avatarby John DyeNovember 4, 20160 comments

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Acer has clearly spared no expense when it comes to the Predator 21 X. The laptop is the first of its kind with a convex curved display, and it boasts specs that could put most modern desktops to shame. But what does it really feel like to put your hands on this monstrosity? Let’s cut right to the chase.

This isn’t a device for coffee shop scribblers looking to schlep their technology from one haunt to the next. The Predator 21 X was clearly designed with gaming in mind, and the hardware that has gone into making it an intimidating piece of technofetishism clocks in at a daunting 17.7 pounds. If you’re hauling this baby around in a backpack or computer bag, expect to fork over a little extra money to your chiropractor every year.

Portability clearly wasn’t a priority when it came to this offering from Acer. The screen is enormous an enormous 21-inch IPS display rocking 2,560 x 1,080 resolution. A major selling point of this laptop is that the display is curved. Now, we’ve seen curved screens on high-end, immersive televisions, but this is the first time the world has been exposed to one on a laptop.

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Although the screen and keyboard look a bit alien at a glance, once you actually begin playing around with it, it’s easy to see how much more engaging that subtle curve makes videos and gaming.

The keyboard is mechanical with Cherry MX switches and luxuriously deep keypresses that enable you to flutter across the top of your keys without jarringly bottoming out with each stroke. These keys are backlit with customizable RBG LED lighting.

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If you’re looking for a trackpad, you won’t find one. At least, not at first. That’s because the number pad is a separate piece of hardware that flips over to reveal a fully functional mouse pad.

Under the hood, this device is powered by dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards

Under the hood, this device is powered by an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card as well as another NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080. That’s right: two of them. You may be wondering how such a contraption would keep from overheating, and the answer is, with the help of fans. Five fans, in fact, two of which are AeroBlade metal offerings. The Predator also has the latest 7th generation Intel Core processor on its side as well as a 4.2-channel audio system with Dolby Audio support.

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Another innovation that Acer is playing around with here is Tobii eye-tracking technology. The laptop monitors your eye movements, allowing you to move the mouse cursor just by looking around the screen. This admittedly feels extremely strange at first, but once you’ve been doing it for a few minutes, it becomes clear that this technology, though nascent, is going to be the way of the future.

Acer basically assumes that you’re going to set this beast on a desk and leave it there for quite some time. The term “desktop replacer” is a natural fit, and you’re basically not settling in any category when it comes to raw, animalistic power. Although we didn’t get a good handle on how much battery power this baby packs, we’re extremely dubious that it would be able to run at full tilt away from a power outlet for long.

You’re probably looking for a price tag at this point, and so are we. Acer has been very hush hush about how much the Predator 21 X will set you back, and that’s probably because it’s going to be quite a bit. You don’t cram this much science fiction into reality without breaking the bank. We’ll have more details forthcoming, and the device is slated for delivery in the first quarter of 2017. All in all, Acer is offering an impressive user experience here packaged in sleek, futuristic materials, but how much will users be willing to pay for such a computer?