When you’re talking about a gaming laptop with presence, Acer’s Predator 21 X has it. Not only does this giant rig weigh in at over 15 pounds, but it also sports a full RGB mechanical keyboard and not one but two Nvidia 1080 GPUs. Oh, and its 20-inch screen is the first curved display we’ve ever seen on a laptop.
The beefy specs don’t end there either, as Acer says the Predator 21 X will also feature one of Intel’s upcoming 7th gen Core i CPUs, up to 64GB of RAM and room for four SSDs, which can be configured in RAID 0 for blisteringly fast storage speeds.
But what impressed me the most is that the 21 X isn’t just a big brute; it’s got some secrets too. To the right of the keyboard is a numpad with the kind of low-profile chiclet keys you’d get on a traditional laptop. While that would normally be OK, it arouses some suspicion on a system featuring a mechanical keyboard with Cherry switches. That is until you realize you can pry out the whole numpad and flip it over, revelaing a big two-button touchpad for when you can’t use a mouse. This gives the Predator 21 X a level of of adaptability and sophistication that’s a cut above other gaming laptops.
I’m also a big fan of the 21 X’s rear ports, which put all the connections you need to hook up a VR headset in one place. And with two Nvidia 1080 GPUs with 16GB of vRAM each, there’s no question about the 21 X being VR ready.
And then there’s the 21 X’s cooling, which features a total of 5 fans to keep the whole rig chilled. Acer even made three of the fans out of metal, which the company says should aid in the system’s ability to move heat away from sensitive areas even faster. Then the company put a big glass window on top, so you can see watch the fans at work.
The only downside to the Predator 21 X is that you’re going to have to wait until early 2017 to get one. And while Acer hasn’t specified a price range either, we’d be surprised if it goes for less than $2,500.
In addition to its new flagship gaming rig, Acer says that it will also be updating its Predator 17 and 15 series gaming notebooks with Nvidia Pascal GPUs. This is a big boon for systems such as the 17 X, which was one of our top picks among Nvidia 980-equipped laptops, but was looking a bit slow now that notebooks such as MSI’s GT62VR and Asus’ G752VS OC Edition have hit the market.