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New Acer Predator Helios 700 adds HyperDrift keyboard to keep things cool

The PC giant also has new entries in the Nitro and Orion gaming lines.

Sarah Tew/CNET

At its annual global press conference, Acer showed off new Chromebooks along with an entirely new line of computers for creatives, called Concept D. But some of the most interesting announcements were from the Predator Helios gaming line.

The new Helios 700 looks and feels a lot like previous Helios laptops, at least at first. But with a quick hand movement, it transforms, shoving its keyboard forward and extending the touchpad over the front lip, where it sits an at angle.

Now playing: Watch this: Acer's new Helios 700 keyboard hides a big secret

Why would you want to do this? Acer calls it a HyperDrift keyboard and says it exposes two large cooling fans that sit above the keyboard, allowing for much better cooling. That means you can get up to an Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia RTX 2080 inside, while making overclocking more stable.

The keyboard shuffle also exposes a glass panel, through which you can see some of the heat pipes inside the system. Want one? It's gonna cost $2,699 and up, so start saving now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

But wait, there's more! The all-important WASD keys are Magforce keys, which have an almost analog-like response. Press lightly, you'll walk slowly. Press all the way down, you'll run. I haven't had a chance to try it in a game yet, but the concept is intriguing.

The smaller Helios 300 jumps to ninth-gen Core i7 CPUs and Nvidia RTX or GTX graphics, and gets a subtle redesign to make it slimmer and shrink down the bezel. It's a more modest $1,199.

More for your mainstream dollar

The Nitro line, a budget-minded gaming laptop series, gets some updates as well. The $999 15-inch Nitro 7 has a new metal body, shrinking down to less than 20mm thick. You also get a 144Hz screen, new ninth-gen Intel processors and two storage drive slots for up to 3TB of space.

The Nitro 5 comes in 15-inch and 17-inch versions, without the 144Hz display but with a lot of the same CPU/GPU options, for $799 and up.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Finally, for desktop gamers, there's the new Predator Orion 500, which is smaller than previous Predator desktops but still fits in a Core i9-9900K and RTX 2080. It pairs well with the CG437K P monitor, a massive 43-inch monster that does AdaptiveSync, 4K and HDR. It's $1,299, but won't be available until September.