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MacBook Pro killer? Acer to release new ConceptD laptops for content creators

Acer ConceptD 5 Pro
(Image credit: Future)

A new army of Acer ConceptD is marching into the market, and it's got professional content creators in its crosshairs. The troop — packed with 11th Gen Intel Core i7 H-series processors and discrete Nvidia GPUs — is targeting video editors, photographers, digital artists and 3D design engineers.

Acer is introducing the new ConceptD 3 Ezel, the ConceptD 5, and the ConceptD 7 Ezel. All three models come with Pantone-validated displays with wide color coverage and high color accuracy. The refreshed creator notebooks could have the 16-inch MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 17 shaking in their boots.

The ConceptD 3 Ezel

The ConceptD 3 Ezel starts at $1,599, and comes with an 11th Gen Intel Core H-series CPU, a PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and various graphics options to suit a variety of workloads and specialties, including the new Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU. 

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel (Image credit: Acer)

The 14-inch convertible features Acer's innovative Ezel hinge, allowing users to transform the touchscreen display into several modes. One of the postures reminds me of the HP Elite Folio pull-forward design — an ideal orientation for digital artists who want to draw on an easel-like display.  It also comes with an AES pen for doodling and jotting down notes.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel (Image credit: Acer)

Content creators will also appreciate the ConceptD 3 Ezel's Thunderbolt 4 port, which can support up to two 4K monitors or a single 8K display at 60Hz. 

The ConceptD 5

The ConceptD 5 is a 16-inch, beastly workstation with powerful internals. It starts at $1,999 and comes with Intel Core i7 H-series processors, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage in Raid 0 configuration, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 GPU.

Acer ConceptD 5

Acer ConceptD 5 (Image credit: Acer)

With these beastly specs, the ConceptD 5 can handle 2D and 3D design workflows, as well as RAM-heavy programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and Premiere. Of course, herculean internals leads to high heat generation, so Acer implemented its Vortex Flow technology into the ConceptD 5, which includes triple-fan cooling and a strategically placed thermal layout for keeping the CPU and GPU temperate.

The ConceptD 5 also comes with a 3072 x 1920-pixel, Pantone-validated display with 100% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage and a Delta-E color accuracy score of less than 2. I got a chance to play with an early model of the ConceptD 5, and I was impressed with its true-to-life colors, 87% screen-to-body ratio (thanks to the ultra-slim bezels), and the 16:10 ratio, which is noticeably taller compared to 16:9 panels.

Acer ConceptD 5

Acer ConceptD 5 (Image credit: Acer)

I was also wowed by the ConceptD 5's connectivity options, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI 2.1 port, an SD card reader, an RJ45 Ethernet port, two USB Type-A ports and a headset jack. There's also a fingerprint scanner on the six-inch-wide, Corning Gorilla Glass touchpad.

The ConceptD 5 comes in two colors: white and black.

ConceptD 7 Ezel

The ConceptD 7 Ezel, with a starting price of $2,499, is the ConceptD 3 Ezel's beefier cousin. Acer's flagship convertible creator notebook got a sweet refresh with the powerful new 11th Gen Intel Core i7-11800H CPU, up to 32GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU. A pro variant of the ConceptD 7 Ezel Pro will also be released; it will feature up to an Intel Xeon W-11955 CPU and an Nvidia RTX A5000 (or A3000). 

ConceptD 7 Ezel

ConceptD 7 Ezel (Image credit: Acer)

Acer boasts that the ConceptD 7 Ezel is ideal for creators who need a machine that can handle large files and multitasking. On top of that, the ConceptD 7 Ezel offers dual Thunderbolt 4 ports that serve up 40GBps of bi-directional bandwidth, zippy transfer speeds, and the ability to connect up to five Thunderbolt devices.

One key feature that may make you shout, "Take my money!" is the ConceptD 7 Ezel's Pantone-validated touchscreen display, which purportedly covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut and has a color-accuracy rating of Delta E<2. Like the ConceptD 3 Ezel, it sports Acer's innovative Ezel hinge design, which lets users transform tilt the display in an ergonomic orientation that's ideal for drawing.

Speaking of drawing, the ConceptD 7 Ezel comes with a Wacom EMR pen, which is optimized for precise sketching, animation and 3D modeling.

Bottom line

The refreshed Acer ConceptD 5 will arrive in August; it'll set you back $1,999. The ConceptD 3 Ezel 7 will follow with an October launch; it starts at $2,499. The ConceptD 3 Ezel will hit store shelves in December with a starting price of $1,599.

We test drove the Acer ConceptD 5, and it's shaping up to be a top-of-the-line, creator-class laptop that can outperform the Dell XPS 17 and 16-inch MacBook Pro. We can't wait to put these models through our rigorous testing to see how they fare against their rivals.