Acer’s new laptops are worth looking forward to
By Tan Jee Yee September 11, 2019
- ConceptD Pro-series laptops are aimed towards professionals
- Refreshed Swift laptops now offer discrete graphics with ultra-portability
ACER has been busy of late. During the recent IFA 2019 in Berlin, the company announced a slew of products that range from laptops for professional creators to new gaming monitors and even a gaming chair. There are also upgrades to existing products, including NVIDIA graphics options for its ultra-portable Swift series of laptops.
The line-up is wide and varied, and some of them do sound more fascinating than others. During the event, Acer debuted four new Chromebooks that cover both productivity and leisure needs. Two of them – the Acer Chromebook 315 and Chromebook 314 feature large anti-glare displays for sharper and more legible images.
Those wanting a more portable experience can keep an eye out for the Chromebook Spin 311, which has a convertible 360-degree design, letting users use its HD touchscreen display in a variety of modes.
Also announced were the new Acer Nitro XV3 series of gaming monitors, which are NVIDIA G-SYNC compatible on top of providing high refresh rates. The Nitro XV273U S in particular provides WQHD resolution (2560 x 1440) with rapid 144 Hz/overclock to 165 Hz refresh rate. Gameplay must appear buttery-smooth here.
What is most interesting, however, are the new ConceptD Pro series of notebooks, which are designed for professional creators and also for AI engineers and software developers. These were present during a recent Acer Malaysia press event, and I had a little time with them.
Looking into the ConceptD
The ConceptD Pro series of notebooks is equipped with NVIDIA’s Quadro RTX graphics cards, which are beefy GPUs for professionals. As part of the RTX Studio laptop programme, the ConceptD Pro notebooks with these GPUs are among the first notebooks to support real-time ray tracing and advanced AI capabilities.
At the top of the line is the ConceptD 9 Pro, which features a 17.3-inch 4K display that can be flipped, extended or reclined during those team collaboration moments (it supports a Wacom EMR stylus, which can magnetically attach to the laptop).
It’s worth noting that its display is Pantone-Validated and covers 100% of the Adobe RGB colour gamut with Delta E <1 colour accuracy.
Unfortunately, this wasn’t available during the media preview event, as was the smaller ConceptD 7 Pro, which sports a 15.6-inch 4K display. It may not be as fancy, but it does feature up to 9th Gen Intel Core i7 processors in a 17.9mm frame.
What was present, however, was the ConceptD 5 Pro and the ConceptD 3 Pro. The former has 15.6- and 17.3-inch IPS display options at 4K UHD resolution. It can be configured with up to 9th Gen Intel Core i& processors and up to NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 graphics. It has a metal chassis for durability (it does feels tough, and not at all overly heavy or bulky in design).
The display is similarly Pantone-Validated with 100% Adobe RGB colour gamut. According to Acer, the ConceptD 5 Pro is for those handling CAD design, animation and simulation workflows.
The ConceptD 3 Pro, on the other hand, doesn’t quite have the powerhouse specs of its brethren, but offers 9th Gen Intel Core i7 performances with NVIDIA Quadro T1000 graphics on a smaller form factor. Acer says that this laptop runs quietly – at 40 dB.
Both laptops come with backlit keyboard which, I must say, is rather striking with its orange hue. The Malaysian pricing for both is not available yet, but the announcement in Berlin lists the ConceptD 5 Pro at a price starting from US$1,999.99, while the ConceptD 3 Pro prices at US$1,699.99 onwards.
More powerful Swifts
Acer Malaysia also took the chance to showcase the refreshed models of its Swift 5 and Swift 3 notebooks, now with discrete graphics options. These are ultra-portable devices, with the 14-inch Swift 5 weighing a mere 990 grammes while sporting a NVIDIA GeForce MX250, measuring 14.95mm thin.
It will weigh even less if you opt to stick with the newly-updated integrated Intel Iris Pro graphics. Lifting a Swift 5 in one hand never gets old, and with the little time I have, it still works and looks as good as before.
The new Swift 5 can also be configured up to a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, and a maximum of 512GB in PCIe Gen 3x4 SSD storage. The screen features a three-side narrow bezel, achieving a screen-to-body ratio of 86.4%. It also has a full-function USB3.1 Type-C connector that supports Thunderbolt 3.
While technically heavier and thicker, the Swift 3 is still a similarly portable alternative. This 14-incher weighs 1.19kg with a 15.95mm thin chassis, and can now be configured with up to 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU.
Acer says the Swift 3 can deliver 12.5 hours of battery life, with its fast-charging capabilities providing at least four hours of battery life in 30 minutes of charge. With the discrete graphics in tow, we’ll have to wait and see if it achieves those numbers.
No Malaysian pricing yet, though we can get a rough estimate with the IFA 2019 announcement price, which pegs the Swift 5 at US$899.99 and the Swift 3 at US$699.99.