Acer’s new Predator 21 X is a monster. Not only have this machine’s designers put a curved 21-inch display on a laptop for the first time ever, they’ve also gone and given it two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs as well. Add in five cooling fans, a 7th-generation Intel Core K-series processor, and space for as much as four terabytes of SSD storage, and you have a laptop that’s beyond obscene.
Unveiling the 21 X at IFA in Berlin today, Acer acknowledges that this laptop is more of a proof of engineering acumen than any sort of "big seller" retail product. Each Predator 21 X will be made to order, starting in January of next year (which is how Acer can advertise today that it will have an Intel CPU that technically hasn't yet been announced). Among its other cool features and specs, there's also room for four DD4 slots that top out at 64GB of RAM, Tobii eye-tracking, a mechanical keyboard, a 4.2 sound system, a window to show off one of the big fans, and a numpad that flips over to turn into a touchpad. Oh, and it also has an SD card slot. How practical!
You call that a gaming laptop? This is a gaming laptop!
Seeing the 21 X in person is a hilarious but also charming experience. We often say gaming laptops are ridiculous, but this one — with its gaping upside-down smile generated by the gap between the keyboard and the curved screen — is that extra bit more ludicrous. How do you even begin to judge or weigh the merits of such an outlandish creation? At 8kg, the 21 X weighs more than seven of Acer's newly introduced Swift 7 laptops, offering the direct opposite to the Taiwanese company's ultrathin portable.
We didn't get to see the 21 X before us firing up and showing off the benefits of its matte curved screen, unfortunately, as it was only a demo unit. The real machine will have a 2560 x 1080 IPS display, LED illumination, and presumably the world's biggest power brick ever. Even so, Acer’s representatives told us that the weight, size, and appearance of the demo 21 X were spot-on, and we have to say that, in person, this computer looms. It looks like it was left alone in a PC store overnight and ate all the other laptops.
All in all, though, the Predator 21 X is a statement in a way few computers are. It’s like the exuberant designs you see at fashion shows or from car manufacturers signaling their future intent: defined by pizzazz and excess rather than practicality and efficiency. We'll still have to wait to get our hands on the machine to see how it actually performs, but on specs alone the 21 X might be the most impressive thing we see at IFA this year.