Acer's ambitions for its gaming hardware just might be as lofty as the venue the company chose for rolling them out. At an event Thursday morning, 68 floors up in Building 4 of the new World Trade Center in New York, the company unveiled a raft of new products, including systems for its Predator gaming line.
The Predator hardware will include a new desktop tower and a new tablet. You heard me: a tablet. In addition, the company will roll out its first-ever gaming laptop. As you'll see in the photos below, it's a brash and bad as gaming laptops are obliged to be these days.
Acer also announced Thursday the first curved G-Sync panel to date. Not surprisingly it's also extremely expensive. But my, it looks nice.
Why this matters: The PC may be losing market share overall, but the gaming category is a rare bright spot. For gamers, the PC remains the power platform of choice, and their lust for high-end hardware seems insatiable. With this rollout of gaming-focused hardware, Acer is simply following the money. It remains to be seen whether it can pull gamers away from more established brands.
The first curved G-Sync monitor
The most concrete launch was the new 34-inch, curved Acer XR341CKA monitor. The display is an IPS panel and packs in nearly 5 millon pixels, with a resolution of 3440x1440. It includes DTS audio, a pair of integrated 7-watt speakers, and a 100-percent color gamut. The XR341CKA's low-profile bezel makes it possible to surround yourself with two or possibly three of them, if your neck can handle it.
What makes this monitor a gaming panel? It features Nvidia's G-Sync technology, which helps smooth out visuals when performance drops on your PC. Also included in the monitor are aim-point icons that place virtual crosshairs on the monitor for games. Some games' "hardcore" modes don't include onscreen crosshairs, forcing some users into kludges like sticky notes or even drawing on the screen. The aim-point icons aren't new, though, as Asus has had such a feature for a few years.
If you want this curved G-sync beast, you'll have to wait until September and also peel off $1,300 for it. That's going to make it the most expensive monitor with nVidia's G-sync module inside of it.
Cue Predator jokes: Get to dah choppah!
Acer's other hardware commitment to gamers this year will come in its Predator desktop, Predator laptop and Predator tablet.
The Predator desktop appears to be mostly a reskin of its existing gaming lineup. While it's not as radical as Alienware's Area 51, it is unique. Its standard tower form factor should support multi-card GPUs and today's gaming hardware.
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