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

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.