Acer always comes to CES with a ton of new product announcements, and this year̵
Let’s start with the most available, shall we? The latest version of the 15.6-inch Aspire 5 runs on AMD Ryzen 5000 series processors, with discrete GPU options for up to a Radeon RX 640 (a mid-range card). The Aspire 5 can be configured with up to 24 GB of memory and up to a terabyte of SSD storage plus a 2 TB hard drive.
The .7-inch laptop has an aluminum sleeve that is available in black or silver. The left side is stacked with ports, including a USB-C, two USB-A, HDMI and a flip-out Ethernet port, plus its own charger. The right side is strangely bare, with only one USB-A port and a headphone jack. Note the full keyboard with ten keys, which is not self-evident at this size. The Aspire 5 starts at just $ 550 at launch in March, although the base model won’t feature those massive RAM and storage upgrades.
The 15.6-inch Aspire 7 sticks with AMD Ryzen 5000 for the processor platform, but matches NVIDIA for its discrete GTX 1650 graphics card. RAM options go up to 32 GB, but the option to add hard drive storage has been left out to fit into a slimmer 4.75 pound case.
The port options are similar to the Aspire 5, although oddly enough, the proprietary charger socket is on the right. There is an interesting option for manual fan control, something you don’t see very often in this range: press Funtion + F to toggle between silent, normal and performance settings. The Aspire 7 will go on sale in March starting at $ 750.
The Nitro series is Acer’s budget gaming brand. The new Nitro 5 offers a shocking amount of value for its hardware, in a 15.6-inch or 17-inch chassis. It still uses the Ryzen 5000 series for CPU, peaking at the Ryzen 9 5900 HX. There are also Intel options that come in an 11th Gen Core H. But on top of that, you can get the very latest NVIDIA RTX mobile graphics cards, all the way up to an RTX 3080.
RAM goes up to 32 GB, storage up to two terabytes M.2 SSD and a two terabyte hard drive, with licensed Killer E2600 network functionality for ethernet and Wi-Fi. Displays offer the choice between QHD resolution at 165 Hz or 1080p at a dazzling 360 Hz. I would go for the former, as the latest high-end games will never run that fast anyway. A compromise is the keyboard, which has “only” four zones of RGB lighting.
On the left, the Nitro 5 gets a flip-out Ethernet jack and two USB-A ports, with another USB-A, USB-C and HDMI on the right. Oversized dual exhausts dissipate heat from the rear, although the body design is less flamboyant than other gaming laptops. The Nitro 5 starts at just $ 750 with a February release, but it is unknown when the Intel-powered version will be available.
Predator Helios 300 (renew)
Switching to the flagship Predator series: The Helios 300 has been on the market for a while, but gets a refresh with new options for the incoming RTX 30XX series cards and up to 32 GB of storage. Tellingly, there is no mention of 11th Gen Intel processors, so these 15.6-inch and 17-inch models will likely be using processors in early 2020. The updated Predator Helios will start at $ 1,250 and up to $ 2,000 when it launches in February.
Predator Triton 300 SE
The big daddy of Acer’s CES series is the Predator Triton 300 SE. Well, “big” is a relative term, as this 14-inch laptop is only 0.7 inches thick – an impressive achievement considering its 11th Gen Core i7 processor and NVIDIA RTX 3060 graphics card. The telltale exhaust on the sides and rear (and perhaps Acer’s Transformers-style Predator badge) are the only signs this sleek design is meant for gaming. Otherwise, it looks like a premium ultraportable device.
Acer features a full metal fan design and heat pipes that keep the metal chassis cool under load. Screen options surpass 1080p and 144hz, with attractive slim bezels for a gaming laptop. A three-zone RGB keyboard with manual fan control sits on top of the main body, flanked by USB-A and USB-C on the left plus USB-A and HDMI on the right. The laptop has its own charger, but it also accepts power via USB-C.
I have to say, this machine looks sleek. If you want something that can handle Cyberpunk 2077 but doesn’t really look like a movie prop, this is it. The Predator Triton 300 SE will be available in February, with prices starting at $ 1,400.