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Acer goes full beast mode with the 21-inch curved screen Predator 21X gaming "laptop"

Either we need to redefine the term "laptop" or we need to come up with a new term for what this thing is. Because at 21 inches and an untold but incredibly hefty number of pounds, the Acer Predator 21X is not a gaming laptop you should ever consider using on your lap. Maybe on a very sturdy oak table, but never your lap, lest you're in the mood to make your feet go numb. This thing is the laptop version of beast mode: Impractical, overpowered, and oh so awesome.

Let's start with the screen. The 21-inch display is of the ultra-wide 21:9 aspect ratio, sporting a resolution of 2560x1080, and it's hooked up with NVIDIA G-Sync to ensure that your gaming remains crystal clear and lag free. Oh, and this display is curved, because why not? Hell, at this size and distance, a curved screen could actually be immersive. Sitting below that screen is a glossy strip that houses the cameras and sensors that power the Tobii eye-tracking system that Acer demonstrated with Assassin's Creed integration — you literally can look with your eyes and click to fire your weapon.

When it comes to typing, Acer's also not messing around: this sucker sports a full-size RGB-illuminated keyboard with Cherry MX switches. Off to the side is a flippable module that has a numpad on one side and a trackpad on the other — Acer figures most gamers are going to have a serious gaming mouse and wouldn't want that space taken up by the trackpad.

But a keyboard doesn't take up much space when the footprint of this laptop is a 21-inch display. So the upper half of the base includes a customizable and removable panel held in with one screw that provides easy access to the Predator 21X's internals for upgrades. Granted, this is still a laptop, so there's only so much you'll be able to upgrade, namely the RAM and storage drive. Aside from that, you'll find a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processor (overclocked, obviously) and not just one, but two graphics cards: A pair of NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPUs running with SLI parallel processing. All of this is kept cool by a quintet of fans, including one that Acer stuck underneath a glass panel so you could watch it spin away in cool blue LED light.

So yeah, this isn't so much a "laptop" as it is a "portable all-in-one gaming rig with a screen that happens to fold down over the keyboard". Acer didn't give any indication, but there's no way battery life is going to be anywhere near a strong suit for this beast. In addition to the unanswered question of "what do we call this?!?!", other more material questions — like availability and pricing — also are up in the air. Acer says that pre-orders for the Predator 21X will open up later this year, and as for pricing... well, it won't be cheap.

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.

  • I think I'm in love...
  • Does it have a built-in UPS, err battery?
  • Battery life: bring your wall cable. Calling it a "charger" would be disingenuous.
  • This might well be the first laptop whose battery life is measured with a stopwatch :P
  • Lol
  • Sorry honey, you can't dry the clothes tonight. I need to use the dryer cable to charge my "laptop".
  • Gotta love those high-amp lines... But somebody needs to switch to natural gas ;) /s
  • Jay Leno did a skit a long time ago about big cars. He pulled his car into a gas station and he had a little person play the attendant to make the car look huge. While Jay is speaking to the audience, the attendant interrupts him and says, "Can you shut the engine off Mr. Leno? You're getting ahead of me." I think that may apply to this laptop.
  • doksdokenfnepsdpkmviprowplefm. .... geez.....
  • The term you are looking for is "Desktop Replacement"
  • We have been assuming the GPU's and CPU are all BGA on this. If not, and they are MXM, then they will have the beast market all to themselves as everyone else has gone to BGA at this point. Would be a nice surprise if they were.
  • So the curved screen doesn't fit flush with the base...why didn't they just curve the keyboard base as well? Also, why do all gaming laptops have to look like Christian Bale's batman costume? It was cool in 2008. It's just tacky now.
  • True. That design looks very cheap. 
  • More like many of the gaming branded hardware tend to have this kind of looks. Though admittedly they're not that bad in person, some actually looks nice and badass, but yeah it's kinda tacky. I hope that more OEM will just have a gaming-class hardware that have looks where I can take it on corporate meetings that don't look like I'm using some alien artifact or car engine. Something looks sleek and clean. On desktop PC, many case manufacturers are now offering sleek looking cases, still PC enthusiasts and gamers love them. I wish that major OEM will offer something like those on laptops and prebuilt gaming desktop PCs. Razer at least is offering hardware that looks sleek, though kinda wish that it wasn't way too MacBook-like.
  • Portable Desktop? Mobiltop?
  • Well, I was goiing to ask "How much" but, I guess it's one of those type of things.... If you have to ask how much....You cant afford it... Still VERY Freaking cool...
  • Read somewhere, $5k+
  • Its the Dos Equis Laptop: "I don't always travel, but when I do, I like to take the kitchen sink..."
  • @jacobdrj: Hahaha rotflmao
  • On an airplane with that laptop, we'd have to ask the agent for seats A, B & C.
  • If i could afford it I would call it my precious :). This look like a beast tho. My friends better start saving for my next birthday:) plenty of time for them to do so.
  • God, this is the very definition of ugly. It's going to be difficult getting those images off my retina...
  • Found the non-gamer
  • I agree with wizzackr... it looks terribly ugly. They should have put more though into a design.
  • Would love to get my hands on this, but I am sure it will be $5k+ but one can dream, maybe when that high paying job shows up ;)
  • With today's screen technology the resolution isn't good enough, it should be in the 4k spectrum. Keyboard is also nasty looking, I prefer MSI laptop for games, but this thing should be called a mobile desktop.
  • 4k on 21/9 21" screen. Good job, marketing loves you!
  • With today's screen technology the resolution isn't good enough, it should be in the 4k spectrum. Keyboard is also nasty looking, I prefer MSI laptop for games and this thing should be called a mobile desktop.
  • This thing makes my already heavy laptop a feather.
  • I loved how the guy from Acer in the video got bored of listing specs and just went "Intel 7th gen has everything!" ahahahah
  • That was a highlight for me too.
  • I would call it a portable desktop, hopefully it's fully upgrade
  • 18lbs or 8kg. And $5k+
  • G33kgasm...
  • At this point they should just make it a AIO pc and be done... You can't possibly game on that with ease, gamers move their keyboard when playing with this one you can't..
  • I think I'd seriously have to see this thing in person before considering a purchase. 
  • The monster truck of laptops :)
  • Man I hate curved screens with a passion.
  • Does this include a complimentary back brace?
  • I will probably never buy one, but this thing... My inner geek just got a hard on.
  • 2 gtx 1080 impressive
    That what u call a desktop replacement except in pricing though
  • Used to have an Amstrad PPC640. We called them "luggables" back then. This thing is obviously a beast, but so much fail with the sticker in dead-space above keyboard - could have made a pocket for cell-phone or a small popup touchscreen there, something.
  • I mean, they have to fit only 2 graphics cards, 5 fans, 8 storage devices, etc, etc.
  • Screen not being 4K is somehow waste of the powerhouse built in.
  • It's already expensive enough. Putting a curved 4K display in at 21-inches would make that go up yet again. And for what? Gaming at 4K isn't exactly mainstream yet.
  • This laptop isn't mainstream, and dual 1080s should be able to handle it
  • Monster Inc.
  • Huge.
  • But will it run Crysis?
  • Yes, Yes it will.
  • Gone are those days when the 8800GTX was the only card that broke all the records, including the Crysis benchmarks, followed by the HD4970.
  • This is Crazy :D
  • WHy not just build a full on PC on a rig with wheels, stop fannying about and do it properly :P
  • My parents are gonna buy this for me for Christmas. Just kidding
  • It moved a little when i saw this. Is that wrong?
  • I say that if they're going to go this big, might as well give us a real wireless keyboard and mouse that can be moved around relative to the huge display. The biggest flaw of any laptop is its fixed ergonomics. Oh, and throw in a couple controllers and a foldable screen cover that can serve as a mousepad, too:
  • Is anybody else getting flashbacks to the Dell XPS M2010?
  • This seems tailor made for LAN parties. Are LAN parties still a thing?