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Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

The ConceptD 3 Ezel is one of the best content creation laptops around

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Laptop Mag)

Our Verdict

The Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel offers powerful performance in a creative convertible design combined with solid battery life.

For

  • Powerful performance and graphics
  • Sleek 2-in-1 design
  • Wide variety of ports
  • Bright display
  • Solid battery life
  • Clicky keyboard

Against

  • Display could be more colorful
  • Meh speakers

Acer is the go-to brand when you’re looking for a great affordable laptop, but recently, the company has been breaking into new categories. With the Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel, the company is appealing to professionals as well as gamers. 

For $1,499, you get strong performance in an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU, a bright 14-inch display, a clicky keyboard and a wide variety of ports packed into a sleek convertible chassis. To top it off, the battery life is pretty solid. However, the display is still a little on the dull side and the speakers are mediocre at best.

However, the Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel is one of the best video editing laptops around thanks to its incredible performance and battery life.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on October 21, 2020, but has since been updated with new battery life results. We found that there was an issue with the original unit and when we tested a new unit, we got more accurate results.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel price and configuration options

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel specs

Price: $1,499
CPU: Intel Core i7-10750H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
RAM: 16GB
Storage: 512GB SSD
Display: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080
Battery: 9:57
Size: 12.9 x 9.0 x 0.7~0.94 inches
Weight: 3.81 pounds 

The model I tested is the cheapest available, costing $1,499 and outfitted with an Intel Core i7-10750H processor, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 display.

The next model upgrades you to a 15.6-inch, 1080p display for $1,699 and also comes with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, a GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD.

If that doesn’t fall in line with your budget, you should take a look at our best cheap gaming laptops page, which showcase laptops that are equipped with decent GPUs for a much lower price.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel design

Over the ConceptD 3 Ezel’s clean milky white chassis lies an engraved gray ConceptD logo, and at the center is the gray hinge. It’s like staring at a weird piece of future tech that doesn’t make sense until you start messing with it. While the white color is somewhat subtle, the design is not, so this machine is sure to draw some attention.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

When I opened up the ConceptD 3 Ezel, I was greeted to a traditional laptop design, with the milky white color carrying over to the deck and the keyboard. The touchpad, however, is just slightly paler than the rest of the laptop. The bezels on the display are relatively thin and proportionate. While a laptop’s bottom bezel is typically thicker than the rest, the ConceptD 3 Ezel's is super thick thanks to the extra support that the laptop needs to provide to lift the display.

That brings me to its 2-in-1 capabilities. Similar to the HP Spectre Folio, the entire laptop doesn’t spin, but rather, only the display flips around. The screen can flip 180 degrees from its original position, which allows it to lay flat against the keyboard. I prefer this design over typical 2-in-1s since you don’t have to physically pick it up and start flipping a piece of metal around like you’re in a circus. And since the stylus is garaged in the lip of the deck, I could easily pull it out and get to drawing.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

At 3.8 pounds and 12.9 x 9.0 x 0.7~0.9 inches, the ConceptD 3 Ezel is a little on the thick and heavy side for a 14-inch laptop. Of its 14-inch competitors, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 (3.5 pounds, 12.8 x 8.7 x 0.7 inches) and Lenovo Yoga C940 (3 pounds, 12.6 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches) fared much better in the size comparison. To no one’s surprise, the HP Spectre x360 15 (4.2 pounds, 14.2 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches) is the thicker boy.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel ports

I’m actually impressed with the variety of ports that the ConceptD 3 Ezel features.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the left side, you’ll find a Kensington lock slot, the power jack, an HDMI port, one Thunderbolt 3 port and a Mini DisplayPort, while the right side sports two USB Type-A ports, an SD card slot and a headphone jack.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

If you still need some additional ports, check out our best USB Type-C hubs and best laptop docking stations pages.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel display

The ConceptD 3 Ezel’s 14-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display is decently bright and relatively colorful, but it could have done more to wow considering it’s designed for professional use.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

In the trailer for The Informer, the red graffiti that was scattered across the most cliche crappy bathroom stall stood out on the ConceptD’s panel. In the night scene where Joel Kinnaman’s character was being surveilled, there were still details in the dark green bushes that surrounded him. In a close-up shot of Kinnaman, his goatee looked as sharp as the few strands of hair stylishly falling off the front of his head.

According to our colorimeter, the ConceptD 3 Ezel covered 72% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, which is short of the 84% premium laptop average. The Zephyrus G14 (83%), Yoga C940 (74%) and Spectre x360 (147%) all had more colorful displays.

At 333 nits of brightness, the ConceptD 3 Ezel once again fell behind against the category average (380 nits). While its display was brighter than the Zephyrus G14’s (323 nits), the Yoga C940 (339 nits) and the Spectre x360 (345 nits) were nits ahead of the game (haha).

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel keyboard, touchpad and stylus

Typing on the ConceptD 3 Ezel’s keyboard is plenty comfortable. Thanks to the large touchpad, there’s a lot of room on the deck for my palms, but it required some getting used to in order to properly type.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I hit 76 words per minute, which is just slightly below my 78-wpm average. Despite that, the keys are clicky, offer decent travel and require the right amount of force to actuate. The keyboard leans slightly to the left side, off-center with the touchpad due to the additional media keys on the right-hand side, so it will take some getting used to. Regardless, it’s a solid keyboard.

What’s not so solid is the gross orange backlighting that plagues the ConceptD 3 Ezel’s white keys. I was optimistic when I first saw these keys, but spending more time with the dull orange lighting just gives me flashbacks of early-2000s HTML pages with bold colors.

The 4.9 x 3.3-inch touchpad is pleasantly large and relatively soft, albeit a bit sticky against my clammy fingers. It offers a decent pair of clickers that emit a low sound. It does have Windows Precision drivers, so three-finger tabbing and two-finger scrolling felt smooth.

The garaged stylus offers two buttons, the one closer to the tip acts as an eraser and the opposite one acts as a right-click. I drew the laziest panda bear you’ll never see and the stylus felt comfortable in my head although it’s a bit thin. It offers 4,096 levels of pressure, which reflected well when I was shading in the panda’s beard.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel audio

The ConceptD 3 Ezel’s bottom-firing speakers were pretty meh, offering sharp sound and little-to-no bass. If you’re an artist looking for high-performing speakers on your laptop, this ain’t it.

I listened to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Alexander Hamilton,” and the opening vocals were clear but a little low. I noticed that the snapping was sharp and somewhat overshadowed the vocals. Meanwhile, the background piano was decently represented, but the violin sounded abrasive. When percussion stings hit, they blew out the speakers for a brief moment as the laptop couldn’t handle the sharp peaks.

The laptop comes with the DTS:X Ultra audio app, which lets you optimize the speakers depending on the content type. Presets include Automatic, Music, Voice and Movies. There are even gaming settings, like Strategy, RPG and Shooter. You can also customize the audio, which gives you access to spatial settings as well as the treble, bass, dialog and volume smoothing settings. To top it all off, there’s even an EQ section. The app is extensive and makes the audio sound better, but it can’t turn coal into gold.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel performance

Underneath the slim hood of the ConceptD 3 Ezel lies an Intel Core i7-10750H processor with 16GB of RAM. It’s capable of brushing off 40 Google Chrome tabs and five 1080p YouTube videos without flinching while Spotify blasts away in the background.

On the Geekbench 5.0 overall performance benchmark, the ConceptD 3 Ezel scored 5,495, crushing the premium laptop average (4,046). It made short work of the Yoga C940’s Core i7-1065G7 (4,380) and the Spectre x360’s Core i7-10750H (3,353), but was ultimately stopped by Zephyrus G14’s wicked AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS (7,895).

The ConceptD 3 Ezel transcoded a 4K video to 1080p on our HandBrake benchmark in 10 minutes and 7 seconds, flying over the category average (18:19). Once again, the Yoga C940 (19:32) and the Spectre x360 (18:01) didn’t stand a chance, but the Zephyrus G14 (6:59) came out on top.

On the PugetBench Photoshop test, the ConceptD 3 Ezel completed the test in 9 minutes and 40 seconds, scoring a 693. It happens to beat the 604 premium laptop average as well as the score from the Spectre x360 (588) once again.

Acer’s 512GB SSD copied 4.97GB of data in just 5.6 seconds, translating to a whopping 905 megabytes per second transfer rate, which topples the premium laptop average (750 MBps). While impressive, it still couldn’t beat its competitors’ SSDs. The Zephyrus G14, Yoga C940 and Spectre x360 all broke one thousand, at 1,131 MBps, 1,018 MBps and 1,161 MBps, respectively.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel graphics

The ConceptD 3 Ezel is outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q GPU with 4GB of VRAM. That means it’ll offer decent performance in gaming, photo editing and video editing. On our Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark (Medium, 1080p), it averaged 61 frames per second, which beat the premium laptop average (27-fps) and even the Spectre x360’s GTX 1650 Ti (60 fps).

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel battery life

While the ConceptD 3 Ezel has some minor issues, what really crushes this laptop’s score is its battery life. On our Laptop Mag battery test, the ConceptD 3 Ezel lasted a measly 3 hours and 13 minutes. That is one-third of what the average premium laptop (9:51) lasts. The Spectre x360 did worse with it’s 4K display, at 2:51, but the Yoga C940 excelled with a 1080p panel, hitting 11:46. Of course, the Yoga C940 doesn’t have demanding hardware, but the Zephyrus G14 toting around an RTX 2060 GPU scored a whopping 11:32. 

However, we received a replacement unit for the ConceptD 3 Ezel, and that managed to get 9 hours and 57 minutes on our test, which outlasts the average premium laptop, but it still falters against the Yoga C940 and Zephyrus G14.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel webcam

The 720p shooter in the ConceptD 3 Ezel is what you’d expect out of any other laptop — it’s crap.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The entire background of my test shot was filled with blotchy red, green and blue pixels that attempted to make up the gray color of my wall. There was no detail in my epic top knot and the color in my green shirt would have looked semi-decent if it wasn’t for the blotchy RGB colors. To top it off, the window behind me was partially blown out due to the poor contrast. Take a look at our best webcams page for something more flattering.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel heat

When we put the ConceptD 3 Ezel to the test, it got a little warm under the hood. After it streamed a 15-minute, 1080p video, the underside hit 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which is above our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard and the touchpad hit 95 degrees and 74 degrees, respectively. The hottest the laptop got was 109 degrees at the center of the underside between the second and third rear vents.

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel software and warranty

The ConceptD 3 Ezel comes with a bunch of Acer software, but the most unique app is the ConceptD Palette. This app lets you monitor the CPU, GPU and RAM usage and temperature. It also lets you change the display colors and give you access to the aforementioned DTS:X Ultra app. The app also offers a Split Screen feature, which lets you split your display into a variety of forms in order to boost productivity (although, I don’t recommend using this unless you attach a monitor.)

Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel review

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The other important app in the ConceptD 3 Ezel is the Care Center, where you’ll find your warranty as well as several tools to run diagnostics on your drive, RAM and battery. Other Acer apps include Acer Collection S and App Explorer, apps that tell you to download other apps. Then there’s Acer Product Registration, which you can use to get access to Acer’s deals.

There’s also a bunch of Windows 10 bloatware, like Hulu, Hidden City and Solitaire (yes, this is bloatware so don’t even.)

The ConceptD 3 Ezel comes with a one-year limited warranty. See how Acer performed on our Tech Support Showdown and Best and Worst Brands ranking.

Bottom line

The Acer ConceptD 3 Ezel offers fantastic features, from its powerful performance and bright display to its clicky keyboard and neat 2-in-1 design. To top it off, it has great battery life. However, the display and speakers are a little lackluster for a content creation laptop.

For a cheaper $1,449, you can get the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Yes, it’s technically a gaming laptop, but it offers a more powerful GPU, a more colorful 120Hz display, strong speakers and a whopping 11 hours and 32 minutes of battery life.

However, what each laptop competitor doesn’t have is the ConceptD 3 Ezel’s unique convertible design. This laptop is a great choice for those with a unique set of needs.