Acer shows off new gaming tech at IFA 2018

Last Updated July 5th, 2021

When we wrote about Acer’s press conference at IFA 2016, we predicted that their gigantic Predator 21 X laptop was just a headline-generating prototype that would never see production. Lo and behold, we were wrong, and Acer actually did make the Predator 21 X available to those in the public that could afford it.

This year, Acer is back at it again with an equally exciting and equally impractical reveal for gamers to fantasize about.

A Throne of Games

Capping off Acer’s stage presentation, CEO Jason Chen introduced the Predator Thronos, which is a cockpit of sorts designed with gamers in mind. The Thronos consists of a gaming chair, mounted keyboard tray, and monitors suspended from an overhead arm all sitting on a futuristic metal pedestal. When users sit in the chair, the keyboard tray slides into position in front of them while up to three 27-inch monitors descend to encompass their field of view. The experience is no doubt very immersive.

The system also reclines, adjusting the angle of the monitors, keyboard tray, and even the chair. To support the users dangling legs, a convenient leg rest swings out when in this position. Long gaming sessions has never looked so comfortable.

Finally, what immersive gaming system would be complete without rumble feedback? The Thronos features a deep impact vibration function that will respond to in-game events. At the IFA Thronos demo station, users could feel boulders crashing next to them while they played Tomb Raider.

Acer hasn’t announced a release date, but they are targeting before the end of the year. The company also hasn’t announced pricing, but it’s a good bet that this rig will be very expensive. The closest competitor to the Thronos is the Emperor Work Environment by MWE Lab. Pricing a similar configuration to the Thronos costs roughly $11,000, and that doesn’t include the monitors or the essential gaming PC and peripherals. So, if the cost of the Thronos is comparable to the Emperor, and you’re building a system from scratch, then expect to spend approximately $15,000. Regrettably, even with that large investment, Acer neglected to include cupholders.

Floating Screen and 3-D Fans

The Predator Triton 700 is getting a successor in the form of the Triton 900.

This relatively thin laptop gets some enhancements that gamers probably weren’t asking for, most noticeably, a floating screen. Some may remember the Dell Inspiron Duo from around 2010 which had a similar design, allowing the screen to flip around 180 degrees. The marketing videos for the Triton 900 shows the screen being positioned closer to the top of the keyboard, which is interesting. The keyboard is situated lower and, therefore, closer to the user, but it’s difficult to argue that the display needed a function that brought the screen closer to the user as well.

The display is a touchscreen, so there might be some value in flipping the screen around, closing the laptop, and using it as a tablet, but that would make the Triton 900 one unwieldly slate. For gaming purposes, enthusiasts will be happy to know that the screen offers 4K resolution and G-sync. We’ll have to wait for benchmarks to see how those features affect battery life.The Triton 900 continues the inconsistent trend of placing the trackpad on the right side of the keyboard. Here, it doubles as a number pad similar to other laptops, like the Asus Zephyrus and others. This design makes sense for forward-placed keyboard layouts, and is probably less awkward than the solution used on the Triton 700, which situated the trackpad above the keyboard.

Finally, Acer’s new fourth generation Aeroblade 3-D fan is used in the cooling solution. Modeled after owl wings, the fan blades feature serrated edges and winglets to reduce noise-creating turbulence and push more air. The explainer videos claim a 10% increase in efficiency over the previous Aeroblade design.

Other Highlights

Acer also put some focus on two of their desktop systems. The first is the Predator X, which offers two Xeon processors and up to 12 ECC DIMM slots. This system is designed for gamers who are also content creators and need more multitasking ability. The marketing video shows images of Nvidia’s new RTX video cards, so expect them to be options when this product becomes available.

Lastly, the Predator Orion 9000 also had some time on stage. Chen paid special attention to the EMI shielding that’s built into the case, and also the addressable lighting. Using Acer’s proprietary Predator Pulse software, users can sync specific case lights to their activities, like music. The Predator Orion 9000 is one of the few products showcased at the IFA Acer stage event that is already available to buy. The top of the line model, however, is $7999.99.

For a complete list of all of Acer’s new products and technologies shared at IFA 2018, including their mainstream offerings like the Swift and Aspire lines, visit Acer’s [email protected] page on their website.