It’s a big day for Acer, which kicked off its [email protected] event with its signature onslaught of new products. This year is no different. The Taiwanese laptop maker has opened the floodgates and released a wide range of new gadgets, from high-end Chromebooks to powerful PC gaming rigs.
I am going to talk to more new products in this article and highlight the ones you really care about, including the Chromebook Spin 714, Swift 3, and Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition. If there is a thread linking these latest versions, it is the latest components from Intel, AMD and Nvidia. At the very least, the extra performance you get from these new chips should make you wait to buy a laptop until they arrive in the next few months.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Yes, I’m starting with a Chromebook. Not only any Chromebook, however. It’s from the same family as the best Chromebook you can buy today: the Spin 713. For best, the Spin 714 is what you get when you’re desperately trying not to mess with something delicate: a refresh of the Expertly balanced spin. 713.
The Spin 714 now comes with 12th Gen Intel Core processors, up to a Core i7, which deliver 20% performance gains over the previous generation. I’ll take the extra horsepower, even though the Spin 714 was already outpacing the rest of the Chromebook field. Acer rates battery life at 10 hours, and you’ll get four hours of use from a 30-minute charge. The laptop weighs 3.1 pounds and measures 0.71 inches, putting it in the most portable range for 14-inch laptops.
The Chromebook Spin 713 has a nice 13.5-inch display, and the Spin 714 ups the ante with two high-resolution display options: 2560 x 1600 (WQXGA) or 1920 x 1200 (WUXGA). Acer claims these 16:10 panels cover 100% of the sRGB color gamut and are covered in antimicrobial Gorilla Glass.
I’m glad to see the webcam go up to 1080p, and Acer has built in temporal noise reduction technology and a dual-mic array. Before I get too excited, none of this means the webcam will take good photos or videos, but it does raise the theoretical ceiling.
That’s just one of many handy features, which include a pen garage on the front edge, a backlit keyboard, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 support, an optional fingerprint sensor, and a range decent amount of ports that include Thunderbolt 4 inputs and an HDMI.
The Acer Chromebook Spin 714 will be available in North America in August for a starting price of $749. If you prefer a tablet, Acer also unveiled the Chromebook Tab 510, a 10.1-inch slate running on a Snapdragon 7c chip.
Acer Swift 3
You know those LG OLED TVs you want to rewatch your old movies on? Well, they are now a staple of flagship laptops. Acer joins the fun with the Swift 3, an ultra-portable laptop with a 14-inch, 2880 x 1800 pixel OLED display with a 16:10 aspect ratio.
I can already tell you that the screen will be vivid, detailed and offer perfect black levels. What it does to battery life is a bigger mystery, though Acer rates this system’s endurance at a solid 10 hours (take that with a grain of salt).
Not much else is going on with the Swift. Like those before it, this year’s model has a simple design with understated branding and angled edges. The aluminum chassis, which features a fingerprint sensor on the power button, weighs 3.1 pounds and is available in silver or gold. When you need to connect peripherals, the Swift 3 has two Thunderbolt 4 ports, an HDMI input, a USB-A input, and a headphone/mic jack.
Inside is up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD. You don’t get much graphics performance on top of your standard built-in Iris Xe.
It’s not the most exciting laptop in this segment, but with a starting price of $899, the Swift 3 OLED could be competitive when it arrives next month. If you want a convertible laptop, Acer has also updated the Spin 5 and Spin 3 with 12th Gen Intel processors.
Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition
Time to talk gaming. I’ll start with the weirdest laptop revealed today: the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition. Yes, that’s the real name. The most notable element here is the glasses-free stereoscopic 3D accessible through the SpacialLabs TrueGame app. I thought 3D was dead years ago, but there are apparently over 50 games supported at launch. Among the titles shared by Acer with the press, you will find big names like Forza Horizon 5, God of the warand The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
I haven’t seen Acer’s Stereoscopic 3D, but just reading these words takes me back to the start of the last decade when Stereoscopic 3D was an expensive gimmick found on luxury laptops like the Dell XPS 17 3D or the Toshiba Qosmio X775. This modern take saves us by ditching the glasses.
When Acer first revealed the technology in its ConceptD laptops, it claimed that 3D could give people working in CAD a more realistic look at a product before it was rendered. It’s supposed to be already used for car setups in showrooms and by architects showcasing house designs. Now Acer claims it’s bringing another level of immersion to video games, adding layers to objects and depth to rooms.
“We are excited to add a new dimension to gaming with the Predator Helios 300 SpatialLabs Edition, enabling industry-leading glasses-free stereoscopic 3D gaming,” said Jerry Kao, co-COO at Acer. “By integrating our SpatialLabs technology with our Predator gaming laptops, we hope to create a new category of immersive gaming experiences.
How it works? 3D technology combines eye tracking with stereoscopic 3D display and real-time rendering. As such, the Helios 300’s 15.6-inch 4K panel features a lenticular liquid crystal lens bonded to the top to form a module that can switch between 2D and stereoscopic 3D views. I will believe it when I see it.
Acer spared no expense with the Helios’ internals, offering up to a 12th Gen Intel Core i9 processor paired with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, 32GB of DDR-4800 RAM, and 2TB of storage.
Hopefully the 3D works, because Acer is charging a fortune for this specific model, which will go on sale early in the fourth quarter for $3,399.
Triton 300 SE Predator
I won’t go too far on the Triton 300 SE as my editor has a full-fledged practical piece.
In summary, the Triton 300 SE will be available in 14-inch and 16-inch models, each with their own display options. Opting for the smaller version gives you a wonderful 14-inch, 2800 x 1800 OLED option for the best viewing experience. You can also save some cash and opt for a 2560 x 1600 pixel 165Hz IPS panel with 500 nits of brightness or a 1920 x 1200 IPS display with 400 nits.
If you opt for the larger model, you can choose between a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 IPS display with a 240Hz refresh rate or a 1920 x 1200 pixel display at 165Hz. The former is a good option for competitive gamers who play fast-paced games like first-person shooters, while the cheaper panel with a lower refresh rate will suit almost anyone.
The Triton 300 SE is a beautiful laptop with a simple design, lacking the bells and whistles of the old gaming laptops we so often criticized. If I’m a fussy person, I wish the keyboard had per-key rather than four-zone backlighting and the in-display fingerprint sensor in the top left corner of the touchpad was a miss.
The specs provided by Acer have me scratching my head as the smaller 14-inch version can be powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900H processor while the 16-inch version upgrades to a Core i7-12700H. The 16 compensates for the CPU blip with a GeForce RTX 3070 Ti GPU while the 14 stops at an RTX 3060. Both systems can be equipped with up to 32 GB of RAM while the 16-inch model gets double the storage to 2 TB.
The 14-inch Predator Triton 300 SE will be available in July starting at $1,599 while the 16-inch model will start at $1,749.