Acer had one of its mega-events this morning, when it announced a year’s worth of computing products all at once. By my count there are thirteen new laptops, seven new monitors, plus a few desktops and a Google smart speaker. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
Chromebook Spin 513
Acer has been one of the most prolific manufacturers of budget-priced Chromebooks, but this is its first model based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c platform, a variant of the 700-series phone SoCs designed specifically for laptops.
It’s a convertible 13-inch laptop with a fairly standard design, but its mobile-focused layout and claimed 14-hour battery life are pretty decent. It’s also a fairly rare find thanks to a low starting price with the option to add 4G LTE capability on top.
Other notable features include Gorilla Glass on the screen and touchpad, dual USB-C ports plus an older A port. We don’t know the full spec sheet for the new Spin 513, like RAM or storage, and who knows how much adding that mobile connection will cost. But the base model will be just $399 when it launches in February of 2021. An enterprise version, compatible with the new Parallels tool to run Windows software, will launch a month later. It’ll start at $699.
Porsche Design Acer Book RS
Acer’s new flagship Windows laptop is a collaboration with Porsche Design, as the company has done many times before. The Porsche Design Acer Book RS (not even its full name!) is a fairly typical clamshell laptop, with an all-metal CNC-milled chassis (presumably aluminum or magnesium alloy) and an automotive-inspired carbon fiber cover on top. Underneath is a 14-inch HD touchscreen.
The laptop packs the latest Intel processors, up to an 11th-gen Core i7, with an option for a discrete GeForce MX350 GPU upgrade. It maxes out at 16GB of RAM, and complies with Intel’s Evo laptop design standards. USB-C, USB-A, and full-sized HDMI ports run along the side. It’s packing a fingerprint sensor for Windows Hello, and Acer says it can last for up to 17 hours on a charge.
Despite the high-profile partnership, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS has a surprisingly low starting price: just $1399 for the base model. A premium package, featuring a Core i7 version of the notebook and a matching Bluetooth mouse and travel pack ($110 and $350 separately), will cost $2000. Acer has not announced a precise date for the laptop.
New Spin 3 and Spin 5
One of Acer’s most popular mid-range models, the convertible Spin 3 has been updates with a new 16:10 13-inch screen, 11th-gen Core processors with Xe integrated graphics, and options for dual SSD drives. The notebook has a docked stylus and a wide array of ports, including two USB-C, two USB-A, HDMI, and MicroSD.
The updated version of the Spin 3 will be available in March starting at $850. The Spin 4 gets the same upgrades, with a 3:2 screen ratio and an option for anti-microbial coating. It starts at $1000, available in February.
Acer’s go-to workhorse is the new Swift 3X. The big news for this 14-inch laptop is that it’s packing Intel’s Iris Xe Max discrete graphics card, paired up with 11th-gen Core processors. Otherwise it’s a fairly standard clamshell laptop, though the navy blue body and splash of teal color on the hinge is unique and eye-catching. Acer claims it can last up to 17.5 hours.
It’s packing a Windows Hello fingerprint reader, two USB-C ports, a full-sized HDMI port, and USB-C for data and charging. The Swift 3X will start surprisingly low for a laptop with a discrete graphics card, just $849 when it launches in December.
- Aspire 5 14-inch, 15.6-inch, 17-inch: Upgraded with 11th-gen Core processors, discrete MX450 GPUs are optional. Availability starting in December starting at $500.
- ConceptD 7 and Concept D7 Pro: 10th-gen Core processors, redesigned thermal components. Coming in December starting at $3300.
- TravelMate P4, Spin P4, and P2: rugged laptops with MID-STD 810G protection and LTE eSIM options. All three have 11th-gen Core processors, starting at $800 in December.
- Predator XB273U NV: 27-inch QHD IPS, up to 170Hz. Available in January for $550.
- Predator XB253Q GW: 24.5-inch, 1080p, G-Sync, IPS, up to 28oHz. Available in January for $430.
- Predator XB323U GX: 32-inch QHD, 270Hz. $900 in January.
- Predator X34 GS: 34-inch 3440×1440 ultrawide, 270Hz. $1000 in January.
- Nitro XV272U KV: 27-inch QHD IPS panel, 170Hz. $400 in December.
- Nitro XV272 LV: 27-inch 1080p IPS panel, 165Hz. $280 in December.
- CBL272U: 27-inch panel, QHD resolution, 1ms response time, and Eyesafe certification. $300 in January.
- 18L ConceptD 300: A small, stylish desktop PC with a wood panel top. Configurations go up to 10th-gen Core processors, an RTX 3070 GPU, and 64GB of RAM. Available in China later this month and Europe in November, prices start at 1300 Euro.
- Chromebox CXI4: A tiny Chrome desktop that starts at $260, launching in Q1 2021. Hardware options go up to a 10th-gen Core i7, with a mix of Type-C and Type-A USB ports, dual HDMI, and Wi-Fi 6.
Halo smart speaker
Acer announced its own version of a Google/Nest smart speaker, the Halo Smart Speaker. The company boasts that it can handle 360-degree sound with DTS quality, and it has an integrated dot display under the fabric cover with RGB lighting on the base. It’ll cost $109 when it launches in the first quarter of 2021.