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Acer announces new Concept D line for creatives

And it does show some creativity.

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Lori Grunin

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Sarah Tew

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Acer Concept D 9
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Acer Concept D 9

The Predator Triton 900 reworked with a 4K, wide color Wacom EMR-compatible display, the Ezel rotating screen works much better here and for artistic applications than it ever would for gaming.

Acer Concept D 9
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Back

You can always tell a gaming laptop by the back and its macho grillework. What's nice is that there are connections back there, in this case HDMI and power, so the cables stay out of the way.

Acer Concept D 9
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Still black

Interestingly, Acer didn't dip the 9 in white.

Acer Concept D 9
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Cooling

The design of the 9 allows for a lot more venting as well, which helps keep the hot-running CPU and GPU from bursting into flames.

Acer Concept D 9
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Wacom EMR stylus

Wacom EMR (electro-magnetic resonance) is its professional-level pressure-sensitivity technology. The stylus charges via the screen, so no batteries are required, and it supports 4,096 levels of pressure (8,192 in Wacom's own products).

Acer Concept D 9
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Pressure

The engineering sample didn't have the screen set up properly -- I don't think the Wacom driver was installed -- so we couldn't try the pressure feel. The nib felt a little too rubbery, though.

Acer Concept D 9
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Multiangle screen

The tilting, flipping screen can sit at almost any angle, from almost flat to almost vertical, which is ideal.

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The Ezel in action

Flip.

Acer Concept D 9
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The Ezel in action

Flip.

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The Ezel in action

Flip. (With Windows set up properly, the screen will rotate when it's in this position.)

Acer Concept D 9
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Glossy display

I'm not crazy about the reflective display or big bezels, but that's a technological problem, not a design problem.

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Ugh.

This is where the conversion from a gaming notebook doesn't work so well. An icky gaming touchpad in a weird spot (though people have told me they like the location after they get used to it) and a mushy keyboard. I hope that's because it was an engineering sample.

Acer Concept D 9
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Connections

On the right side you've got USB-C/Thunderbolt, USB-C with alt mode for an external monitor, a USB-A and Ethernet.

Acer Concept D 9
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Connections

On the left side are two USB-A ports and headphone and mic jacks.

Acer ConceptD 500
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Acer Concept D 500

Acer went experimental for the design of its midrange workstation, so props for that, but  I think looks a bit like this litterbox.  

Acer ConceptD 500
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Matching system

The line has matching white accessories, which neither delight nor dismay.

Acer ConceptD 500
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Top connections

It's got three USB-A and one USB-C, plus headphone and mic jacks, an SD card slot and a Qi wireless charger on top.   

Acer ConceptD 500
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Faux-wood accent

You'll never mistake this for real wood.

Acer ConceptD 500
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Headset hook

Acer's used this before, but it's a nice touch.

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Acer Concept D 500

I wonder if it blocks airflow when a headset's dangling on the hook.

Acer ConceptD 500
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Acer ConceptD 500
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Right side

The whole thing's practically ventilation.

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Back

Maxxed out with a Quadro RTX card, you're going to lose half your slots.

Acer ConceptD 500
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Faux wood redux

Acer ConceptD 900
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Acer Concept D 900

This is the big kahuna of the Concept D line, an imposing but relatively conventional black tower.

Acer ConceptD 900
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A couple of ports

Since this system is intended to be neither seen nor heard, it doesn't need a lot of connections up front.

Acer ConceptD 900
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Back

There's tons of space inside, but this is not a case l'd like to get into. It may be toolless on the inside (we don't know), but it's pretty old-fashioned on the outside.

Acer ConceptD 900
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Deep

At over 2 feet deep, it's a lot bigger than it looks from up front.

Acer Concept D 5
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Acer Concept D 5

The lowest-end laptop uses the Intel i7-8705G or i5-8305G CPUs with AMD RX Vega M GL graphics. It's based heavily on the Aspire 7, but with a 4K 100% Adobe RGB display.

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Acer Concept D 5

It looks like a typical mainstream thin clamshell, but white.

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Mouse

OK.

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Acer Concept D 5

Simply making the keys white doesn't always work. The labels may turn out to be too low-contrast for some, especially if the backlight is white. (I forgot to check that.)

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Fingerprint reader

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Acer Concept D 5
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Left side

Ports on the left side include HDMI, two USB-A, a USB-C and a headphone jack.  

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Right side

A USB-A connection and handy SD card slot live here.

Acer Concept D 7
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Acer Concept D 7

The midrange laptop is based on the Predator Triton 500 gaming system. Chamfers and bevels are big in premium laptop design these days, but I'm not sure it works for me in white.

Acer Concept D 7
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Keyboard

It has a more conventional version of the Triton 500 keyboard, without the specially reinforced and highlighted keys used in gaming (e.g., WASD). It also doesn't have the Turbo button that lets you overclock the GPU.

Acer Concept D 7
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Left side

You've got Ethernet, one USB-A and an HDMI port, plus headphone and mic jacks.

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That gaming grille

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Right side

Two USB-A, a USB-C/Thunderbolt and a Mini DisplayPort connector sit on the right side. I wonder if it supports G-Sync via the Mini DisplayPort.

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Pantone Validated

This means a lot less than you might think, unless you think it means it's good at matching spot colors in the Pantone Matching System.

Acer Concept D CP3271U P
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Monitors

Acer announced two new monitors, which visually look like the Predators; they do have those matching faux-wood bases, though. The CM7321K is a 32-inch, 4K DisplayHDR 1000 display using mini-LED technology to provide over 1,100 local-dimming zones, covering 90% of Rec 2020 (but notably, with no claims about accuracy). 

The second monitor, the CP7271K, is 27-inch 4K with a 144Hz refresh rate and G-sync Ultimate -- what used to be called G-Sync HDR -- with that standard's fast refresh rates and 1,000-nit peak brightness. This one does claim color accuracy and 100% Adobe RGB coverage. 

Acer Concept D CP3271U P
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Swivel

I do like -- in theory -- this lock that lets you easily know how to position it correctly after swiveling. At least, I think that's what it's for.

Acer Concept D VR headsets
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Acer Concept D Ojo VR headset

Acer updated and rebranded its Windows Mixed Reality Headset with Inside Out tracking. Like other companies, it seems to be downplaying the WMR connection. 

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