In the world of electronics and gadgets, not everything a company manufactures is meant to be a viable marketplace product. Much like the fashion world’s artistically fashion-forward (but ultimately impractical for everyday wear) offerings on high-end runways, the tech world also has its own spaces for companies to showcase impractical yet impressive feats of gadgetry. Many of the devices on display at these tech shows are meant to be more of a proof of concept, which ultimately gives us less of a “what we should do” and more of a “what we can do.”
With that in mind, we take a look at the behemoth that is the Acer Predator 21X gaming laptop – a device that is the computer equivalent of the monster trucks from Mad Max.
Here is the breakdown of this thing, one oversized component at a time. First, the most instantly noticeable part of this laptop (aside from its sheer size and 17.6-pound weight) is the enormous 21-inch 2560 x 1080 resolution IPS display. Not only is it nearly twice the size of most laptop screens, the ultra-wide display is curved – one of the few laptops to carry such a feature. Of course, any of the advantages a curved screen is purported to have on larger televisions is lost on screens this small, and none of them apply directly to enhancing a gaming experience. But as this is a device that is meant to peacock its features, it makes sense that Acer would include one of the hottest must-haves this side of 3D televisions.
One of the most important features for any gaming computer is the graphics processor. The Predator 21X comes with two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 X graphics cards. These GPUs are the best cards NVIDIA has to offer for laptops and the second-most powerful of their entire catalog. One of these GPUs could handle any PC game released for the foreseeable future; housing two of these things is either overkill or some major future-proofing!
What high-end computer would be complete without a top-of-the-line processor behind it? The Predator 21X has a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor so new that it is not even available for purchase. Acer also includes four DDR4 slots for up to 64GB RAM. By way of reference, anything over 16GB is generally considered unnecessary for gaming, and this laptop has room for quadruple that. As for hard drives, there is room for four 512GB solid state drives, with standard configurations having 2TB of storage.
The keyboard is mechanical, which is meant to help with gaming and typing faster. The track pad is located to the right of the keyboard, and can be popped out and flipped over to reveal a number pad underneath. There is also an option for backlit keys. Underneath the monitor is a built-in Tobii eye-tracking sensor, which a handful of contemporary games utilize.
Even the sound system on this thing is immensely powerful, with four speakers and two subwoofers built in. And it comes with five cooling fans installed.
All this can be yours for the humble price of $8,999. Considering how expensive each part of this rig is, the price tag seems to represent a pretty small markup. And yet, for less than a third of the price you could get a practical gaming laptop that will last through years of gaming releases and technological advances. Even within the Predator series, Acer offers systems that are much more pragmatic and affordable. There are also brands like Alienware and Asus that offer comparable rigs at competitive prices. There are plenty of options when it comes to high-end performance without the $9,000 price tag.
Still, it is pretty fun to see such an accomplishment of gaming and technology in the flesh, as it were. This tricked-out Acer gaming laptop seriously has pretty much everything you could want, times four. In fact, if someone told me this thing came with a flux capacitor, I would be inclined to believe it!