When we reviewed Acer's Predator 17 back in late December, we loved its potent performance and striking design, but it seems one group wasn't quite satisfied with that beastly gaming rig: Acer itself. That's because at Acer's global press event in New York City today (April 21), the company announced a new version of its flagship gaming rig called the Predator 17X featuring a full desktop-level graphics card, built-in tools for overclocking and triple-fan cooling to keep the system purring even when maxed out.
The Predator 17X is loaded up to its fire red gills with an impressive assortment of components. Starting at $2,799 and due out sometime in June, the 17X offers two choices of Intel Core i7 chips, including an overclockable HK CPU. You'll also get a full Nvidia 980 GPU, up to a massive 64GB of RAM, room for three storage options and a new 17.3-inch UHd display with Nvidia G-Sync tech. Those last two features are big additions, because the only complaints we had about the old Predator 17 was its lack of a high-res screen option and no G-Sync.
Underneath, the 17X's triple-fan cooling system switches up the trend of putting the fans on the bottom by placing them on the back instead. That way, the system is always pulling in fresh cool air, instead of being suffocated with steamy breeze you get on other gaming machines. At Acer's press event, the company even had a 17X with a clear plastic bottom to better illustrate the improved air flow; in practice, the setup seemed to work pretty well.
Even with a pack of hungry journalists trying to run covert benchmark tests, the 17x stayed pretty chill as it worked through the Tomb Raider graphics test at max settings.
Based on my brief hands-on with the 17x, Acer now has a chance to bump off the Alienware 17 and OriginPC Eon17 from the top of our Best Gaming Laptops list. It's just going to come down to factors such as audio and battery life.