Best Acer Predator 21X Cyber Monday Deals 2020

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Just when I believe I’ve seen everything gaming laptops have to give you, along comes something similar to the Acer Predator 21 X. Weighing a ridiculous 18.6 pounds, the Predator 21 X can be an exercise in immodest overindulgence that I could get behind. Coming in at $8,999, it is the first notebook computer to include a curved display that whenever coupled with Tobii’s eye-tracking technology produces a seriously immersive gaming experience. This machine is indeed premium that Acer is making only 300 of these.

But Acer didn’t stop there. It outfitted the 21-inch notebook computer with an overclockable Intel Core i7 processor and two Nvidia GTX 1080 GPUs within an SLI configuration and a couple of 512GB NVMe PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration.The 21 X also includes a customizable maintenance panel, an increased cooling system and one of the better mechanical keyboards I’ve typed on all year. But also for all that money, I’d have recommended a 4K display and more audio tracks boom.

Design: Introducing the 8th Wonder of the World

One thing’s for certain, you’ll never have the ability to forget the Predator 21 X. At 18.6 pounds, 22.4 x 12.4 x 3.3 inches, the machine is pretty hard to ignore. It creates bonafide heavyweights just like the Alienware 17 R4 (9.6 pounds), the MSI GT83VR Titan SLI (13.1 pounds) and the foundation PC Eon17 SLX 10 Series (12.8 pounds) appear to be regular notebooks (flashing lights and aggressive designs aside).

But before I acquired in to the nitty-gritty of the review, I took a while to understand the beast situated in front of me. The lid is manufactured out of gray magnesium alloy, making the couple of aqua-blue lights pop.

The Predator insignia holds court in the heart of the lid looking just just like the Decepticon logo. The display’s curvature is indeed pronounced that you could start to see the metallic blue spacebar peeking out at you from leading.

When I finally got around to opening the lid, I was awestruck by the sheer opulence. The curved display appeared like it was calling embrace me in a welcoming hug. The most notable of the keyboard deck is ruled by the maintenance panel with the wicked-looking dragon painted on the proper and the triangular Gorilla Glass panel on the left. A closer consider the panel reveals a glowing blue light accentuating the fan. You have six macro buttons left of the massive keyboard and many status lights along the proper.

If the Predator 21 X’s curved display isn’t enough for you personally, the notebook computer has a lot of ports to aid a monitor or two — and a mouse, an external hard disk drive or whatever you need to plug in. Along the Predator 21 X’s right certainly are a couple of USB 3.0 ports and a Kensington lock slot. On the left, you get two more USB 3.0 ports, an Sdcard reader and jacks for a headset and mic. At the system’s rear, you’ll discover a USB Type-C port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, Gigabit Ethernet, two DisplayPorts, HDMI and a couple of DC jacks.

Like the Eon17 and Titan, the Predator 21 X is powered by two huge power bricks, each weighing 2.8 pounds. To save lots of just a little space, the Predator 21 X ships with an X-shaped rubber holder to accommodate the mini-behemoths. The notebook computer also ships with a sizable palm rest to keep your wrists nice and comfy.

Since there aren’t many backpacks that may fit the gigantic machine and most of its accoutrements, the Predator 21 X ships using its own gigantic travel case. The hard-shell storage device is watertight and dustproof. And in the event you finish up in a few unforeseen calamity, it is also crushproof. The case comes with an adjustable handle and four strong polyurethane wheels to obtain it from point A to point B.

Display: Curves in every the Right Places

I didn’t know I needed or wanted a curved display on a notebook computer until I laid eyes on the Predator 21 X. The curvature of the 21-inch, 2560 x 1080 matte display is tantalizing.

Once I booted the notebook computer up, I felt like I was swaddled in vivid color. Watching Tears of Steel, I couldn’t help but admire the dilapidated beauty of a war-battered building, including its dusty gold accents gleaming against powder-blue pillars. Details were clear enough that I possibly could see almost every tightly coiled hair on the top of the sniper perched at his post.

The reason why those colors are practically bursting from the display may be the panel’s color reproduction, which we measured at 172 percent of the sRGB color gamut. That flat-out decimates the 121- percent average and also the Titan (114 percent) and the Alienware 17 (113 percent). The Eon17 snatched the very best spot with 177 percent.

The 21 X’s screen registered an extremely accurate 0.24 on the Delta-E test (0 is optimal), beating the 1.4 desktop-replacement average. The Alienware 17 came the closest to matching the 21 X at 0.5, with the Eon17 and Titan hitting 1 and 2.

Whenever we tested for brightness, the 21 X’s display knocked it out the park, averaging 332 nits, besting the 291-nit average. The Titan was noticeably dimmer at 295, however the Eon17 and the Alienware 17 were just somewhat brighter at 335 and 340 nits.

The Predator 21 X’s screen also offers Nvidia’s G-Sync technology. The bottom line is, the technology puts the laptop’s display rate in sync with the graphics card, essentially positioning a frame cap that matches the panel limit (in cases like this, it’s 120Hz). Which makes for near-instant rendering in both full-screen and windowed modes, thus eliminating any tears, and leaving smooth images and happy gamers.

Gaming on a Curve

So what’s it like gaming with a curved display? It’s really immersive, given that the overall game supports the 21 X’s unique aspect ratio. For example, when I was battling Kett in Mass Effect: Andromeda, the skirmishes filled the complete screen. It had been thrilling running for cover in heat of battle and then vault over and smash an enemy with my Krogan hammer.

However, I soon uncovered that not everything scales to the Predator’s 21:9 aspect ratio. Andromeda cutscenes scaled right down to a standard 17-inch, 16:9 aspect ratio, which left thick black bars on both sides of the action. This also happened when I watched YouTube videos. Having such a jarring switch happen when I was gaming really took me out from the action. I tried adjusting the resolution settings, to no avail. That is a problem that could have easily been solved if the display was 4K. And for practically $9,000, Acer really must provide you with a 4K panel.

Tobii Eye-Tracking: Keep Your Eyes on the overall game

Acer went the excess mile and added Tobii’s eye-tracking technology to the mix. As the name suggests, the integrated IR sensor tracks your eyes and enables you to control several features in- and out-of-game. The technology currently works together with 49 titles, including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Nevermind and Dying Light.

According to the title, you may use the technology to enable you to auto-target enemies when you look at them, control the in-game camera, connect to objects, or summon the heads-up display, maps and health bar when you gaze right into a corner. You may also use Tobii for non-gaming activities, such as for example unlocking the computer with Windows Hello, launching the Windows Start Menu with a glance, or scrolling in a particular window irrespective of where the mouse is situated.

Audio: Where’s the Bass?

The Predator 21 X includes a new three-way audio tracks system made up of tweeters, midrange and subwoofers. This new system does deliver some serious detail, which allowed me to listen to Ralph Tresvant take a major swig of water prior to the beat dropped on New Edition’s “If IT IS NOT Love.”

However, I came across that with the top-mounted tweeters and front-mounted midrange, the audio tracks was loud, but hollow. As the track began, the vocals sounded pushed back without real separation from all of those other track.. And although I paid attention to several bass-heavy tracks (Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA.,” Missy Elliot’s “I’m Better”) the couple of subwoofer regularly didn’t bring the boom.

The problem persisted when I played Andromeda. As the various laser blasts and explosions sounded weighty, the accompanying music sounded distant, as did the dialogue. I tried to adapt the challenge with the Dolby Audio Premium software, but didn’t get an improved result.

Keyboard: Clicky Goodness

I really like typing on the 21 X’s mechanical keyboard almost just as much as I love looking at it and hearing it. With the loud clacking from the keys and their Cherry MX Brown switches, I quickly fell right into a rhythm and banged out 75 words each and every minute on the 10fastfingers typing test, greatly surpassing my typical 65-wpm rate. Measuring a crazy 4 millimeters of key travel (minimum 1.5-2mm) and 64 grams of actuation (minimum 60g), the keys really rebel when you press them.

Much like other premium gaming laptops, each and every key on the Predator 21 X could be individually programmed to flash among the 16.7 million colors obtainable in the Acer Predator Sense software. You can include several lights, including Breathing, Starburst, Afterglow, Neon and Ripple. Predator Sense can even be used to program hot keys, control fan speed and overclock the CPU and GPU.

My favorite the main keyboard must be the teal metallic space bar and W,A,S,D keys; they put in a nice pop of color to the layout. But if blue’s not your thing, you can swap the cerulean W,A,S,D keys for the black kinds that are bundled with the 21 X.

Touchpad: Fun With Magnets

As massive as the 21 X’s keyboard is, there’s barely any room for the touchpad. Like the Titan, the Predator handles this by moving the touchpad to the right. The two 2.9 x 2.6-inch touchpad is somewhat narrower than I’m used to, but performed multitouch gestures like pinch-zoom and three-finger tap quickly and and accurately.

But what’s a gaming notebook computer with out a number pad? To make certain gamers have the oh-so-important num pad, Acer created a reversible touchpad.

Because it’s held set up with a powerful magnet, you just lift the touchpad and flip it to reveal the num pad. Put it back and place and you’re prepared to crunch numbers and crush baddies.

Gaming, Graphics and VR: Doubly Nice

When you’re by using a notebook computer this outlandish, there is no such thing as an excessive amount of. That is why the Predator 21 X is outfitted with not just one, but two Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs with 8GB of VRAM, each in a SLI configuration. Which means this notebook is practically begging you to wind up the settings and the resolution.

Mass Effect: Andromeda looked beautiful on the Predator 21 X. When I landed on Eos, the burnt sienna landscape appeared to go on forever beneath the clear blue sky. Rather than plant life, there have been outcroppings of lithium dotted over the landscape that looked similar to crystallized flowers. Details were sharp enough that I possibly could start to see the treads of my vehicle dig in to the dry terra firma.

The Predator 21 X started flexing its muscles on our gaming benchmarks, notching 106 frames each and every minute increasing of the Tomb Raider benchmark (HIGH, 1920 x 1080), practically doubling the 54 fps average. Loaded with their own dual GTX 1080 GPUs, the Titan and the Eon17 scored 58 and 81 fps, respectively. The Alienware 17 using its single GTX 1080 GPU obtained 80 fps.

Switching to Hitman, we saw the 21 X achieve 85 fps, narrowly beating the 81 fps desktop-replacement average. It wasn’t enough however, to top all of those other competition as the Alienware 17, the Eon17 and the Titan scored 101, 103 and 121 fps, respectively.

On the Grand Theft Auto V test, the Predator 21 X hit 80, topping the 71-fps average plus the Alienware 17’s 52 fps. Nonetheless it wasn’t enough to carry off the Eon17 or the Titan, which produced 121 and 139 fps, respectively.

Those couple of GTX 1080 GPUs also execute a congrats with virtual-reality games as I soon uncovered through the Unspoken. I teleported from pillar to pillar, trying in order to avoid my opponent’s rapid-fire volley of fireballs while wanting to mount an attack of my very own with magical crows. Even though I were able to summon the stage golem, the Predator 21 X kept the image nice and smooth.

Whenever we ran the SteamVR Performance test, the Predator 21 X maxed out the test at 11, matching the competing systems.

EFFICIENCY: Multitask to Your Heart’s Content

Even the most over-the-top gaming notebook computer may need to do somewhat of work occasionally. When that point comes, the Predator 21 X will get the work(s) done, because of its overclockable 2.9-GHz Intel Core i7-7820HK processor with 64GB of RAM. I successfully launched 40 tabs of Google Chrome, a few of that have been running TweetDeck, streaming from Twitch and Dear White People on Netflix. I ran a complete system scan using Windows to create things interesting, but never saw any signs of slowing from the system.

The notebook computer also did well on synthetic tests like Geekbench 4, which measures efficiency. The Predator 21 X notched a good 14,284, defeating the 13,322 desktop-replacement average and the Alienware 17 (14,154) which includes its Core i7-7820HK CPU. However, both notebooks couldn’t match the MSI Titan (3.9-GHz Intel Core i7-7920HQ CPU) or the Eon17 (overclocked 4.5-GHz Intel Core i7-6700K), which produced 15,660 and 17,994, respectively.

Boasting two 512GB NVMe PCIe SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration with a 1TB 7,200-rpm hard disk drive, the Predator 21 X has speed and storage to spare. But in the event that’s not enough for you personally, the Predator has two empty bays just looking forward to a few more SSDs or hard disks. On our File Transfer test, the notebook duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in 6 seconds for a transfer rate of 848.2 megabytes per second. That’s enough to beat the Eon17 (dual 256GB NVMe PCI-e M.2 SSDs) and Alienware 17 (512GB SSD), which scored 424.1MBps and 246.5MBps, respectively, away. But the Titan using its dual 512GB PCIe SSDs delivered a ridiculous 1,017 MBps.

Whenever we ran the OpenOffice Spreadsheet Macro test, the Predator 21 X matched 20,000 names and addresses in three minutes and 35 seconds, missing the 3:25 average. The Eon17 and the Titan outpaced the Predator 21 X at 3:09, as the Alienware finished at a blistering 1:47.

Battery Life: Gone TOO EARLY

As extravagant as the Predator 21 X is, one place Acer couldn’t splurge on may be the battery life. The leviathan lasted only 2 hours and 4 minutes on our battery test, which contains continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi. That’s much shorter compared to the 4:24 desktop-replacement average, but enough to outpace the Eon17’s 1:25. The Titan and Alienware only did marginally better at 2:18 and 2:46.

Heat: One Cool Customer

Regardless of the overclockable CPU and double GPUs, the Predator 21 X does an excellent job of staying fairly cool. To keep the temperature down, Acer outfitted the machine with five system fans – three which will be the company’s proprietary AeroBlade fans — and nine heat pipes. According to Acer, the fans work together to keep carefully the CPU and GPUs cool.

I spent a quarter-hour galavanting around the galaxy in Andromeda and by the end of my journey, the touchpad measured 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The guts of the notebook computer had a reading of 82 degrees as the undercarriage hit 102, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. But let’s face it: No one’s likely to be holding this within their lap.

After it cooled off some, we streamed an HD Youtube video for a quarter-hour. When the allotted time passed, we took another measurement. The touchpad, space between your G and H keys and bottom measured 83, 81 and 95 degrees, respectively.

Despite all that air being moved through the entire system, the Predator 21 X was pretty quiet. You could definitely hear it in a quiet room, however, not so much that it had been a distraction.

Webcam

I was somewhat shocked to discover that this almost $9,000-laptop only includes a 1280 x 720 webcam. However, I cannot argue with the results, because the camera delivered images which were color-accurate with passable detail. In a few test shots I took, the blue and pink in my own shirt were spot-on as was the purple in my own hair. Regardless of the overall graininess, I possibly could find out a few flyaway hairs near the top of my head.

Software and Warranty

The Predator 21 X could possibly be a font of excess on the rest, but I was glad to see Acer took a conservative approach on the bloatware. The business preinstalled helpful software just like the Acer Care Center, which displays system diagnostics, and there’s a helpful Recovery Management service. DustDefender briefly reverses system airflow every handful of hours to keep dust from accumulating. There’s also FAST ACCESS, which, you guessed it, enables you to swiftly connect to several settings, including Bluelight Shield, CoolBoost and Power-off USB charging.

Third-party gaming utilities include Nvidia GeForce Experience, that provides a complete suite of gamer-centric apps, such as for example Battery Boost and Game Optimization. Additionally you get yourself a free six-month trial of XSpilt Gamecaster, to truly get you started on your own new live-streaming hobby.

That doesn’t imply that the notebook computer is bloatware-free, as Microsoft were able to sneak in unnecessary programs like Sling, Facebook, Twitter, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Asphalt 8 and World of Warships.

Upgradability and Customization

Let’s be clear, I am infatuated with the dragon painted on the maintenance panel. It appears like a cross between your Blue-Eyes White Dragon from Yu-Gi-Oh! and Bahamut Zero from Final Fantasy VII, and I’m here for this. I also love seeing 009 of 300 stamped on the panel, letting me know I’m part of at the very top club. You, however, may want something just a little less (or even more) dramatic.

Acer offers 20 different patterns, including panels that appear to be computer schematics, otherworldly fantasy scenes and, of course, explosions. You can further customize the panel by sticking your country’s flag in underneath left corner and getting the name engraved. Unfortunately, Acer doesn’t enable you to order additional panels, so choose prudently.

Once you’re finished gussying up one’s body, the panel could be removed in order to access the RAM and the two 2.5-inch hard disk drive if you wish to swap out it out for a fresh one. The panel is pretty easy to remove — just take away the screw in the lower-right corner and you’re in.

Bottom Line

I really like it when notebook companies throw everything however the kitchen-sink right into a gaming rig. True, a lot of us won’t have the ability to afford luxury laptops that cost thousands of dollars, but the email address details are always amazing. Using its incredible curved display and Tobii eye-tracking technology, the 21-inch Acer Predator 21 X truly sets itself in addition to the competition. The business added some serious high-end features, including an overclockable Core i7 CPU and two Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU in SLI configuration. And the hits keep coming with a comfortable, customizable keyboard and a smidgen of upgradability once and for all measure.

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