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Acer unveils Intel GPU-toting laptops, revamped Chromebooks and an Alexa-killing smartspeaker

(Image credit: Acer)
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Acer has unveiled its latest range of laptops, monitors, and more at their October 2020 Next@Acer event, with new devices in the Swift, Aspire, Predator, Travelmate and ConceptD range.

Whilst the conference itself certainly won’t be winning any awards for presentation, the awkward transitions and comical infomercial acting can be forgiven when looking at the announced products and partnerships. 

(Image credit: Acer)

Porsche Design Acer Book RS

In a somewhat surprising move, Porsche Design has teamed up with Acer to create a minimalist laptop. In a less surprising announcement (for those familiar with the cost of previous Porsche Design collaborations at least), this slim designer laptop will set you back $1,400 (around £1070, AU$1970) for the base model and a hefty $2,000 (around £1530, AU$2820) for the “premium package”. 

Powered by the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU, and an optional Nvidia MX350 GPU, the overall expected performance is nothing to sniff at – but it’s certainly the branded metal and carbon fiber body you’re paying for. The Porsche Design Acer Travelpack adds some extra style and functionality thanks to a water-repellent carrying case made from Ecco Palermo leather and a wireless Bluetooth mouse (with additional carbon fiber, because why not).

(Image credit: Acer)

Planet9 rolls out SigridWave 

Planet9, Acer’s gaming social community platform has announced something rather incredible. SigridWave, Acers AI translation tool claims to be able to translate voice communications across languages in real-time. 

What makes SigridWave unique is that it has been trained specifically for the purpose of gaming, able to even translate jargon and acronyms associated with gaming such as “camping” and “ADS”. SigridWave has so far been trained with over 1,000 hours of game-centric speech (voice + transcript) and 10 million bilingual sentence pairs, enabling it to efficiently relay detected messages into a language that the user can understand.

SigridWave will have a closed beta in late 2020, during which time it will be available for two-way translation between English and Mandarin in a number of major FPS titles such as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.

(Image credit: Acer)

ConceptD updates 

Acer’s ConceptD machines are aimed at graphics and video professionals who often require high power and beefy graphics. At the Acer event, the company added a mid-sized tower to its range of desktop PCs and updated its flagship laptops, the ConceptD 7 and 7 Pro. These new machines are expected to drop in late 2020.

The ConceptD 7 Pro promises raw power, with a design that rivals the Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro in portability, offering a professional-grade workstation with up to an 8-core processor and commercial-level Nvidia Quadro graphics. It may also be worth noting that these laptops were the only machines still using a 10th generation core i7, with other announced products utilizing the latest 11th gen intel CPU’s

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Swift 3x 

One of the more exciting announcements was the reveal of the Acer Swift 3x, running on 11th Gen Intel Tiger Lake CPUs. This beast contains Intel’s Iris Xe Max, Intel’s new discrete GPU. and comes with a promise of a whopping 17.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. It was also noted that this laptop uses fast-charging, giving you 4 hours of usage from a 30-minute charge.

If the battery life promise lives up to its claims, it's a sure contender for our best laptops list, and a good workstation rival to the rumored Apple Silicon Macbook

(Image credit: Acer)

Acer Chromebook Spin 513 

The vast majority of Chrome OS devices today use Intel chipsets. Acer is breaking that mold with the Chromebook Spin 513, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c platform. The new models pair an ultraportable design, at just 2.64lbs, with fast and efficient performance, and Gorilla Glass on the 13.3-inch full HD IPS display with a 78% screen-to-body ratio.

There is also the promise of 14 hours of battery life, 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128 GB of storage – making this a nifty little work machine, and perfect for commuting.

(Image credit: Acer)

New gaming monitors

Acer has announced a fleet of new gaming monitors in its Predator and Nitro lineups. As with the company’s laptops, the Predator line offers more high-end, feature-packed options whereas the Nitro line is more budget friendly.

Three new Predator XB3 Series monitors deliver topline performance with Nvidia G-Sync compatible technology, VESA DisplayHDR images and fast refresh rates.The Predator X34 GS features a large 34-inch curved IPS panel that extends the peripheral view for deeply immersive gameplay. Two models even sport reactive RGB strip lighting on the back, to frame the screen with light that changes to the music beat and game color scheme. 

Two new Nitro Series monitors provide all of the essentials needed to enjoy modern games and introduce TÜV Rheinland Eyesafe certified technology, to reduce eye fatigue.

(Image credit: Acer)

Halo Smart Speaker

The Acer Halo Smart Speaker comes packed with Google Assistant and another feature almost no other smart home audio device currently has — DTS sound, to provide rich, high-quality audio that is projected in 360 degrees to fill any room. RGB base-lighting is customizable via Acer's associated app, and it also syncs up with music to give the room it's placed in a bit more ambience. The speaker even has LEDs to visualise the weather outside and other images.

Overall, this year's conference has given us some exciting new products and some lofty promises of battery life and performance. With the varied release dates scattered between late 202 and early 2021, it may be some time until we know for sure what lives up to expectations.

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, covering hardware, PC gaming and peripherals. She also likes to dabble in digital art and can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.