Subject: Graphics Cards, Displays | January 8, 2018 - 12:30 AM | Ken Addison
Tagged: SHIELD TV, nvidia, hp, hdr, g-sync, DCI-P3, bgfd, asus, android tv, acer
Although their Keynote presentation tonight at CES is all about automotive technology, that hasn't stopped NVIDIA from providing us with a few gaming-related announcements this week. The most interesting of which is what NVIDIA is calling "Big Format Gaming Displays" or BFGDs (get it?!).
Along with partners ASUS, Acer, and HP, NVIDIA has developed what seems to be the ultimate living room display solution for gamers.
Based on an HDR-enabled 65" 4K 120Hz panel, these displays integrate both NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh rate technology for smooth gameplay, as well as a built-in NVIDIA SHIELD TV set-top box.
In addition to G-SYNC technology, these displays will also feature a full direct-array backlight capable of a peak luminance of 1000-nits and conform to the DCI-P3 color gamut, both necessary features for a quality HDR experience. These specifications put the BFGDs in line with the current 4K HDR TVs on the market.
Unlike traditional televisions, these BFGDs are expected to have very low input latencies, a significant advantage for both PC and console gamers.
Integration of the SHIELD TV means that these displays will be more than just an extremely large PC monitor, but rather capable of replacing the TV in your living room. The Android TV operating system means you will get access to a lot of the most popular streaming video applications, as well as features like Google Assistant and NVIDIA GameStream.
Personally, I am excited at the idea of what is essentially a 65" TV, but optimized for things like low input latency. The current crop of high-end TVs on the market cater very little to gamers, with game modes that don't turn off all of the image processing effects and still have significant latency.
It's also interesting to see companies like ASUS, Acer, and HP who are well known in the PC display market essentially entering the TV market with these BFGD products.
Stay tuned as for eyes-on impression of the BFGD displays as part of our CES 2018 coverage!
Update: ASUS has officially announced their BFGD offering, the aptly named PG65 (pictured below). We have a meeting with ASUS this week, and we hope to get a look at this upcoming product!
Subject: Mobile | January 6, 2018 - 06:21 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: xmm, ultrabook, thinnest, swift 7, LTE, Intel, CES 2018, acer
Acer took the opportunity today to announce several new notebook designs ahead of CES 2018. One of the more interesting and unexpected items is the newly redesigned Acer Swift 7 notebook.
Touted as the "World's Thinnest Laptop" by Acer, the Swift 7 comes in an impressive 8.98mm (0.35-in) thick. To put that figure into some context, consider that the Core M-based 12" MacBook which was praised for its thin form factor comes in at 13.2mm (0.52-in) at it's thickest point.
Currently, the information we have about the hardware of the Swift 7 is a bit sparse. While Acer states it will feature a 7th Generation Core processor, we don't yet know if this is referring to a 3.5W processor like the i7-7Y75, or a higher power 15W processor such as the i7-7500U. While I am desperately hoping that Acer has managed to integrate a 15W processor into this design, it seems likely to be using a Y-series part.
In addition to the i7 processor, the Swift 7 will be equipped with 256 GB of PCIe storage, as well as 8GB of LPDDR3 memory.
Even with its super-thin form-factor, the Acer Swift 7 manages to pack another surprise, the addition of built-in LTE connectivity. Unlike other connected Windows devices we have seen recently, the Swift 7 is opting for an Intel XMM Modem solution instead of Qualcomm's offerings. The Swift 7 will feature a built-in eSIM for a fast and easy subscription process to your carrier of choice.
In addition, Acer is also partnering with a company called Transatel to provide one month's worth of free trial LTE access (up to 1GB of data) for owners of the Swift 7. Transatel partners with carriers all over the world with their international data SIM service, meaning this connectivity will be available in 48 countries.
As you might expect, the "World's Thinnest Laptop" doesn't come cheap, starting at $1699 for the base configuration with availability set to begin in March.
Additionally, Acer also updated us on their previously announced Switch 7 Black Edition 2-in-1 device.
First discussed at the IFA trade show last year, the Switch 7 Black Edition is billed as the most powerful fanless 2-in-1 device. Not only will it feature a quad-core 8th Generation Intel processor, but Acer also is packing in an NVIDIA GeForce MX 150 discrete GPU cooled by their Dual LiquidLoop heat pipe design.
The Switch 7 Black Edition will be shipping later this month, with the earlier announced base price of $1699
Subject: Displays | December 9, 2017 - 03:19 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: acer, ips, professional monitor
Acer announced their PE320QK professional display several months ago, but it is now available. Before we get too far into the specifications, and there are some things that need to be discussed about them, the MSRP is $1199.99 USD, but it’s apparently above that in practice. The third-party seller on Newegg, TELeasy, is currently sold out at a listed price of $1330.17.
As for the specifications? Here’s where it gets interesting. First, the press release states that the PE320QK can do 130% of sRGB. This is nonsense. sRGB is a color space that you calibrate down into. You cannot cover more than it, because otherwise you wouldn’t be calibrated to it. Either your potential color space covers the whole gamut, or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter what else it covers, just that it doesn’t miss anything inside the fenced-in area that the spec cares about. In fact, saying that it’s 130% makes me question whether it will end up less than 100% of the post-calibration gamut.
That’s not a concern that you want to have with a $1200 monitor.
The other issue is with the contrast ratio, although this is a number that every display manufacturer, especially TVs, screw with. It is listed as 100,000,000 : 1. Yeah… no. That number is meaningless. Again, it hasn’t meant anything for over a decade at this point, so I can’t really knock on Acer too much for this.
That said, the monitor is probably good. I just can’t quantify how and why from the information we’re given. I do like the light-hood flaps on the side, though.
Subject: General Tech | August 31, 2017 - 10:59 AM | Alex Lustenberg
Tagged: podcast, ZenBook Flip S UX370, Switch 7, Seasonic PRIME, RX Vega 56, mining, logitech, Koolance, Intel Xeon Workstation, IFA 2017, hero, fsp, Fanatec, dell xps 13, CSL Elite Wheel P1 Alcantara, BeQuiet, b250, asus, acer, video
PC Perspective Podcast #465 - 08/31/17
Join us for continued discussion on Seasonic, BeQuiet! PSUs, Koolance, FSP coolers, IFA laptops and more!
The URL for the podcast is: http://pcper.com/podcast - Share with your friends!
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Hosts: Ryan Shrout, Jeremy Hellstrom, Josh Walrath, Allyn Malventano
Peanut Gallery: Ken Addison, Alex Lustenberg
Program length: 1:28:57
0:06:00 VLAN Aftermath
Week in Review:
News items of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week
Subject: Mobile | August 30, 2017 - 12:19 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: switch 7 black edition, Surface Pro, IFA 2017, ifa, acer, 8th generation core
Today at IFA 2017, Acer's keynote was full of new products arriving in the coming year. The most remarkable product of the bunch is their Switch 7 Black Edition 2-in-1.
While the Switch 7 Black Edition may not look different than other 2-in-1 devices like Microsoft's Surface Pro initially, there are some surprises underneath the hood.
First is Acer's innovative cooling solution which they are calling "LiquidLoop." Essentially this is a heatpipe system which circulates through the chassis to cool both the Quad-Core 8th Generation Core processor, as well as a dedicated GPU in the form of the NVIDIA Geforce MX150.
Omitting the use of any fans in the chassis, Acer claims they can properly cool both the 15W processor and the 25W GPU with this heatpipe system.
As for the GPU, the Geforce MX150 is the Pascal-based successor to the 940MX, which saw popularity in many of these thin and light form-factor devices. While it won't play the latest titles at native resolution, you should expect to be able to play less demanding titles and older games at modest image quality settings. Personally, the idea of a passively cooled computer that can play Rocket League on the go excites me.
Beyond the innovative thermal design, Acer has some more tricks up their sleeve with the Switch 7 Black Edition.
Acer AutoStand is a kickstand system designed to operate with one hand, like a traditional notebook hinge. This could be a huge benefit to Acer over the more cumbersome competitors like the Surface Pro where you have to hold the tablet in place as you deploy the kickstand.
The Switch 7 Black Edition supports Windows Hello through the use of a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath the glass of the screen bezel. This sensor also supports Power on Authentication (POA) so that a single press will turn on the device and log into Windows Instantly.
These features combined with the 12.5-in 2256x1504 IPS display make the Switch 7 Black Edition an attractive alternative to 2-in-1 devices like the Surface Pro.
All of these cool features come with a steep price tag though. The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is expected to ship in December in North America for prices starting at $1,699.
Subject: General Tech | August 23, 2017 - 03:02 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Intel, coffee lake, asus, acer
DigiTimes have broken the news that Coffee Lake powered laptops will be arriving in September. ASUS and Acer are mentioned by name but you can bet that you will see models released by all major manufacturers. This upgrade will be a refinement of Kaby Lake, both generations will be fabbed on a 14nm process; Cannon Lake will be Intel's first 10nm chip and should be released close to the end of this year. Intel is very hopefully that Coffee Lake will sell well, their representative mentioned a study which found that 450 million PCs still use chips rolled out five years ago. While enthusiasts are unlikely to jump on Coffee Lake, there is a large market for 4k laptops with better battery life among casual users and businesses.
"Leading notebook vendors, such as Taiwan's Asustek Computer and Acer, and many other international brands, will roll out their new 2-in-1 and ultra-thin notebook models utilizing Intel's eighth-generation Coffee Lake mobile CPUs starting September, to grab a larger market pie in the coming peak season, according to industry sources."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Living Logic: Biological Circuits for the Electrically Minded @ Hackaday
- Codename Brainwave: Microsoft reveals tricks and tips for whipping cloud FPGAs into shape @ The Register
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 official with few surprises in store @ The Inquirer
- Sysadmins told to update their software or risk killing the internet @ The Register
- Google to out its Titan kill-switch protecting its cloud infrastructure @ The Inquirer
Acer Predator Z271T With Tobii Eye Tracking
It seems like it's never been a better time to be a PC gamer. With new technologies like VR, AR, HDR, adaptive sync, and high refresh rates being introduced or improved upon at a rapid pace, there's always something new and exciting right around the corner.
Today, we're taking a look at one new technology that promises to bridge the gap between traditional monitors and full-blown VR or AR setups: eye tracking. Originally developed for its use as an assistive device for users with disabilities, eye tracking is making a big jump to gaming, as it can both provide an additional method of control input as well as alter the way the user experiences the game.
We first took a look at Tobii a few years ago with an early standalone eye tracking device. Now Tobii eye tracking is starting to make its way directly into monitors, and we spent some time with one such monitor: the Acer Predator Z271T.
Specs & Box Contents
The Acer Predator Z271T -- which I'll refer to as "Z27" going forward -- is a $700 27-inch monitor with a curved VA panel, 1920x1080 native resolution, and 144Hz refresh rate. The complete technical specifications:
|Acer Predator Z271T|
|Panel Technology||Vertical Alignment (VA)|
|Tilt Angle||-5 to +25 degrees|
|Viewing Angle||178 degrees horizontal/vertical|
|Maximum Adjustable Height||4.72 inches|
|Standard Refresh Rate||144 Hz|
|Color Supported||16.7 Million|
|Tearing Prevention Technology||G-SYNC|
|Speakers||2 x 7W|
|3.5mm Audio Output||Yes|
|USB 3.0||Yes (4-port hub)|
|Operating Power Consumption||27 watts|
|Standby Power Consumption||500 mW|
|Off-Mode Power Consumption||400 mW|
|Physical Characteristics (with stand)|
|VESA Mount Compatible||Yes (100mm x 100mm)|
|Package Contents||1 x DisplayPort cable
1 x HDMI cable
1 x USB 3.0 Cable
In terms of physical characteristics, the Z27 weighs in at 16.76lbs and is 20.4-inches high, 24.4-inches wide, and 10.6-inches deep when attached to its included stand. From the stand, the Z27 can tilt from -5 degrees to 25 degrees, and swivel up to 30 degrees side-to-side.
Subject: General Tech | August 21, 2017 - 09:03 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: quad core, Intel, gaming laptop, acer, 9th generation core, 2-in-1
Following the reveal of Intel’s “8th Generation Core” refreshed Kaby Lake processors, Acer has announced its upcoming 15.6” Nitro 5 Spin convertible gaming laptop. Sporting a black aluminum shell with red accents the Nitro 5 Spin features a 360-degree hinge with multiple locking positions, a backlit keyboard and large trackpad, front firing speakers with a subwoofer, and a large 15.6” IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. Acer claims that the convertible notebook is aimed at casual gaming and the specifications seems to back that up (at least on paper).
Acer has opted for refreshed Kaby Lake processors which means a quad core CPU with HyperThreading at up to 1.9GHz base and 4.2 GHz turbo clocks at the high end with the Intel Core i7-8650U along with Intel “UHD Graphics” which is simply a rebrand of its HD Graphics 620 iGPU. Gamers will be happier to see the inclusion of a dedicated graphics card although it is only a midrange NVIDIA GTX 1050. Storage is handled by a PCI-E SSD up to 512 GB. As far as connectivity goes, the Acer Nitro 5 Spin offers 802.11ac MU-MIMO along with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SD, HDMI, and a headphone/mic jack.
According to Tech Radar Acer claims that the gaming laptop is rated at up to 10 hours of gaming usage (though that’s probably a casual title with brightness all the way down heh).
Surprisingly, the Nitro 5 Spin will be available as soon as October with a starting price of $999 (though the top end i7-8650U plus 512GB SSD option is obviously going to cost a lot more).
Acer did not weigh in on just how heavy the gaming PC is, but if they can keep the weight down it might be a decent PC for college kids to play games on (I mean, uhm, do homework!) and consume media. What do you think, does a convertible gaming notebook make sense?
Subject: General Tech | August 2, 2017 - 12:55 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: AR, acer
Acer's new mixed reality headset, is now available from the Microsoft Store. The $300 price tag compares extremely favourably to the $3000 Hololens that Microsoft is selling. The two headsets will both run on Windows Holographic and will have steep hardware requirements. Acer recommends a Ryzen 8 1700 or Core i7 paired with at least an RX 480 or GTX 980 and 16GB of RAM. The headset will not be able to overlay virtual images over real objects, hence the mixed reality moniker, rather it will be somewhat like a VR environment to work in. Drop by The Inquirer for a peek.
"The headset we tested in prototype last month is available to anyone looking to build content for it, for $300 a squirt. It had been made available in private beta to some devs back in April but now it's in the Microsoft Store."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Arozzi Vernazza Gaming Chair @ [H]ard|OCP
- IBM and Sony Cram Up To 330 Terabytes Into Tiny Tape Cartridge @ Slashdot
- Mozilla launches Firefox Send for up to 1GB file self-destruct file sharing @ The Inquirer
- HP Inc reveals dockable, wearable VR workstation for the office @ The Register
- Dirty carbon nanotubes offer telcos chance at secure quantum comms @ The Register
- NikKTech With Antec & Razer End Of Summer Giveaway
Subject: Mobile | May 30, 2017 - 12:37 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: Triton 700, Predator, nvidia, notebook, max-q, laptop, GTX 1080, geforce, gaming, computex 2017, acer
Acer has introduced the Predator Triton 700 gaming laptop, which boasts a very thin and light design as it is built to NVIDIA's newly-announced Max-Q specifications. This allows the Triton to house a "standard-voltage" Intel Core i7 processor (overclockable, no less) and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU.
"The Predator Triton 700 utilizes Max-Q, NVIDIA’s innovative approach to designing the world’s thinnest, fastest, and quietest gaming laptops. Max-Q, an integral part of NASA’s mission to launch man into space, is defined as the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximized. Thus, the design of the rocket is precision-engineered around Max-Q. NVIDIA has applied a similar philosophy to designing gaming laptops, enabling Acer to build laptops that are thinner with more GPU performance of previous generation products."
Storage is just as impressive as the CPU/GPU tandem, with dual NVMe PCIe drives in RAID-0, just in case you would like to experience double to the speed of the fastest available type of solid-state storage (the benchmarks will probably be astonishing). Other specs include a 15.6 FHD display with NVIDIA G-SYNC, memory support for up to 32GB 2400 MHz DDR4, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and Thunderbolt 3.
The design of the Predator Triton 700 is somewhat unusual for a laptop, with a mechanical keyboard that sits flush with the front edge of the palm rest, and a touch pad positioned above. But this is no ordinary touch pad, as Acer explains:
"A large Corning® Gorilla® Glass plate above the keyboard serves as a window into the notebook’s cooling system, showcasing the AeroBlade™ 3D Fan and five heat pipes, and also functions as a Precision Touchpad."
The Predator Triton 700 gaming laptop will be available beginning in August with an MSRP of $2999.