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Acer has laptops galore and more: the best gear it showed at CES 2023
From thin and light OLED laptops and powerful portable gaming rigs to, uh, an exercise bike, here's what it had in store
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Acer’s highlights
🔥 Acer’s got some powerful new gaming laptops coming
🖥️ Two new gaming monitors sound gorgeous
💻 Lots of non-gaming laptops, too, shooting for the MacBook audience, perhaps
🖥️ Big redesigns make Acer’s all-in-ones exciting iMac alternatives
🚲 Acer made an exercise bike!
Acer had a lot to show today at CES, and it wasn’t all standard fare. Sure, there were updates to its premium gaming lines, with new Predator and Nitro gaming laptops – both probable candidates for our best gaming laptops page – but I’m not sure anyone expected an update to the Acer Halo smart speaker or a new exercise bike desk that charges your laptop with your pedal strokes.
Here’s our roundup of everything Acer just debuted in its first round of CES announcements.
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1. New Acer Nitro gaming laptops
The two new Nitro laptops – Acer’s budget gaming laptop line – will come equipped with 13th generation Intel chips and Nvidia GeForce RTX 40-series GPUs – the desktop versions of which are easily among the best GPUs available. Both models will get up to 32GB DDR5 4800 memory and up to 2TB M.2 PCIe Gen 4 SSDs which should mean upwards of 5,000MB/s read/write speeds.
Acer Nitro 16
Acer is giving us a slightly bigger version of the smaller of its Nitro laptops with the Nitro 16. Now a proper 16-inch, the laptop has a choice of WUXGA or WQXGA, 165Hz display and supports Nvidia Advanced Optimus – that means you can switch between the system’s graphics and a discrete card easily. It’ll have an RGB keyboard, naturally.
Acer Nitro 17
The Nitro 17 keeps a 17.3-inch screen, and can be had with either a 144Hz FHD display or a 165Hz QHD one. Acer is offering 13 generation Intel Core HX processors for the Nitro 17.
2. New Acer Predator Helios gaming laptops
Acer announced its new Predator Helios 16 and Helios 18 Windows 11 gaming laptops as well. Both will get new designs and updated thermals, and will be powered by 13th generation versions of the Intel Core i9 and i7 HX processors. Acer hasn’t announced which specific RTX GPU it’ll use in these machines, nor the wattage.
The laptops will get up to 32GB DDR5-4800 RAM and can be configured with up to 2TB PCIe Gen 4 SSDs. The Predator Helios 16 will have a 16:10 WQXGA display available in a 165Hz or 240Hz variant, with a 250HZ Mini LED topping out the lineup. That means great, near-OLED contrast, while Acer promises over 1,000 nits peak brightness and DCI-P3 colors. The Helios 18 will have the same options for its 18-inch screen.
The laptops will have mini-LED backlit keyboards with 1.8mm key travel, with RGB lighting designed to reduce haloing and give more uniform light levels. There will even be a dedicated Mode key to switch lighting modes quickly, and a key for quickly opening Acer’s PredatorSense gaming control center.
The Helios laptops will get lntel Killer Wi-Fi 6E AX1675, which will bring with it important latency improvements, if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router, but should great with the best Wi-Fi router you can get, regardless.
Both will have USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, HDMI 2.1, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 PD ports, and a Micro SD card reader. They’ll start at $1,649 for the Helios 16 and $1,699 for the Helios 18.
3. New Acer Predator gaming monitors
Acer’s new lineup of Predator gaming monitors each boast OLED panels and QHD resolutions. Both will use AMD FreeSync Premium, have 240Hz refresh rates and 0.01ms response times. KVM switches will let you switch between your laptop and desktop without changing your keyboard and mouse. Here are their differences:
This flat 27-inch monitor will have a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution and 98.5% DCI-P3 coverage. 1,000-nit peak brightness should make HDR10 colors pop, especially with the deep contrast offered by the OLED panel.
It has a height-and-tilt-adjustable stand, and while Acer didn’t specify in its release, a short video showed off dual HDMI ports, a DisplayPort port, USB-C with a Thunderbolt logo, two USB-A ports and a USB type-B port (along with what looked like a 3.5mm audio jack). It’ll launch at a decidedly not-cheap $1,099 in Q2 here in North America.
Acer’s Predator X45 is an ultra-wide OLED monitor with a 3,440 x 1,440 resolution. Like the X27U, it’ll have a 98.5 DCI-P3 color gamut, but unlike that monitor, it’s got an 800R curved display. It also has a tilt-and-height-adjustable stand, and is expected to launch at $1,699.
4. New Acer Swift thin-and-light laptops
Acer is dropping three new versions of its Swift thin-and-light laptops, including a new budget line called Swift Go.
Acer Swift Go
The Acer Swift Go will come in 14- and- 16-inch versions, both of which will sport optional high-refresh OLED displays – a 3.2K at 120Hz and a 2.8K at 90Hz, respectively (cheaper models will sport lower-res IPS LCDs). They’ll come with glass touchpads and backlit keyboards, and Acer says the laptops, which will have 13th Gen Intel Core H-series processors on the Intel Evo platform, will get over 9.5 hours of battery life.
Both have PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs – so, very fast storage – and up to 16GB LPDDR5 RAM. Wi-Fi 6E cards will give them good, low-latency wireless speed.
The laptops will feature Intel Movidius VPU for AI applications, and boast Intel Unison, a recent feature that will allow Apple-like synchronicity between your computers and Android devices.
As thin-and-lights go, they’re a bit thick, at 0.59 inches, with the 16-inch model weighing a fairly-scant 3.52 pounds and the 14-incher coming in at 2.76 pounds.
Acer Swift X14
Expect decent gaming performance on the Acer Swift X14, which boasts a 14.5-inch OLED display at a resolution of 2,880 x 1,800 (or a slightly lower-res IPS LCD base model version), with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. It can be configured with up to 16GB RAM and up to 1TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD storage. It’s under an inch thick at 0.7 inches and weighs 3.41 lbs.
The X14 will ship with a GeForce RTX 3050 laptop GPU, but can be configured with the 4050 version. That puts it up there with the lower end of our best gaming laptops, though Acer seems to be aiming this one more at creative types. It has two USB-C ports, an HDMI 2.1 output, and a MicroSD card reader. It even sports a 1080p webcam, all for $1,099
Acer Swift 14
The Acer Swift 14 looks to be a redesigned, less-MacBook-ish laptop than its predecessor, with an IPS LCD display available with up to a 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, max Intel Core i7 processor, up to 32GB RAM, and either 512GB or 1TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD storage. It’ll have a Killer Wireless Wi-Fi 6E 1675i card, so that’s great if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router (great if you don’t, too).
6. SpatialLabs TrueGame 3D Ultra
Acer is updating its SpatialLabs TrueGame glasses-free 3D gaming application to add a new so-called 3D Ultra mode. The mode promises to improve on the work SpatialLabs has done on stereoscopic gaming, with improved depth and realism. Essentially, it promises to remove the odd cardboard cutout effect stereoscopic 3D can give an image, providing individual aspects within your field of view with more actual 3D detail.
Acer says the update will go out at the end of this month, and it will support the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition laptop and the Acer SpatialLabs View display, which, yeah, you’d hope so.
7. Acer Aspire Desktops and Laptops
Aspire all-in-one (AIO) desktops and Aspire laptops are getting a big visual overhaul, along with some new features and spec upgrades, making both lines worth a look for any casual Windows user or creative type.
Aspire S-series AIO desktops
Acer’s massively spruced up its Aspire desktops, creating an attractive, almost bezel-free computer that almost looks like an alternate universe iMac. At the top, where the company’s previous AIOs had a webcam with physical privacy shutter, you now get a magnetically-attached 1080p (or optional 1440p) camera.
Both the displays are WQHD, with a max resolution of 2,560 x 1,400, and 250 nits of brightness, which some may find a bit dim. Acer has shrank the bezels until they’re nearly gone. The 32-inch model will be available with up to a 13th generation Intel Core i7 processor with Intel Arc A-Series graphics, while the 27-inch gets up to 12th generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors with Iris Xe Graphics.
The Acer Aspire AIO will be available in North America in the first quarter of 2023, starting at $1,199.99 for the 27-inch model and $1,699.99 for the 32-inch one.
Like the desktops, the Acer Aspire laptops will see some significant visual changes, leaving them with a blockier, flatter appearance that doesn’t quite abandon the wedge design that previous Aspire models have, but definitely embraces their thickness more.
Appearances aside, the Aspire line will get spec bumps in the form of 13th gen Intel Core processors and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2050 GPUs – for the 15-inch Aspire 5, anyway. The budget Aspire 3 will get Intel Core i3-N processors, with improved cooling that Acer says will let the laptop run longer and cooler.
8. Acer Halo Swing portable smart speaker
Did you know Acer makes Google-Assistant-powered smart speakers? Now you do. And it’s updating the line with a new portable smart speaker that actually looks pretty fun.
This follows up the 2020 release of a wired version, and it looks like it has many of the same features, including an RGB base that responds to the music and a fun LED dot display, similar to the Echo Dot with Clock (5th generation). It has a bucket-style handle, IPX5 water resistance, and Acer promises up to 10 hours listening time.
For connecting and playing music, it offers Wi-Fi streaming, a Bluetooth connection, and physical aux-in all options for hearing your tunes. This is one of the more exciting smart speakers I’ve read about, and I’m definitely going to try to get my hands on one for review to update our best smart speakers page. At press time, no pricing or release date was given.
9. Acer eKinekt Bike Desk
And because Acer needs to have something completely off the wall, the eKinekt Bike Desk was announced today. What is it? Well, it’s a bike desk. A desk attached to an exercise bike. And you can use it – and your legs – to charge your stuff.
Acer says one hour of constant cycling at 60RPMs will give you 75 watts of power – that’s transmitted via two USB-A and a USB-C port to your laptop, phone, tablet, or whatever, so you can keep your device powered while you work, watch movies or exercise programs or whatever else it is you do with your electronics while you bike in place.
The bike desk even comes with a bag hook and cup holder! Finally, it has a couple of physical modes – working mode and sports mode – that let you position the desk back for upright riding while you’re focusing on work, or more forward for when you’re getting your miles in. It even has a companion app that keeps track of stats like distance and burned calories, as well as how many watts you’ve generated.
The price is honestly decent for what it is – Acer is releasing it in North America in June for just $999.