The Good The Acer Predator G1 is a speedy, reasonably priced gaming desktop with a fun sense of design and an optional custom briefcase for on-the-go gaming.
The Bad Performance is slower than other similarly equipped gaming desktops; limited ports; requires two bulky external power bricks, and you've got to really like the sci-fi tank tread design.
The Bottom Line The Acer Predator G1 isn't the fastest or even smallest VR-ready desktop, but it's powerful enough for new games and VR headsets, and has a sense of fun missing from other gaming PCs.
A VR-ready mini monster in a suitcase
The compact Acer Predator G1 desktop isn't the fastest or most powerful system in our roundup of gaming PCs with Nvidia's new GeForce 1080 graphics cards. It's also not the smallest, nor is it the least expensive or easiest to upgrade. But in testing and using it alongside many of its bigger and more powerful competitors, I found it had a better sense of -- for lack of a technical term -- fun. It's a gaming desktop that doesn't take itself too seriously, and that's a rare thing. Plus, it plays new 2D and VR games just fine, and is reasonably priced, making it easier to overlook any performance and design issues.
This is a newer, smaller version of the massive Predator G6 desktop we reviewed earlier in 2016. But that system was a floor-hogging monster that looked like a sci-fi movie prop, with its tank tread design and overblown online marketing copy which promised to "crush 4K gaming...and power-up for galactic domination." While the Predator G6 was a very capable VR-ready desktop, and decently priced one, it was also too big and goofy to fit into most homes or apartments, especially if you have to consider the spousal approval factor for new hardware.
The Predator G1 is similarly high-end, but boils the same armored-space-tank design into a more manageable form, about 14 inches tall and 5 inches wide. It's still somewhat silly-looking, but less in-your-face than the larger G6 version.