Acer's new Concept D line for creative professionals makes sense for Acer


The Acer Desk Concept D 500 has a trendy look that does not suit all tastes.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Sitting in the audience watching Acer proudly announces its new Concept D line "high-end desktops, laptops and high-end screens designed for professional and amateur designers", my heart beats a little faster. Xeons and Quadros and ECC memory, oh my god!

Acer spoke of the need to "spark emotions" with material design. Quiet operation of less than 40 decibels. Two desktops, three laptops, two monitors and a headset marked a commitment to a market where other gaming companies have stepped into the water – really hardened: for example, MSI dipped a thin laptop in white, because white seems to be the color of the day to seduce the creators.

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The Acer Concept D line for creative puts the power


Then I went to see all the new bright toys and my heart rate returned to normal.

Acer has clearly reflected on new hardware in its attempt to convert the market for 3D design professionals, video editing, photo retouching and others who buy gaming systems for their power – Predator Gaming is an essential part of Acer's business, and despite all the baggage provided with gaming equipment, such as flashy lighting systems and overwhelming control centers.


The Concept D 900 with its two sparse USB-A ports in the front. On the other hand, it is a system that you should probably hide under your desk and ignore.

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Desktop computers seem really original. They bear no similarity to the other gaming computers in the company, which is a very good thing because there is probably no way to make them more subtle.

The Concept D 900 still made my heart beat a little. It's a complete workstation, but the caller seems to be the kiss of death these days. It has an industrial-looking black case, two 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors, Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 graphics cards, support for up to 192GB of ECC memory, and plenty of room to go. # 39; extension. Get ready to spend at least $ 20,000, although it's in the right stage considering the few components we know.

But he does not seem to have received the treatment of calm. Since it's already gigantic – it's only 18 inches tall, which gives it the illusion of being small but 25 inches deep (even the HP Z8 monster has only 21 , 5 inches]- it seems that Acer could have found room for more calm and passive cooling. Acer has not addressed hardware security either, although it is quite possible that this is not really the target audience.


The Acer Concept D 500 dares to be different, but you will never be able to confuse this "wood grain inspired pattern" with real wood.

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The Concept D 500, also (a workstation in a low voice) a workstation, adopts a more organic style, although I think its faux wood top and rounded white front look a bit like this litter box for cats . But this top has a set of usable ports: three USB-A ports and one USB-C, plus headphone and microphone jacks, an SD card slot and a Qi wireless charger on top. It's a bit lower than the 900, with an i9-9900K and a Quadro RTX 4000. It starts at $ 1,699, but who knows what the configuration is for. I guess the top model will run around $ 3,300.

It has quieter cooling system, like laptops. But too many gaming laptops using Nvidia's Max-Q architecture – representing a similar promise lower than 40 dB – have taught me that this is usually only possible when the system is strangled. a lot. So you can usually have calm or fast, but not both. We will see if Acer overcame this compromise.


If you were wondering what happened to the Predator Triton 900, say "hello" to Concept D 9.

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S & # 39; falter

When we arrived at the laptops and monitors, the disappointment began to set in. Remember the impressive Predator Triton 900 unveiled at IFA in August 2018, then again at CES 2019, who was to ship last month? Look again – that's the D Concept 9.

On the one hand, I think this adaptation is promising. The articulated screen works much better in an art and design notebook than in a video game. All the more so that Acer has endowed with a 17-inch 4K Adobe RGB touchscreen, in true-to-life colors, also incorporating Wacom's EMR technology (that of the professionals) and the latest technology. a stylus provided, which can be connected magnetically.

The result is kind of a Microsoft Surface Studio wearable experience, though, ironically, with much better components, such as an unnamed ninth-generation Core i9 processor (possibly the infamous i9-9980HK) and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 graphic. As you can flip the screen to 180 degrees, you can use it for meetings with clients. It weighs 9 kg (4 kg), however, as can be expected.

But the execution is a little disappointing, partly because of its roots in gaming computers. (The use of Killer Ethernet E3000 is also evident.The E3000 supports an Ethernet network at 2.5 Gbps, but the system specifications indicate that it is a problem. a gigabit Ethernet, hopefully this is an oversight.)

The models I saw were engineering samples. I hope so – please, please – that there will be some changes before the launch. But the keyboard? Ugh. The most mushi touches I've ever felt. The right touchpad? One of those awful touch pads that plagues gaming laptops, and located on the right side rather than under the keyboard. These are things that matter to a lot of players, but that matter to the rest of us. It was almost as if the company had told the development team, "You can pick a thing to change the Triton and that's it.


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Recycle and reuse

Then we come to the low-end concepts Concept D 7 and 5. Both are equipped with high-precision 4K 15.6-inch color displays with 100% Adobe RGB coverage.

The 7? Oh look. This is the Triton 500 soaked in white, incorporating the mystery of the ninth generation Core i7 (the famous i7-9850H, perhaps?), and going up to a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q. It has a different grid and lacks the Turbo button, which probably indicates that you can not overclock the GPU as you can with the Triton, and of course, it does not have any special highlighted game keys.

Now it makes great sense for companies to use existing designs across all product lines. HP and Dell, who have large workstations, will make you die of death. But their mobile workstations – forgive me, laptops for the creative ones – are based on their sleek classic models, not on their Presage or Alienware notebooks. Gaming laptops tend to appeal only to people who like the game's aesthetics.

Yes, its display is better than the Triton. But again, it's as if the team could only choose one thing to change.

Given the miserable battery life of the 500 battery – in our tests, the battery life was less than two and a half hours with discrete graphics – and its tendency to become too hot and powerful (see Max. Q above), which puts more the power suction display is not good either. The battery life does not matter when you play because you are usually connected to power. But everyone needs a longer life.

The Concept D 5? The Aspire 7 laptop "Casual Gaming" (the new, most stylish) is immersed in white, with a better screen. It uses Intel i7-8705G or i5-8305G processors with AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics. aspirate is The range of premium laptops from Acer. These processors also let your fans blow, heat and consume the battery quickly. I therefore doubt that the noise demand of 40 dB is also valid.

And one of the main assets of this white: although the construction is sustainable according to the leaders to whom I spoke, the treatment to color it in white really gives the impression of plasticky. It is also a flat, white chalk, without any heat. All whites are not created equal. I really hope it was a random sample of engineering.

Finally, on the monitors. The CM7321K is a 32K, 4K DisplayHDR 1000 display using mini LED technology to provide more than 1,100 local dimming areas, covering 90% of the 2020 Rec (but in particular, unpretentious accuracy). I have not had the opportunity to see this one – it's a new panel – but it sounds good. And that's better for its price of $ 2999.

The second monitor, the CP7271K, measures 27 inches in 4K with a refresh rate of 144Hz and G-sync Ultimate – formerly known as G-Sync HDR – with its fast refresh rates and maximum brightness of 1000 nit. This one claims color accuracy and 100% Adobe RGB coverage.

And I can probably attest to that because it seems to be identical to the Predator X27 that I've tested. Not even soaked in white. Just a more serene support – matched faux wood! – and without lighting. No support for storing custom color profiles in hardware, which is even more important for HDR than for SDR. And I really hope that Acer refines the built-in color profiles and on-screen menus because they are do not precision or normal-human friendly.

When can you get your hands on these in the United States?

  • Concept D 900: May, starting at $ 19,999
  • Concept D 500: June, starting at $ 1,699
  • Concept D 9: June, starting at $ 4,999
  • Concept D 7: April, starting at $ 2,299
  • Concept D 5: April, starting at $ 1,699
  • Concept D CM7321K: September, starting at $ 2,999
  • Concept D CP7271K: July, starting at $ 1,999

The prices and availability of the UK and Australia have yet to be announced.

$ 3,499

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