Acer amazed the world last September when it announced a laptop with a 21” curved display, a quad-core Intel Core i7 “Kaby Lake” CPU with an unlocked multiplier, two graphics processors, a mechanical keyboard, and other features of a desktop PC. Then the company surprised once again, when it disclosed pricing of the Predator 21X in early January: at $8999, the machine is one of the most expensive gaming notebooks ever. By now, the PC is available, but this Predator will be a rare beast because only 300 will be made.

The final version of the Predator 21 X notebook got Intel’s quad-core Core i7-7820HK CPU with an unlocked multiplier and overclocking capabilities, two GeForce GTX 1080 GPUs with 16 GB of GDDR5 memor,  as well as 64 GB of DDR4 RAM — specifications that even few gaming desktops can match. The storage sub-system of the Predator 21 X also resembles that of an SFF or AIO desktop: the machine can fit in four M.2 SSDs (NVMe or SATA) and one 2.5” hard drive. Acer ships the system with two 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSDs working in RAID 0 as well as one 1 TB 7200 RPM HGST HDD, but the system is upgradeable and owners can install almost whatever they want eventually.

They key selling point of the Predator 21 X is its curved 21” IPS display panel with a 2560×1080 resolution, a 120 Hz refresh rate, and NVIDIA’s G-Sync dynamic refresh rate technology. After trying out the Predator 21 X at Computex, I cannot say that curvature on a monitor of this size is any more immersive to me, but it may work in a very dark room. In addition to curvature, the notebook also has Tobii infrared eye-tracking sensors, which opens up different user experiences in games that support the appropriate tech. Meanwhile the audio sub-system is also worth mentioning as it has four integrated speakers and two built-in subwoofers.

Acer Predator 21 X
  GX21-71-76ZF
Display Size 21"
Type 21" curved IPS
Resolution 2560×1080
Refresh Rate 120 Hz
CPU Core i7-7820HK (4C/8T, 8 MB, 2.9/3.9GHz)
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 in SLI with G-Sync support
RAM 64 GB DDR4
Storage M.2 4 slots, two 512 GB SSDs with PCIe 3.0 x4 interface in RAID 0 installed
2.5" 1 bay, 1 TB HDD installed
Wi-Fi 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.x
Ethernet GbE
USB 4 × USB 3.0 Type-A (one supports charging)
Thunderbolt × USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3 connector
Display Outputs 2 × DisplayPort 1.4
1 × HDMI 2.0b
Keyboard Mechanical backlit keyboard with programmable keys
Other I/O Microphone, stereo speakers, audio jacks, webcam, Tobii eye tracking
Dimensions Width 22.4" | 56.9 cm
Depth 12.4" | 31.5 cm
Thickness 2.71” – 3.3” | 68.8 mm – 83.82 mm
Battery Li-ion, 6000 mAh
Weight 18.74 lbs (8.5 kilograms)
Price $8999 in the U.S.

As one would expect from a laptop that is 2.71” – 3.3” (68.8 mm – 83.82 mm) thick and weighs 18.74 lbs (8.5 kilograms), the Predator 21 X has all the connectivity that one might ever need (just like high-end desktops), including 2×2 802.11ac + Bluetooth Wi-Fi module, a Gigabit Ethernet port, one Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C) port, four USB 3.0 Type-A connectors, an HDMI 2.0 output, two DisplayPort 1.4 headers, and an SD card reader. For input, the Acer Predator 21 X uses a mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches with five programmable buttons. The numeric keypad does not have mechanical switches, but it can be flipped and turned into a touchpad.

From performance point of view, the Predator 21 X has rivals from ASUS and MSI, but when it comes to its curved 21”/120 Hz display panel, it does not really have direct competitors (except desktops, of course). Meanwhile, the panel itself is custom, which adds to the cost of an already expensive machine. After considering performance, dimensions and price, Acer figured out that demand for a laptop that is priced at $8999 will be limited, and instead of trying to reduce the price tag, decided to make an ultra-exclusive product out of its Predator 21 X. The company will only produce 300 of such machines (referring to 300 Spartans?), each of which will have an individual number. The Acer Predator 21 X will ship in a Pelican-style case that can be “repurposed” and actually be used as a luggage.

Despite the price and dimensions, the Predator 21 X is sold out at Amazon.com in the U.S., but is still available from Micro Center and Newegg.

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Source: Acer

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  • close - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Giving it a collector-type value was the only way to sell this... Reply
  • willis936 - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    That's 300 too many. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    300 fools and their money.... Reply
  • peterfares - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    300 people with enough money that $9000 is chump change Reply
  • geekman1024 - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    300 Sparta. Nuf said. Reply
  • HollyDOL - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - link

    For 9k you can get new entry level car here...
    No way I'd pay that for a laptop.

    ... then again, my first PC had 4MB RAM and just those sticks cost over $600 so I should be queit.
    Reply
  • Morawka - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    are you kidding me? that thing is sick. Look at the craftsmanship.. I know the price is high, but i've never seen a SLI laptop look that good. The keyboard and keyboard top plate really look good. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - link

    Preaching to the pope here mate.

    willis / Dan / peter are not living out of a suitcase, or they'd instantly understand this machine.

    At $9k, its a bit too sweet for my tastes even, but the nail in the coffin is not the price, it is the 1080 verticle resolution.

    I'm still stuck with my Alienware 18, which is an 1080p 18.4" panel, because I *need* a large screen as this is my work tool. I broke, and tried to pull the plug on an Alienware 17 with GTX1080 last month when in the states, but Dell couldn't ship in time, gladly.

    I really want another large-screen laptop, but I want it thinner like the XPS 15, so I guess I'll be using this AW18 for the forseeable future then.
    Reply
  • close - Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - link

    Then you'd be living out of 2 suitcases :).
    I get the whole "power on the go" concept but this? You can't carry it every day so I assume you have to be living in a hotel for months at a time. For $9000 you're better off buying a PC and shipping it where you need it :).

    It's a 9Kg laptop. Add to it accessories and the case and you end up with something that's simply not mobile. You can't use it without a (sturdy) table, you can't take it on the plane as hand luggage, most people would have a hard time carrying it comfortably from their house door to the taxi.

    This is not the mobile workstation you're looking for :). It's an impractical concept which might have brought Acer some experience with building big machines. But for the consumer it's just a "collectible". Which is why they announced the limited run. Whoever buys it probably does so because only 300 are made, not to actually lug it around.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Thursday, June 15, 2017 - link

    @ close

    I do live out of hotels for months at a time. When it was all on expenses, I was platinum on most hotel chains. Per diem changes all that. Just his year I've done UK, Thailand, HK & mainland China , Colombia, and got back from Japan two weeks ago, and will be in South Korea on Tuesday. Last year was crazy too, year before not so much as I was busy with my Cisco certs. But that has been been my life since 1998, and so I'm on my 6th DTR machine.

    My AW18 is <6kg. Power brick 1.8kg. Add a small bag of dongles, serial cables etc, and everything still feels OK in the Alienware backpack. The Mrs complains though if she has to retrieve it from the car, and so its not acceptable weight to everyone.

    Imagine how many console windows you could have open with that wide screen...

    PS: I tried carrying a PC around with me, it was not practicle. Monitor broke on the first journey, and I had much trouble at the check in desk as carry on
    Reply

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