Acer amazed the world last September when it announced a laptop with a 21” curved display, a quad-core Intel Core i7 “Kaby Lake” CPU with an unlocked multiplier, two graphics processors, a mechanical keyboard, and other features of a desktop PC. Then the company surprised once again, when it disclosed pricing of the Predator 21X in early January: at $8999, the machine is one of the most expensive gaming notebooks ever. By now, the PC is available, but this Predator will be a rare beast because only 300 will be made.

The final version of the Predator 21 X notebook got Intel’s quad-core Core i7-7820HK CPU with an unlocked multiplier and overclocking capabilities, two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs with 16 GB of GDDR5 memor,  as well as 64 GB of DDR4 RAM — specifications that even few gaming desktops can match. The storage sub-system of the Predator 21 X also resembles that of an SFF or AIO desktop: the machine can fit in four M.2 SSDs (NVMe or SATA) and one 2.5” hard drive. Acer ships the system with two 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSDs working in RAID 0 as well as one 1 TB 7200 RPM HGST HDD, but the system is upgradeable and owners can install almost whatever they want eventually.

They key selling point of the Predator 21 X is its curved 21” IPS display panel with a 2560×1080 resolution, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA’s G-Sync dynamic refresh rate technology. After trying out the Predator 21 X at Computex, I cannot say that curvature on a monitor of this size is any more immersive to me, but it may work in a very dark room. In addition to curvature, the notebook also has Tobii infrared eye-tracking sensors, which opens up different user experiences in games that support the appropriate tech. Meanwhile the audio sub-system is also worth mentioning as it has four integrated speakers and two built-in subwoofers.

Acer Predator 21 X
Display Size 21"
Type 21" curved IPS
Resolution 2560×1080
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
CPU Core i7-7820HK (4C/8T, 8 MB, 2.9/3.9GHz)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 in SLI with G-Sync support
Storage M.2 4 slots, two 512 GB SSDs with PCIe 3.0 x4 interface in RAID 0 installed
2.5" 1 bay, 1 TB HDD installed
Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.x
Ethernet GbE
USB 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A (one supports charging)
Thunderbolt × USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 connector
Display Outputs 2 × DisplayPort 1.4
1 × HDMI 2.0b
Keyboard Mechanical backlit keyboard with programmable keys
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jacks, webcam, Tobii eye tracking
Dimensions Width 22.4" | 56.9 cm
Depth 12.4" | 31.5 cm
Thickness 2.71” – 3.3” | 68.8 mm – 83.82 mm
Battery Li-ion, 6000 mAh
Weight 18.74 lbs (8.5 kilograms)
Price $8999 in the U.S.

As one would expect from a laptop that is 2.71” – 3.3” (68.8 mm – 83.82 mm) thick and weighs 18.74 lbs (8.5 kilograms), the Predator 21 X has all the connectivity that one might ever need (just like high-end desktops), including 2×2 802.11ac + Bluetooth Wi-Fi module, a Gigabit Ethernet port, one Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port, four USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, an HDMI 2.0 output, two DisplayPort 1.4 headers, and an SD card reader. For input, the Acer Predator 21 X uses a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches with five programmable buttons. The numeric keypad does not have mechanical switches, but it can be flipped and turned into a touchpad.

From performance point of view, the Predator 21 X has rivals from ASUS and MSI, but when it comes to its curved 21”/120 Hz display panel, it does not really have direct competitors (except desktops, of course). Meanwhile, the panel itself is custom, which adds to the cost of an already expensive machine. After considering performance, dimensions and price, Acer figured out that demand for a laptop that is priced at $8999 will be limited, and instead of trying to reduce the price tag, decided to make an ultra-exclusive product out of its Predator 21 X. The company will only produce 300 of such machines (referring to 300 Spartans?), each of which will have an individual number. The Acer Predator 21 X will ship in a Pelican-style case that can be “repurposed” and actually be used as a luggage.

Despite the price and dimensions, the Predator 21 X is sold out at in the U.S., but is still available from Micro Center and Newegg.

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Source: Acer

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  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    @ close

    I do live out of hotels for months at a time. When it was all on expenses, I was platinum on most hotel chains. Per diem changes all that. Just his year I've done UK, Thailand, HK & mainland China , Colombia, and got back from Japan two weeks ago, and will be in South Korea on Tuesday. Last year was crazy too, year before not so much as I was busy with my Cisco certs. But that has been been my life since 1998, and so I'm on my 6th DTR machine.

    My AW18 is <6kg. Power brick 1.8kg. Add a small bag of dongles, serial cables etc, and everything still feels OK in the Alienware backpack. The Mrs complains though if she has to retrieve it from the car, and so its not acceptable weight to everyone.

    Imagine how many console windows you could have open with that wide screen...

    PS: I tried carrying a PC around with me, it was not practicle. Monitor broke on the first journey, and I had much trouble at the check in desk as carry on
  • close - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    I think in your quest to tell your life story* you completely missed the point of both the article and my comment. This article isn't about your AW18, it's about a 21", ~9Kg (without accessories) and $9000 Acer that really needs a special pelican case to lug it around. One that you can never actually use on the go because your lap will disintegrate :). You really have to stretch the definition of mobility all the way to the Moon to consider this mobile. And keep in mind this laptop also isn't carry on luggage so chances are it will get lost on one flight or another.

    You can get a better (small) PC for less than a quarter of the price and *ship* it to any of the 5-6-10 destinations you travel per year for another quarter. You can even go for a normal laptop and order a new $300 screen at every hotel and you'll still be able to travel for 3 years before you reach the price tag of this Acer.

    *You're giving way too many irrelevant details for the topic in question. For example on the internet I drive a fleet of 8 Lambos, one for each day of the week. But in real life I mostly drive a freakin' Volvo :).
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    Quote: "I think in your quest to tell your life story*"

    OK, that tickeled me, I guess I did go on a bit, but I was really trying to make it known that mobile power users exist.

    Back in 2000, I was weighing-up Sony sort-of-desktop-machines that I suspected I could travel with. But in the end I realized it was not gonna happen.

    And whatever you drive - I love Volvos!
  • close - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    The problem is that offering to many "by the way" details tends to hide the point. For example you're a power user that doesn't need any of the "gaming" features - like a high powered GPU SLI or 120Hz screen. Why pay for them?

    You can get away with a well spec'ed 15-17" business laptop/mobile workstation (high end CPU, good graphics, lots of RAM, and good SSD) and if screen area is absolutely vital you can get a good 27" screen delivered to every hotel (either bought new or simply FedEx it) and still be better of and a lot cheaper than this... whatever the Acer might call it. :)
  • Papusan - Sunday, June 18, 2017 - link

    The whole thing is a so called BGA Jokebook. Hope people have money left for extended warranty, if not... You will be very very screwed!! Limited Edition means as well *Limited options* for getting a used or a new MB replacement when the soldered hardware go up in smoke. And <if> you can find one of the limited Motheboards... What will it cost? This Jokebook cost $10550 usd here home. +$10000usd is damn costly for the 21" curved screen and the keyboard. No thanks!!
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    At the same time, with gross sales of this contraption maxing out at $2.7m before retailers take their cut, even at the stupidly high price they're charging I'm skeptical they're going to be able to earn out the R&D this thing set them back.
  • Qwertilot - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Advertising you presume.
  • HideOut - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - link

    probably direct order only, no retailers
  • Morawka - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - link

    i'm sure this was budgeted as a promotional/marketing item and not a traditional product that will recoup all development costs.
  • AntDX316 - Thursday, November 2, 2017 - link

    I think $9000 is reasonable.. and great for making status in very high-level conference meetings that deal with hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in potential contracts.

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