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Acer's Back-to-School Lineup: Ultrabooks, Gaming Rigs, 2-in-1s

Laptop makers reserve three times of the year to announce most new models: the holiday season, late winter just after CES and back-to-school shopping time. Though students won't be heading off to a new year of college or high school until August, the spring months are when we see vendors start to show off their new wares. At at a press event in New York today (April 27), Acer took the wraps off of several different laptops, targeted at mainstream consumers and gamers. 

Acer Swift 1

Acer Swift 1

Other: 13.3-inch, 1080p display | Other: Pentium / Celeron CPU | Other: 4GB of RAM | 64 / 128 /256GB SSD Dimensions: 12.5 x 8.9 x 0.59 inches Weight

A lightweight laptop, super-slim laptop for consumers on a budget, the 13-inch Swift 1 is available in a three different colors -- silver, metallic pink and gold -- and weighs just 2.86 pounds. Though available with only a middling Pentium or Celeron processor, it has a 1080p display and SSD for sharp images and speedy load times. Available:June 2017

Acer Swift 3

Acer Swift 3

Other: 14- or 15.6-inch, 1080p display | Other: Nvidia graphics (chip undisclosed) | Other: 128 / 256 / 512GB SSD or 500GB / 1TB / 2TG HDD | USB Type-C port Dimensions: 13.3 x 9.21 x 0.7 inches (14-inch model) / 15.1 x 10 x 0.74 inches (15-inch model) Weight

Available in 14- or 15-inch sizes, the Swift 3 is a general-purpose large Ultrabook for the masses. It's available in three colors, including silver, metallic pink and, my favorite, dark blue. It comes with a variety of 7th Generation Intel Core Series CPUs, a 1080p screen and your choice of hard drives or SSDs for storage. A special edition is available with Gorilla Glass top cover on its lid, which will hold a custom pattern or photo. Available:June 2017

Acer Switch 3

Acer Switch 3

Other: Celeron / Pentium CPU | Other: 1080p screen | front and rear cameras Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.9 x 0.39 inches (tablet only) Weight

A budget-minded 2-in-1 with strong specs for the price, the Switch 3 comes with a 12.2-inch 1080p display, a detachable keyboard and a helpful kickstand. The pedestrian processor choice makes this a good budget system, but probably not a daily driver for most people. Available: June 2017

Acer Switch 5

Acer Switch 5

Other: 12.2-inch, 2160 x 1440 IPS Display | Other: 256 / 512GB PCIe SSD | Other: detachable keyboard | kickstand Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.37 inches (tablet only) Weight

The replacement for Acer's ground-breaking Switch 12 Alpha, this detachable 2-in-1 is powered by a 7th Generation Intel Core Series processor. But the Switch 12 Alpha doesn't need fans, thanks to its liquid-cooling system. If you've been waiting for an affordable Microsoft Surface alternative, this could be a great choice. Available: June 2017

Acer Predator Triton 700

Acer Predator Triton 700

Other: 15.6-inch, 1080p IPS display | Other: Core i5/i7 quad-core CPU | Other: Nvidia 10-Series GPU | Other: Dual SSDs | Killer Wireless 802.11ac Dimensions: 15.4 x 10.3 x 0.74 inches Weight

Acer's new compact gaming rig weighs a reasonable 5.7 pounds while measuring only 0.74 inches thick -- fairly impressive specs for a 15-inch laptop with Nvidia graphics and dual SSDs inside. The Predator Triton has a mechanical keyboard with an attractive blue glow, but its touchpad is located all the way at the top of the deck. Available: August 2017

Acer Predator Helios 300

Acer Predator Helios 300

15.6- or 17.3-inch 1080p display, Core i5 / i7 quad-core CPU, Nvidia GTX 1050Ti or 1060 graphics: dual AeroBlade 3D fans Dimensions

Relatively affordable for an overclockable gaming rig, Acer's Predator Helios 300 is available in 15- and 17-inch sizes. The Helios has the same design language as most Predators, with a subtle but attractive red and black color scheme. With Nvidia 1050Ti or 1060 graphics, this looks like a solid mid-range player. Available: July 2017 (15.6-inch) / $1,399 (17.3-inch)

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