When Acer unveiled the Predator 21 X at IFA 2016, it completely blew our minds. It was huge and hugely powerful and hugely impressive — and we were certain it would have a price tag to match.
And… it is.
If you want a Predator 21 X, it's launching in North America in February 2017 for a starting price of $8,999, and in Europe for €9,999.
Let's refresh what makes this thing worth nine thousand dollars. For starters, it's a 21-inch "laptop" (though it's that in name and form factor only). That 21-inch screen is an ultrawide 21:9 number with 2560x1080 resolution — and it's curved.
Powering what goes onto that huge, curvaceous display is an overclockable 7th-generation Intel Core i7-7820HK quad-core Kaby Lake processor with not one, but two, NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPUs paired in an SLI configuration. That's alongside 64GB of RAM, up to four 512GB SSDs and a 1TB HDD, Killer DoubleShot Pro networking, and Thunderbolt 3. The RAM sticks and HDD are accessible through a maintenance panel above the keyboard.
All of that generates a lot of heat — there are five fans and nine heat pips to help dissipate that heat, plus the Acer CoolBoost app that gives the user control over the fans. Those fans will no doubt make plenty of noise, but you'll have to hear it over the six speakers — two each tweeters, midranges, and subwoofers.
Appropriately for a laptop of this size, Acer's built in a full-size mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches (not the low-profile custom mechanical switches you'll find on the likes of the Razer Blade Pro), along with a flippable numpad/Precision touchpad module to the left. Every key is reprogrammable, and the whole keyboard is illuminated by full RGB backlighting. There's even an included accessory kit to swap the WASD keys with teal keycaps.
If that wasn't enough, Tobii eye tracking tech is built in below the display so you can control games with your gaze in more than 45 titles. And above the screen is a Windows Hello-compatible IR camera for secure log-ins via facial recognition.
It should come as no surprise that this beast of a laptop costs this much, especially when you consider the relatively limited market and production run the Acer Predator 21 X will see. At least that $8,999 also gets you a "custom ultra-durable hard-shell carrying case which securely stores the notebook and accessories." The laptop weighs in at 17 pounds, so here's hoping it has wheels.
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Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.