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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  • ERJ - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    I think referring to this as a laptop is a bit of a stretch...
  • Trey22 - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Outperformed by laptops that cost half as much.
  • stephenbrooks - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    But what happens to the curved screen when you try to close the laptop?
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    A gap forms between the center of the screen and keyboard/etc. Using the awesome power of ASCII are to show the lid on left, and keyboard on right, it looks something like this: (|

    From the gallery shots in other articles here it doesn't appear there's anything to keep the gap from being a chute to collect dirt and debris.
  • SteelRing - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Curved display is among the stupidest things anyone has ever invented in the modern times. just because it looks great in the IMAX it doesnt mean every tiny screen in the planet would benefit from being curved. It could be useful, however, if you only have one eye.
  • twtech - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    I think it makes sense - but we need mainstream 100+ inch screens to go along with it.
  • seerak - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - link

    They make sense for wide eye-to-screen angles. TV's used in normal ways and laptop screens don't have very wide such angles - usually well below 40 degrees, so it makes no sense.

    But a 40" monitor or TV-as-monitor that's 2 feet away - the setup I'm using right now - that's about 75-80 degrees, it's very nice. There's a reason why multimonitor setups angle each screen towards the user, thereby approximating a curve... the total eye-to-display angle is often north of 120 degrees.

    If people were to start sitting really close to their TV screens, and content were developed with that wider angle in mind - as was done with the widescreen cinema formats - you might see a benefit. But we mostly use screens as windows-into-a-space, with lower angles, than as an immersive media. In that use case, you're right.
  • testbug00 - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    all the extra videos and articles because of the nature is worth a lot of money.

    My problem with this laptop is the display resolution is to low. It should be at least 1440p ultrawide.

    1080p ultrawide is just not very much for the GPU power.
  • Notmyusualid - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Which is cheaper?

    This lovely laptop, or a divorce?

    I'm weighing in my options...
  • Gratin - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - link

    Don't worry about divorce, after 1 or 2 hours that laptop would stall.

    I have the 17 X, as soon as you use it at full potential, you suck the battery dry.

    Half of the luggage is for the power brick, mine is only 330W for 1.306 kg ( = 46.07 oz / 2.88 pounds). I guess this one needs 2 or 3 times that.

    The Verge is reporting "presumably the world's biggest power brick ever".

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