Skip to main content

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)

Laptop Guide

The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.