz top refresh rate, with a variety of Acer VisionCare features to reduce eyestrain.

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The Nitro series support FreeSync, and come in three models, a 4k IPS display and two 2560×1440 models, one IPS and one TN.  All three monitors can match the 144Hz top refresh rate of the Predator.  Purists will be a little disappointed that all four of these monitors were designed to the VESA DisplayHDR 400 standard.

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A wide variety of laptops were revealed, including the Swift 5 which is the lightest 15" laptop on the market.  The magnesium-lithium alloy construction of the body keeps the weight to 990g (2.2lbs), which is lighter than most high end CPU heatsinks.  Inside you can choose from a i7-8565U or Core
i5-8265U, up to 16GB DDR4 and an NVMe SSD.

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Their Aspire lineup has been updated with the Aspire 7 series featuring the Intel i7-8705G or or i5-8305G processor both of which have AMD's Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics onboard.  The Aspire 5 will offer a choice of 8th gen Amber Lake-Y or Whiskey Lake-U chips paired with NVIDIA's GeForce MX150 GP while the Aspire 3 line will offer a low cost laptop for students, with the choice to include an optical drive.

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If you are looking for an all-in-one, the Aspire Z 24 is a impressive implementation of that form factor.  Hidden behind the 1080p 10 point touchscreen is a Whiskey Lake-U processor paired with a GeForce MX15 and even support for up to 32GB of Optane memory.  It is designed to be controllable from up to 4 metres away, offering more than just a small footprint on a work desk.

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Last but not least is the OJO 500 Mixed Reality headset.  The two screens combine to offer a 100 degree FOV at a 2880 x 1440 resolution with up to a 90Hz refresh rate.  Acer chose to include small speakers in the headset as opposed to integrated headphones, in keeping with the mixed reality nature of the headset. The headset and two Bluetooth controllers will sell for $399US and will be compatible with Steam as well as Windows 10.

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This is a Thronos, in which a Predator desktop PC and three screens can prevent any chance of human interaction.

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Source: Acer

G-SYNC HDR Monitors see $200 Price Cut at Microcenter

Subject: Displays | July 12, 2018 - 10:45 AM |
Tagged: Predator X27, PG27UQ, hdr, g-sync, asus, acer

This morning, while searching for retail availability of G-SYNC HDR monitors, we came across a sale at Microcenter, already discounting these newly released high-end displays.

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Both the ASUS ROG Swift PG27UQ (which we reviewed a few weeks ago), and the Acer Predator X27 are available for $1800 at the time of writing, a $200 discount from MSRP.

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In addition to what looks like plenty of stock in our local store, these monitors are also available for the same price from the Microcenter Web Store and able to be shipped anywhere in the US. This is unusual as generally, Microcenter sale prices, like their deep discounts on CPUs, aren't available through their online store.

Obviously, retailers are at their own discretion to discount products, so don't take this as guidance from NVIDIA, Acer, or ASUS as Microcenter seems to be the only retailer offering this price. Still, a 10% price discount on premium products like these, shortly after launch isn't exactly a good sign for sales numbers.

Even at $1,800, we would still say that these monitors are too expensive to recommend, but a 10% discount is nice on what we consider to be the highest quality PC gaming monitor on the market.

Source: Microcenter

A shiny new tablet from Acer, the Chromebook Tab 10

Subject: Mobile | June 29, 2018 - 06:34 PM |
Tagged: Chromebook, acer, tablet, chrome os, Tab 10

Featuring a 9.7" 2048×1536 IPS touchscreen powered by a Mali T860, an OP1 which is a dual-core Cortex A72 and quad-core Cortex A53 with 4GB LPDDR3 and 34GB of local storage the $330 Acer Tab 10 sounds quite interesting.  The performance of the OP1 chip falls behind the pack, falling behind even the Tab S3 however this extends the battery life, Ars Technica saw it last 651 minutes in their WiFi test.   Along with the tablet you get a Wacom stylus, which is effective for note taking and simple sketches, though the tablet does not offer real time writing to text which could be a turn off.  Also worth mentioning is the USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 port that charges the tablet but can also be used for data transfer or connecting to an external monitor.

It might not be great for architects and artists but for a student this might be a great low cost mobile tool.

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"Chrome OS took over schools with clamshells, but now Google is shaking things up with slabs. After a spring announcement, Acer has built the first Chrome OS tablet, the $329 Chromebook Tab 10, to give teachers and students a more flexible device to use for schoolwork both in and out of the classroom."

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Source: Ars Technica

Laptop vendors are left sitting on the sidelines waiting for the next waltz to start

Subject: General Tech | June 27, 2018 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: hp, dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, Intel

Intel's delayed release of a new processor is going to have a noticeable effect on the laptop market this year.  As there is little chance of seeing anything new until towards the end of this year, laptop designers will not be able to offer new models for the holidays and will instead have to rework existing products.  DigiTimes suggests we will see trimmed down models with lower price tags to try to entice consumers into purchasing something, as they expect lower demand than we saw last year.  Hopefully some gaming machines may become more affordable, or we will start to see models incorporating AMD's new chips become more common.

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"Global notebook vendors including HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer and Asustek Computer will be unable to launch new models fitted with Intel's new-generation CPUs in the second half of 2018 as scheduled, as the release of Intel's new offerings will not come soon enough for this year's high season, according to industry sources."

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Source: DigiTimes

Alienware strikes back?

Subject: General Tech | June 20, 2018 - 12:47 PM |
Tagged: dell, Lenovo, acer, asus, msi, gaming laptop, hp

The gaming laptop market is going through some big changes, with the two market leaders seeing their dominance challenged by companies more frequently associated with business models.  While ASUS and MSI still account for half of the entire market, both with over a million units sold in the first half of 2018, Dell has already hit 500K and DigiTimes predicts Lenovo to hit 800-900K units by the end of the year

It will be interesting to see how the market changes now that you can once again buy a GPU for less than the price of one of these gaming laptops; not to mention what this competition will do to pricing and design.

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"But their market leaderships are being undermined by Dell, Lenovo, HP and even Acer, all of which are strengthening their shipment momentum via pricing competition in the first half of 2018, with both ASP and gross margins for gaming notebooks driven down as a result."

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Source: DigiTimes