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IFA: Acer Predator 21 X Gaming Laptop 1st With Curved Screen & Eye Tracking

Acer has announced the world’s first gaming laptop with a curved screen and eye-tracking control, the Predator 21 X among a slew of new laptop and gadget introductions at IFA.

In addition to the Predator laptop and a Predator gaming monitor also with eye tracking, Acer unveiled three new thin 14-inch laptops and the thin Spin 7 two-in-one convertible. Most run on Intel’s latest 7th-generation Core processors.

The computer company also announced a partnership with IMAX, VT provider StarBreeze and Google that could bring VR parlors to local multiplexes and shopping malls, along with the acquisition of Pawbo, which makes interactive pet Wi-Fi camera devices.

Eye-tracking technology from Tobii on the curved 21-inch IPS (2,560 by 1,080) Predator 21 X and is designed to speed play — players need just look at an object and click to select or target it instead of having to coordinate hand-eye movements on the keyboard or mouse. In addition, gazing to the top or side edge of the displays bezel automatically pans up-and-down or across appropriately, and lighting reacts dynamically when looked at — a dark area of a scene brightens and vice versa. These new eye-tracking functions are available on “Assassin’s Creed Syndicate,” currently on sale.

Spec-wise, the massive 17.6-pound Predator 21 X will be run by the newest chips, the 7th-gen Intel Core processors and twin Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphic cards in SLI. For audio, the 21 X is equipped with SoundPound 4.2+ (four speakers and two subwoofers), three-way audio and Dolby Audio. And to keep the whole rig cool, there are five fans, three of which are ultra-thin AeroBlade metal fans, and covered by a glass panel so you can watch them.

For gaming, the 21 X includes a full-sized mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX switches, with customizable RGB backlight settings for each individual key. In addition, the numeric keypad can be flipped over and turned into a touchpad. The panel also can be removed to potentially upgrade the system.

Steven Funcke (left), Acer assistant marketing manager for global marketing and branding, with Jason Chen, Acer president and CEO

No battery life was announced, but two other new Predator models, the 15 and the 17, each only will last three hours. No pricing was announced either, but configurations will likely start in the $2,500 range when the 21 X goes on sale in October.

Three additional new Acer gaming monitors also will incorporate eye tracking: the 27-inch curved FHD Predator Z271T, the flat 24.5-inch FHD XB251HQT and the flat 27-inch WQHD (2,560 by 1,440) XB271HUT. All will initially be rolled out region-by-region in October for around $800 to $900 each.

Smaller Laptops

For those with more pedantic work and less hernia-inducing tastes in portable computing, Acer showed three four Windows 10 Swift models, most with 7th-gen Intel Core engines, scheduled to be released in Q4, including the just 9.9mm thin Swift 7, and four thin Windows 10 Spin two-in-one convertibles, including the 10.98mm thin Spin 7:

Swift 1 (November starting $249): 14-inch (1,366 by 768) display, Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, up to 128GB eMMC, 12-hour battery life.

Swift 3 (November, starting $449): 14-inch 1,920 by 1,080 or 1,366 by 768), 6th-gen or 7th-gen Intel Core, up to 512GB SSD, 12- to 10-hour battery life.

Swift 5 (November, starting $749): 14-inch 1,920 by 1,080 display, 7th-gen Intel Core up to i7, up to 512GB SSD, up to 13-hour battery life.

Swift 7 (October, starting $999): 13.3-inch 1,920 by 10,80 display with Corning Gorilla Glass, 7th-gen Intel Core i5, aluminum unibody design, 2.5 pounds and 9.98mm thin, nine-hour battery life.

Acer Spin 7

Spin 1 (December, starting $249): 11-inch 1,920 by 1080 or 1,366 by 768 display, Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, up to 164GB eMMC, nine-hour battery life.

Spin 3 (October, starting $499): 14-inch 1,920 by 1080, 7th-gen Intel Core up to i7 or Pentium or Celeron, up to 256GB SSD, 9-hour battery life.

Spin 5 (October, starting $599): 13.3-inch 1,920 by 1,080 display, 7th-gen Intel Core up to i5, up to 512GB SSD, up to 10-hour battery life.

Spin 7 (October, starting $1,119): 14-inch 1,920 by 1,080 display with Corning Gorilla Glass, 7th-gen Intel Core i7, 256GB SSD, 2.6 pounds and just 10.98mm thin, 8-hour battery life.

IMAX Parlors

Acer is partnering with StarBreeze, IMAX and Google for the StarVR goggles, which IMAX hopes to use in a series of planned VR parlors placed in a series of test multiplexes and shopping malls in Los Angeles, Shanghai, New York and London, hopefully by the end of the year according to Rob Lister, IMAX’s chief business development officer.

The hope is that consumers will watch an IMAX movie, then move to the VR parlor and experience the world in VR that they just experienced on the big screen.