Acer’s been testing the content creation waters for a while now, but with the new Acer ConceptD 7 Pro ($3,699), the company’s diving in headfirst. Targeting architects, engineers and creative professionals, such as music producers and video editors, the ConceptD 7 Pro bursts at the seams with power thanks to an Intel Core i7 processor and a graphics card from Nvidia’s powerful Quadro line. Throw in a pair of lightning-fast SSDs and a gorgeous 4K panel in an equally attractive chassis, and this might be the best creator-class laptop of the year. That is, if it does well when we get a chance to test a production model.
I got a hands-on with an early model of the laptop and, so far, it’s checking off all the right boxes.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro pricing and configurations
The Acer ConceptD 7 Pro I’m previewing costs a whopping $3,699 and has a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7-10875H processor with 32GB of RAM, a pair of 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD in Intel Raid 0 configuration, and 4K display.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro design
The ConceptD 7 Pro is a stunning shade of alpine white. The all-white, mostly magnesium-aluminum chassis is frosty to the touch. The lid is nearly bare with the exception of the small ConceptD stamped at the top of the lid.
The large hinge at the back is made of plastic and extends into the rear vents. The top corners of the laptop have been lopped off, creating a unique profile.
Opening the laptop, I was greeted by more white aluminum. The white island-style keyboard, alight with amber lighting, resides in a slight recess. A large grille covering an air intake vent sits at the top of the deck. Directly below the keyboard is the palm rest with a glass touchpad lined in silver chrome. Thanks to the hinge, you can lay the display at a 180-degree angle in case you want to share the screen.
Weighing 4.6 pounds, the 14.1 x 10 x 0.7 inches, the ConceptD 7 Pro is lighter than the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition (4.8 pounds, 14 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches) and the 6.2-pound, 14.7 x 9.9 x 1-inch Dell Precision 7540.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro ports
On the left, you have another Type-A port, full HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and jacks for a microphone, headset and power adapter.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro display
Without testing the ConceptD 7 Pro in the lab, the laptop’s 15.6-inch, 4K (3840 x 2160) panel seems to have vivid color and is relatively bright, despite its matte finish. When I watched the trailer for Princess of the Row, actress Taylor Buck’s rose-red gown drew my eye, as did the deep ridges of the unicorn’s golden horn as the sun dappled the mythical animal’s jet black coat.
Although I suspect the matte display might not be as colorful as some competing systems, I’m hoping that since it’s Pantone Validated for the Adobe RGB 100% color gamut, I’ll be proved wrong. And since the panel is rated for 400 nits of brightness, it should stand toe-to-toe with the competition. But I’ll have to wait until we receive a production model for testing to be sure. For now, it’s just a hunch.
While the side bezels are pretty thin, I wish Acer could have found a way to shrink the top and bottom bezels. In the case of the top bezel, a few tenths of an inch would make a world of difference. While that bottom chin needs some serious whittling.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro audio
For bottom-mounted speakers, the ConceptD 7 Pro’s aren’t half bad. They’re on an angle that makes it difficult for them to be smothered by a lap. Still, they were barely able to fill my smallish living room/dining room space. But as I listened to Quincy Jones take on “Moody’s Mood For Love (I’m In The Mood For Love)” the alto sax came through nice and clean, accompanied by a lively piano and silky vocals provided by Brian McKnight, Take Six and a stirring performance by Rachelle Farrell.
Acer preinstalled two versions of DTS software: Sound Unbound and X Ultra. The former is designed for headphones while the latter is made for the system’s internal speakers. The Ultra software has eight presets (Automatic, Music, Voice, Movies, Strategy, RPG, Shooter and Custom Audio). The two that produced the loudest audio were the Music and surprisingly Shooter presets. Music had a better result as the software created the illusion of a more immersive surrounding soundstage while Shooter was more forward-facing.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro keyboard and touchpad
The ConceptD 7 Pro Chiclet-style keyboard has big keys with springy feedback. The amber backlighting is nice and bright, which should be good news for you hunt-and-peck typists out there. Acer fit in a set of arrow keys without shrinking any important keys. I reached just below my usual 70 words per minute on the 10fastfingers test at 69 wpm.
The touchpad, made of Corning Gorilla Glass, provides quick, accurate response allowing me to navigate webpages and perform Windows 10 gestures, such as two-finger scroll, pinch-zoom and three-finger tap.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro performance and graphics
Suited up with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7-10875H processor with 32GB of RAM, a pair of 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD in Raid 0 configuration, the ConceptD 7 has the makings of a serious powerhouse. I launched 40 Google Chrome tabs, some of which were running Twitch, Tweetdeck, YouTube and quite a few Google Spreadsheets with no signs of slowing down.
And since it’s designed for creative professionals, the ConceptD 7 Pro has an Nvidia Quadro RTX 5000 Max-Q GPU with 16GB of VRAM. So while you can absolutely use it for gaming, the ConceptD 7 Pro shines when being used for content creation, i.e. audio, photo, video editing, music production and game creation. And if you do work that involves complex computations, this is your machine.
I’m definitely looking to see how the Acer deals with the likes of the Dell and Razer as the laptop seems to be firing on all cylinders with the specs.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro battery life
Acer gives the ConceptD 7 Pro’s 84WHr battery an estimated 7 hours of runtime based on MobileMark 2014. The Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, is somewhat more rigorous. I’m eager to see how long the laptop will last on our test.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro webcam
I’m really surprised at how well the ConceptD 7 Pro’s 720p webcam captures color. And maybe I shouldn’t be, but since nine out of 10 webcams fall short of the mark, it’s hard to get excited. So when I saw my blue-and-white shirt, fading pink hair, and brick red walls so accurately reproduce, it was a welcome shock.
The detail is about what you’d expect. It was clear enough to make out the edges of the polka dots on my shirt and the mortar holding my brick wall in place. However, it wasn’t clear enough to allow me to read the text on the boxes in the background.
Acer ConceptD 7 Pro software and warranty
Acer actually keeps it pretty light on the bloatware. Instead, you’ll find a number of content-creation software interspersed with Acer-branded apps and Windows 10 programs. From Acer, you have Documents, which takes you to the user manual and Product Registration, to register your laptop so the company can send updates on the latest apps.
Third-party apps include CyberLink PowerDirector for video editing and PhotoDirector for stills. There’s also Nvidia Control Panel and Desktop Manager, Killer Control Center to prioritize network bandwidth and a free trial of Norton Security Ultra.
On paper, the Acer ConceptD 7 Pro paints a picture of a content creation powerhouse laden with incredibly powerful specs, including a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. You also get an Nvidia Quadro 5000 GPU with double the video memory you’d find in a gaming laptop. Plus, you’ve got two SSDs in RAID 0 configuration which should deliver serious transfer speeds. And last, but certainly not least, there’s the beautiful 4K Pantone-certified panel. Together, you’ve got the makings of a dark horse in the creator space, despite its eye-catching white chassis.
Yes, it’s expensive at $3,699, but if the Acer ConceptD 7 Pro lives up to the hype, it could be the new king of content creation laptops.