Hands on with Acer's VR-ready Predator 17 X gaming laptop

It's likely no coincidence that every one of Acer's gaming-focused computers announced at the company's New York event this week featured prominent signage promoting its proficiency in VR.

With the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive making their way to virtual reality early adopters all over the world, Acer is positioning itself as the primary hardware provider for ready-made gaming machines.

The Predator 17 X laptop, the latest in its line of ultra-powerful gaming notebooks, features specs that would make even the most hardcore gamer's eyes water: a 17-inch 4K display (or 1080p, to save a little money); overclocked, triple-fan-cooled Intel Core i7 chips up to 4Ghz; up to 32GB of RAM; Nvidia's desktop-class GTX 980 GPU; and the possibility of an SSD-based RAID 0 array.

To top it off, the machine has a full-sized keyboard, including on-brand red-outlined WSAD and directional arrows, and five macro buttons for pre-programmed shortcuts.

Along the side, a Thunderbolt 3 port facilitates 40Gbps transfer speeds, along with power and daisy-chained external monitor support, along with several HDMI and USB 3.1 ports. There is even a dedicated button to disable the included trackpad, in case aggressive movement while mashing the keyboard accidentally causes a brush of the glass touch surface.

Coming to North America in June for $2,799 and Europe in June for €2,499, the Predator 17 X is not cheap, but if you're in the market for such a laptop you're not likely looking to save money. You've been warned.

Daniel Bader