The sharp-looking gaming laptop line adds a new 3D camera setup, but doesn't upgrade to Intel's next-gen CPUs -- yet.
Acer is the latest company to release a series of slim, sharp-looking gaming laptops, with its recent Nitro line joining tasty machines such as the HP Omen and Lenovo Y50 . Many of these systems have been very similar, with identical CPUs and graphics cards, so it's been tough for one to stand out over the crowd.
To differentiate itself, the Nitro V 17 is coming in 2015 with a RealSense 3D camera system from Intel, a step into the world of augmented and blended reality. This technology has previously been seen in the Dell Venue 8 7000 tablet and HP Sprout , and involves a combination of Intel-powered camera hardware and software that can sense depth.
That means one could, hypothetically, manipulate objects on screen using hand gestures, including Web and system navigation, or even use the multi-camera array to scan a real-world object into the PC for use in 3D modeling programs or with a 3D printer. Of course, many companies have made promises along these lines in the past, and we'll have to wait and see how Acer plans to implement the technology and how it works in the real world.
Besides the new camera tech, the 17-inch Nitro V 17 has four speakers, for a total of 8W of audio output, either Blu-ray or DVD optical drives, and something Acer calls DustDefender, a specially designed internal fan that purports to both repel dust and minimise system noise.
One thing we won't get right away in the new Nitro is Intel's just-launching fifth-generation Core i-series CPUs, also known by the codename "Broadwell." For now, the Nitro is sticking with the previous-gen Core i7 (from 2014's "Haswell" family), along with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 860M GPU, both very popular parts for 2014 gaming laptops. Acer says it expects the newer Intel chip to come to this system at some point, perhaps as early as the first quarter of 2015.
We don't have an exact release date or price for the new Nitro V 17 yet, with the company saying only "exact specifications, prices and availability will vary by region," but previous Nitro gaming laptops have sold for $1,500 and up in the US, and around £1,000 in the UK.