Taiwanese electronics giant Acer on Wednesday made a lot of major hardware announcements at its pre-IFA 2018 event in Berlin. These include a preview of the Swift 7, pricing and availability details for the Acer Swift 3 and Acer Swift 5, new gaming monitors and accessories in the Predator and Nitro gaming series, refreshes across its Aspire notebook and all-in-one PC portfolio, the new OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset, new commercial laser projectors, the Chromebook 514, and VirZOOM - a VR headset technology focused towards fitness. Let's get into the details now.
Touted to be the 'world's thinnest 15-inch notebook', the Acer Swift 5 was initially launched at the next@acer conference held in New York in late May this year. The laptop weighs just about 990 grams and is powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5-8265U and i7-8565U processors. The Acer Swift 5 has a claimed battery life of 10 hours and runs Windows 10. Bezels on this notebook measure just 5.87mm and give the display an 87.6 percent screen-to-body ratio.
The 14-inch Acer Swift 5 has also been updated this year and the ultra-portable notebook now comes packed with the same processors as its 15-inch counterpart. This variant weighs about 970 grams and is 14.9mm thick.
The 15-inch variant of the Acer Swift 5 will be available in North America starting January 2019, starting at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 77,600); in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) in November, starting at EUR 1,099 (approximately Rs. 90,600); and in China, in November, starting at CNY 7,499 (around Rs. 77,600).
The 14-inch Acer Swift 5 will be available in EMEA in September, starting at EUR 999 (roughly Rs. 82,300); and in China, in November, starting at CNY 7,499 (approximately Rs. 77,600).
Apart from the Swift 5 series, the Swift 3 lineup has also been updated by Acer at its pre-IFA event in Berlin. The line now includes new models with options of 13.3-inch and 14-inch panel dimensions. The smaller variant, with a 13.3-inch display, sports a full-HD panel, weighs about 1.3kg, and has a thickness of 15.9mm. It comes with specifications including up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of NVMe PCIe SSDs, 2x2 Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and 4G LTE capabilities.
The Acer Swift 3 with 13-inch display will be available in EMEA in October starting at EUR 799 (roughly Rs. 65,800).
Lastly, two models with 14-inch panels have been unveiled by Acer at the event. Both are powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors, and come with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage. These two models will be available in North America in November, starting at $799.99 (about Rs. 56,500) and in EMEA in January 2019, starting at EUR 799 (approximately Rs. 65,800).
Acer also teased the Swift 7 laptop at the pre-IFA event with claims of it being 'the thinnest laptop in the world' with a 14-inch display. It is said to be less than 1cm thick and weighs less than 1kg. Apart from that, it will run the flagship 8th generation Intel Core processors. Pricing and availability were not announced at the event.
Acer teased its mammoth Predator X gaming desktop at IFA 2018. The specifications make this a heavy-duty gaming machine: two Intel Xeon processors, 12 slots for RAM with up to 16GB in each, and two Quadro RTX 8000. Pricing details have not been revealed yet.
The interesting new Predator Triton 900 convertible 2-in-1 gaming laptop was also announced with a reversible 4K panel that supports Nvidia's G-Sync technology. The laptop features Acer's 4th generation Aeroblade 3D fans and a mechanical keyboard. As is the case with the Predator X, no pricing and availability for the Triton 900 have been revealed.
Lastly, three new gaming-focused desktops have been refreshed in the Predator Orion range - the Orion 9000, Orion 5000, and Orion 300. These desktops come with up to Intel Core i9 processors, up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, and IceTunnel 2.0 which is exclusive to the 5000 and 9000 series.
Acer, at its pre-IFA 2018 event, also unveiled four new gaming monitors, a gaming-focused chair, and other gaming accessories including a mouse, keyboard, backpack, headset, and mousepad in the Predator and Nitro series. New monitors include one variant of the Predator XB273K and three variants of the Nitro XV273K. All of the monitors offer 27-inch panels with ultra high definition resolution, with two in the Nitro series offering a WQHD resolution. They also arrive with Acer-specific features such as VisionCare with Flickerless, BlueLightShield, ComfyView, and low-dimming technologies.
The Predator XB273K gaming monitor will be available in Q4 2018 in North America, starting at $1,299 (roughly Rs. 91,800); in EMEA, starting at EUR 1499 (around Rs. 1,23,500); and in China for CNY 9,999 (roughly Rs. 1,03,400).
The Acer Nitro XV273K will be available in Q4 2018 in North America, starting at $899 (about Rs. 63,500); in EMEA starting at EUR 1049 (about Rs. 86,400); and in China for CNY 6,999 (roughly Rs. 72,400). The Acer Nitro XV272U will be available in Q4 2018 in North America, starting at $499 (approximately Rs. 35,200); and in EMEA starting at EUR 599 (around Rs. 42,300). The Acer Nitro XF272U will be available in Q4 2018 in North America, starting at $449 (roughly Rs. 31,700); in EMEA starting at EUR 529 (about Rs. 43,600); and in China for CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,300).
"Our battle-tested Predator gaming monitors have proven their quality and reliability as a top choice of pro-gamers and tournaments around the world," said Victor Chien, President, Digital Display Business. "We're now waterfalling our experience and technology to our Nitro series to make premium gaming experiences more accessible to users."
The Acer Nitro optical sensor mouse was also unveiled with seven buttons including a burst fire button. It comes with up to 4,000 dpi which is six-level adjustable. It will be available in North America in Q4 2018, for $29.99 (about Rs. 2,100); in EMEA in Q4 2018 for EUR 34.99 (around Rs. 2,900); and in China in Q4 2018 for CNY 199.99 (about Rs. 2,100).
The Acer Nitro keyboard will be available in the market in the fourth quarter of 2018. Pricing is as follows: $29.99 for the US (about Rs. 2,100), EUR 59.99 (roughly Rs. 4,900) for EMEA, and CNY 249.99 (around Rs. 2,600) in China. The Acer Nitro Headset will be available in Q4 this year in North America for $39.99 (about Rs. 2,800), in EMEA starting at EUR 49.99 (roughly Rs. 4,100), and in China for CNY 249.99 (about Rs. 2,600). The Acer Nitro Backpack will be available in North America in Q4 2018, for $29.99 (approximately Rs. 2,100); and in EMEA in Q4 2018 starting at EUR 39.99 (about Rs. 3,400); and in China in Q4 2018 for CNY 199.99 (about Rs. 2,200).
Lastly, the Acer Nitro Mousepad will be available in North America in Q4 2018, for $14.99 (around Rs. 1,100), in EMEA starting at EUR 19.99 (about Rs. 1,600); and in China in Q4 2018 for CNY 79.99 (or about Rs. 800).
Acer Aspire range
Next up is the company's affordable Aspire range of notebooks and all-in-ones PCs. First off is the new Acer Aspire Z 24 all-in-one PC that includes features such as a thickness of 11mm, a glossy V-shaped metal stand, a far-field microphone array with four digital microphones, the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7+ processors, and up to 32GB of Intel Optane memory. It has a 23.8-inch full-HD IPS panel with a 178-degree viewing angle.
The all-in-one PC will be available in North America in October, starting at $899 (roughly Rs. 63,500); and in EMEA in October, starting at EUR 899.99 (about Rs. 73,100).
For the portable PC market, Acer has unveiled the new Aspire 3, Aspire 5, and Aspire 7 laptops across different price segments. Most premium of the lot, the Acer Aspire 7 features options of 8th-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors and sports up to an Ultra HD display.
In terms of pricing, the Aspire 5 will be available in EMEA in December 2018 starting at EUR 549 (approximately Rs. 45,200). The Aspire 3 series will also be available in EMEA starting December this year starting at EUR 399 (around Rs. 32,900). Pricing of the Aspire 7 was not revealed.
Acer Chromebook 514
Acer has also unveiled its brand new Chromebook 514 targeted at college students as well as young professionals. The Chromebook comes with an aluminium chassis and sports a 14-inch full-HD IPS display that has an optional touch screen. Thanks to the minimal Chrome OS, Acer claims a 12-hour battery life on the Chromebook 514. The touchpad on the notebook is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass.
The Acer Chromebook 514 will be available in North America in October, starting at $349.99 (roughly Rs. 24,700); and in EMEA in the approved Chrome OS territories starting at EUR 349 (about Rs. 28,800).
Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset
The latest OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset comes with a detachable design, patented built-in sound pipe technology, and software-assisted interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment technology. The headset sports two front-hinged 2.89-inch LCD panels with a resolution of 2880x1440 pixels, refresh rate of up to 90Hz, and 100-degree FoV.
With the help of inside-out tracking the Acer OJO 500 Windows Mixed Reality headset requires no external hardware and can be set up within 10 minutes. It comes in an optional configuration with two Bluetooth enabled motion controllers, a Windows 10 button, touchpad, and grab button. The Acer OJO 500 will be available in North America in November, starting at $399 (around Rs. 29,000), and in EMEA in November starting at EUR 499 (about Rs. 41,000).
At Acer's pre-IFA event in Berlin on Wednesday, the Taiwanese corporation announced the availability of VZFit, the company's second-gen commercial VR fitness system. VZFit makes use of the OJO 500 mixed reality headset. "VirZOOM's new 2nd generation commercial product VZfit is a turnkey package of Sensors, VZfit Console, and Acer Windows Mixed Reality that anyone can set up in five minutes to turn a commercial stationary bike into a VR Fitness System," said VirZOOM Co-Founder and CTO, Eric Malafeew.
VZfit is immediately available direct from VirZOOM, through its global partner Life Fitness, and Gym Source in the United States. Pricing has not been detailed.
Acer at the event also announced four new laser projectors of which two (PL6610 and PL6510) are from the PL series while the other two (SL6610 and SL6510) are part of the SL range. The former is targeted at heavy usage commercial customers while SL series laser projectors are designed for projection in tight spaces such as classrooms.
Both categories of laser projectors offer 1.6X zoom and the optional setups enhance installation flexibility along with diversifying placement avenues. The projectors come with inbuilt 10W speakers for audio. Pricing and availability for none of the markets has been revealed yet.