UltraWide G-Sync Arrives
When NVIDIA first launched G-Sync monitors, they had the advantage of being first to literally everything. They had the first variable refresh rate technology, the first displays of any kind that supported it and the first ecosystem to enable it. AMD talked about FreeSync just a few months later, but it wasn't until March of 2015 that we got our hands on the first FreeSync enabled display, and it was very much behind the experience provided by G-Sync displays. That said, what we saw with that launch, and continue to see as time goes on, is that there are a much higher quantity of FreeSync options, with varying specifications and options, compared to what NVIDIA has built out.
This is important to note only because, as we look at the Acer Predator X34 monitor today, the first 34-in curved panel to support G-Sync, it comes 3 months after the release of the similarly matched monitor from Acer that worked with AMD FreeSync. The not-as-sexyily-named Acer XR341CK offers a 3440x1440 resolution, 34-in curved IPS panel and a 75Hz refresh rate.
But, as NVIDIA tends to do, they found a way to differentiate its own products, with the help of Acer. The Predator X34 monitor has a unique look and style to it, and it improves the maximum refresh rate to 100Hz (although that is considered overclocking). The price is a bit higher too, coming in at $1300 or so on Amazon.com; the FreeSync-enabled XR341CK monitor sells for just $941.
Subject: General Tech | January 7, 2016 - 12:52 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: Intel, Chromebook, chrome os, CES 2016, budget, acer
CES 2016 has seen its share of high end product unveilings, but in addition to its premium hardware, Acer is launching a very budget-friendly PC in the form of the Chromebook 11. The new Chromebook 11 is a surprising product that does not compromise aesthetics in order to hit it’s $179 price tag.
Running Chrome OS, the budget 11.6” notebook features an aluminum alloy top cover with crosshatch pattern that helps to give it a more high end look. The rest of the laptop is plastic though The Verge claims that the build quality feels nice with a comfortable keyboard and a body that does not flex while typing. The top cover and hinges are a metallic silver while the bottom and area surrounding the keyboard is white. The keys are black with white lettering, and the package (at least from the photos) looks like it belongs to a more expensive laptop! A webcam sits above the display and a large trackpad is nestled below the keyboard. It measures 0.73 inches thick and weighs 2.42 pounds. Acer claims it can withstand corner drops from a height of 60cm (just under 2 ft).
The Verge got hands-on time with the new Chromebook at CES 2016.
The left side of the Chromebook 11 holds the DC power input, HDMI output, USB 3.0 port, and a SD card slot while the right side has a SIM card slot, headphone jack, USB 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock slot.
The Chromebook 11 had me excited, but it is not perfect. Acer did not compromise looks, but compromises had to be made somewhere and in the case of the Chromebook 11 it is, unfortunately, in the display which has a mere 720p resolution. That is the big drawback in this notebook, made slightly livable due to it having a matte finish with enough backlight that it can be used outdoors.
Internally, Acer is using a quad core Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal flash storage.
The Chromebook 11 will be available at the end of January starting at $179 in the US and 229 Euros across the pond.
I think this would be a good PC for younger students or as a second PC. I was excited about this for $179 while reading about it, but it was tempered by the revelation that the display resolution is stuck at 720p which isn’t horrible but I was expecting a bit more there (at least give me 1366x768...). What do you think about Acer’s newest Chromebook?
Follow all of our coverage of the show at http://pcper.com/ces!
Subject: Systems | December 9, 2015 - 01:52 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: acer, Aspire Z3-710-UR54, AIO
With the rise of SFF systems, Zotac's ZBox series for example, which can be mounted on the back of a display, is there really a market for AIO PCs still? Acer seems to think so as they have recently released the Z3-710-UR54, a 23.8" 1080p LED screen which houses an i5-4590T, 8GB of DDR3 and a 1TB HDD. Other models range from i3's to i7's but all have the same type of connectivity, 5.1 sound and a strange lack of touchscreen features. The system is only 1.4" thick, so it is technically slimmer than a display with a SFF sticking out of the VESA mount on the back but it still seems hard to justify the price. Check out the full list of features at Hardware Secrets and see if you think this Aspire is worth the cost.
"The All-in-One (AIO) computer is a great way to put a computer on your desktop without any clutter or big chunky CPU and the Acer Z3 series gives you everything that you need in an AIO."
Here are some more Systems articles from around the web:
- Shuttle SH170R6 XPC Cube Barebone Review @ Madshrimps
- Zotac Steam Machine @ Hardwareheaven
- PC Specialist Nox @ Kitgrur
- FreshTech Solutions Stealth @ eTeknix
Subject: Displays | November 3, 2015 - 12:22 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: XB271HU, XB271HK, variable refresh rate, Predator XB1, monitor, ips, gaming monitor, g-sync, acer, 27-inch, 100% sRGB
Acer has expanded their Predator gaming monitor lineup with two new 27-inch displays featuring NVIDIA G-Sync technology.
The Acer Predator XB271HU
First up is the XB271HU:
"The new Predator XB271HU touts a zero-frame edge-to-edge design with a WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS panel that supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut as well as NVIDIA® ULMB™ technology(1) to reduce motion blur by delivering sharp edges in fast-paced gaming environments. It has a fast 4ms gray to gray response time, 350 cd/m2 brightness and up to a supercharged 165Hz overclocking refresh rate that speeds up the frames per second for delivering ultra-smooth gameplay."
And if WQHD resolution just isn't enough, there is also a 4K/UHD option, model XB271HK:
"The 27-inch Acer Predator XB271HK touts spectacular picture quality with a 4K UHD (3840x2160@60Hz) panel boasting 300 cd/m2 brightness and 1.07 billion colors. This stunning monitor also provides a high 100 percent sRGB color accuracy and reproduction.
Rendering fast-moving actions and dramatic transitions without smearing or ghosting, the Acer Predator XB271HK’s IPS display offers a quick 4ms response. It also provides wide viewing angles with accurate colors up to 178 degrees horizontally and vertically."
The monitors feature Acer’s GameView technology, “which allows gamers to swiftly toggle between three customizable display profiles to tweak settings in-game without the need to navigate through an OSD menu”, dark boost black level adjustment, and Acer’s Eye Protect Technology “with flicker-less, blue-light filter, ComfyView and low-dimming technologies to help safeguard the eyes from blue light emissions and decrease eye fatigue during long gaming sessions”.
The stands on the new Predator XB1 monitors feature tilt, pivot, and height adjustment, and the monitors are VESA compliant. Connectivity consists of HDMI, DisplayPort v1.2 and a 4-port USB 3.0 hub, with sound provided by 2W stereo speakers.
The Acer Predator XB271HK
The Predator XB1 Series monitors will be available this month, and the MSRP’s are $799 for the Predator XB271HU, and $899 for the Predator XB271HK.
Subject: General Tech | October 22, 2015 - 02:12 PM | Ken Addison
Tagged: yoga 900, xr321ck, western digital, video, valve, ultrawide, steam link, Steam Controller, sandisk, podcast, Lenovo, freesync, acer, 3440x1440
PC Perspective Podcast #372 - 10/22/2015
Join us this week as we discuss the Steam Controller and Steam Link, Acer XR321CK Ultrawide Freesync Display, 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, Allyn Malventano, and Sebastian Peak
Program length: 1:29:18
Week in Review:
0:40:00 Learn how to add narration to your Kindle ebooks. Visit amazon.com/pcper
News item of interest:
Hardware/Software Picks of the Week:
Specs, Physical Design
Over the past 2 years or so we have noticed a trend in PC gaming: more and more gamers are realizing the importance of the display in the total gaming experience. Having been in the reviews game for nearly 16 years, I am just as guilty as most of you reading this of falling into the trap of "good enough" monitors. Steam surveys and our own data from readers shows that most of you have found some form of 1920x1080 screen and have stuck with it. But the truth is changing your monitor can and will dramatically impact how you game, how you work and just how impressed you feel each and every time you sit down in front of your PC.
Today we are looking at one of the monitors that promises to change how you view productivity and gaming. The Acer XR341CK continues the momentum of a new aspect ratio of monitors, 21:9. Otherwise known as UltraWide displays, they are available in both 2560x1080 and 3440x1440 resolutions, though our testing model today uses the latter, larger option. This Acer has a slight curve to it as well, just enough to be enjoyable without changing viewing angles for the primary user. With a 34 inch diagonal measurement, IPS panel technology and AMD FreeSync variable refresh rate support, the Acer XR341CK is likely to be our new favorite monitor for AMD Radeon users.
This doesn't come without a cost though: the XR341CK retails for just over $1,000 on Amazon. For many of you that will be a breath-taking price, and not in a good way. But consider the length of time that users tend keep monitors, I think we can make the case that type of investment is actually worthwhile.
Subject: Displays | October 13, 2015 - 12:24 PM | Sebastian Peak
Tagged: acer, Predator X34, gaming monitor, 34-inch, ips, g-sync, curved lcd, 3440x1440
The new Acer Predator X34 claims a “world's first” as a curved 34-inch IPS G-SYNC gaming monitor, and from appearance to specs the new display looks very impressive.
- Curved 34-inch IPS 21:9 ultra-wide QHD display
- 3440x1440 @ 60 Hz resolution
- 4 ms response time
- 100,000,000:1 max contrast ratio
- 300 cd/m2 brightness
- 1.07 billion colors (10-bit)
- 100% sRGB
- Panel supports overclocking to 100Hz
- NVIDIA G-SYNC technology
- Two 7W speakers enhanced with DTS Sound
- Zero frame design maximizes viewing area
- Tilt from –5 to +35 degrees, height adjustments up to 5 inches
- Connectivity includes HDMI, DisplayPort 1.2, and 4x USB 3.0 ports
The 60 Hz native refresh rate might cause comment, but the adjustable overclocking up to 100 Hz should satisfy those looking for a better high FPS experience, though at 3440x1440 it would be difficult to max out even 60 Hz with the newest games at ultra settings if you're running a single GPU. And if you do play at the highest settings the included NVIDIA G-SYNC variable refresh technology will certainly help with those moments when the game is outputting much less than 60 FPS.
So how much will the new Predator X34 set you back? Acer says the monitor will be available “at leading online retailers in the United States” for a cool $1299.
Subject: Editorial | October 12, 2015 - 06:51 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: XR341CK, Star Wars Battlefront, freesync, battlefront, amd, acer
I just happened to be doing some testing on the Acer XR341CK 34-in 3440x1440 FreeSync monitor with a 75 Hz refresh rate and started taking some screenshots. I have no real reason to do this, but I thought I might as well share some images from what I believe to be one of the most impressive looking games in a long time. Below I have included a handful of full resolution screenshots from the two multiplayer maps currently available in the nearly-over Battlefront beta.
If you are a Star Wars fan and you haven't tried out the free beta, you owe it to yourself to do so. The combination of classic music, well known ships and locations, and simple to understand gameplay that is exciting and rewarding make this a fantastic experience thus far. I eagerly await the full release next month!
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Subject: Systems | October 5, 2015 - 05:16 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: microsoft, windows 10, surface, Surface Pro, surface pro 4, hp, Lenovo, dell, asus, acer, toshiba
Tomorrow at 10 am ET, Microsoft will host a live stream to announce “new Windows 10 devices from Microsoft”. It's pretty obvious that we'll get at least one new Surface device announced, which rumors suggest will be the Surface Pro 4 with a low-bezel, 13-inch display. W4pHub, via VR-Zone, goes a bit further to claim that the display can shrink to 12 inches when in tablet mode, giving a frame for the user to hold. If true, I wonder how applications will handle the shift in resolution. Perhaps the only problem is a little flicker, which will be hidden by the rest of Continuum's transition?
Image Credit: VR-Zone
The Microsoft Blog post also lists the announcement dates of their partners. Here's the rundown:
- October 7th -- HP
- October 8th -- Dell
- October 9th -- ASUS
- October 12th -- Acer
- October 13th -- Toshiba
- October 19th -- Lenovo
While the rush of Windows 10 devices have missed the Back to School season, despite Microsoft's attempts to rush development with a July release, it looks like we might get a good amount of them for the holiday season. I was a bit worried, seeing how slowly Threshold 2 seems to be advancing, but they seem to have convinced OEMs to make a big deal out of it.
Then again, it could be holiday fever.
Subject: General Tech | September 8, 2015 - 01:48 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: IFA 2015, xperia, acer
Now that the show in Berlin has wrapped up The Inquirer talks about what they saw at the show, both good and bad. For those with really good eyesight the Xperia Z5 series was shown off, including the Xperia Z5 Premium which has a 5.5" display at a 3840x2160 resolution and 806ppi pixel density. Acer showed off their new SFF machines, the Acer Revo along with the Revo Build Series M1-601 modular case, designed so that pieces of the case can be added or removed as you add or subtract components from your machine. Read more about those products and the interesting design of the conference centre it was hosted in here.
"As predicted, there were stacks of announcements from most of the world's biggest names in computer hardware at the show this time round, such as Sony, Lenovo, Intel and Samsung.
Here are The INQUIRER's picks of the best and worst at IFA 2015, in no particular order."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- The TR Podcast 185: Honey, I shrunk the Fury
- Web-based WhatsApp chat app trap is today's security vulnerability @ The Inquirer
- America's crackdown on open-source Wi-Fi router firmware – THE TRUTH @ The Register
- Files on Seagate wireless disks can be poisoned, purloined – thanks to hidden login @ The Register
- Five Linux-Ready, Cost-Effective Server Control Panels @ Linux.com
- Vertagear SL2000 Gaming Chair @ Benchmark Reviews
- ARM signs with Big Blue for cloudy IoT services @ The Register
- SPACE WHISKY: Astro malt pongs of 'rubber and smoked fish' @ The Register
- WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg