Thursday's event also marked Acer's entry into gaming laptops, which it's been content to leave to more esablished brands up to now. The company showed a prototype of its new Predator laptop. Final specs weren't revealed, but it's clear from the size of the Predator it'll attack Alienware 17-inch units, as well as the larger, more powerful offerings from Asus, MSI and others.
The styling of the Predator laptop shows how well the company has studied the current trend for these beasts: keep them cool. Gaming laptops of yesteryear were fast, but they often generated so much fan noise that they ruined the game play or mandated wearing a headset. Today's gaming laptops are far better-behaved, and consumers have come to expect that. The back of the Acer Predator, for example, appears to be all vent to keep the GPU cool.
The biggest surprise in Acer's gaming category was its unexpected reveal of the Predator tablet. Acer said little about this gaming-focused tablet — neither the OS nor the CPU were specified — but we do know it'll have haptic feedback.
The bad news is, gaming tablets aren't exactly new and haven't exactly set the world on fire. The Razer Edge fared well in our review, but there hasn't been a sequel to it. We also don't know how well Nvidia's Shield Tablet has sold. Given that Nvidia has stayed mum about sales volume, it probably wasn't the hit the company had hoped for. Can Acer's Predator Tablet prevail where its predecessors have faltered? We'll see when the product ships later this year.
Acer unveiled many other products Thursday, including a huge, crazy-cheap Chromebook and a pile of Windows PCs. Not surprisingly, though the gaming hardware got most of the fun stuff. We'll let you know who wins this new installment of Alienware vs. Predator when we get the products in to test.
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