LAS VEGAS - Acer's slick-looking Aspire V 17 Nitro gaming laptop has gotten an even slicker addition: an Intel RealSense 3D camera. Touting the camera's ability to react to natural movement in three dimensions, the V 17 Nitro will allow gamers to interact with games and apps via a series of smooth, intuitive gestures.
During the demo, we used some of Intel's designated movements such as moving a closed fist towards the screen to zoom in and away to zoom out. It took some effort to get produce the desired result on the prototype model since the camera was very sensitive to how far our hand was from the camera.
The simple act of hovering over an app to select it was less than graceful, making for wildly flailing arms and jerky movement. This result is similar to what we've experienced in early iterations of Lenovo's Smart Gesture technology as well as the Xbox One Kinect.
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But the RealSense camera is more than an excuse to work out your arm muscles -- it can also do 3D scanning and modeling. The V17 Nitro was preloaded with Personify, a chat app that lets you scan yourself into outlandish environments. We tried out 3DMe, a quirky little app that scanned our faces and pasted them onto 3D model that we could manipulate in the app or request a 3D-printed figurine.
We encountered a bit of trouble getting the camera to scan our face, but once we got the right position, a few head turns and our face was scanned and pasted onto a snowboarder's body.
In terms of specs, the V 17 Nitro used in the demo featured a 4th-generation Intel Core i7-4710HQ Quad Core processor, but we we're informed that Acer is planning to ship the laptop with 5th-gen CPUs. The notebooks will also have 17.3-inch 1920x1080p ISP displays, with up to 16GB of RAM, a choice of 128GB or 256GB SSDs with a 1TB hard drive, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M GPU with 4GB of VRAM.
The updated V 17 Nitros will utilize the blazing fast 802.11ac wireless network standard. And to ensure the laptop doesn't get bogged down from environmental gunk, Acer has added its new DustDefender fan system which uses a high-speed fan to eliminate dust buildup while keeping the laptop nice and cool.
According to Acer, the new Aspire V 17 Nitros will be available sometime in January, but the company has yet to announce exact pricing or availability. Before they hit the market however, we hope that Acer and Intel will take some time to fine tune the RealSense camera. If done correctly it could be a fairly useful tool, instead of an intriguing gimmick.