The 23rd of June 2020 saw Acer holding its annual Next@Acer global press conference to showcase a host of new products and developments. This time, however, things were a little different. Instead of the usual live event conducted onstage in New York before a live media audience, this year’s conference was an entirely virtual event streamed live from Taipei. What’s more, some of Sri Lanka’s own media were among the global press invited to cover the event.
To keep things fun and engaging, Acer began the conference with a 24-hour pre-event poll to let viewers decide which Acer product line they’d like to see first. The options available to vote for were ‘Rock’ (Acer’s rugged and durable devices), ‘Paper’ (Acer’s thin and lightweight devices), and ‘Scissors’ (Acer’s design and illustration devices). The rest of the conference was dedicated to covering new Acer gaming tech.
For its thin and light consumer devices, Acer were keen to help customers stay productive and safe during a time of social distancing. So, the new Chromebook Enterprise Spin 713 and Swift 5 don’t just have a 2K-resolution VertiView display or Wi-Fi 6 among other features, they also come coated with a new antimicrobial solution that helps limit the spread of germs from one hand to another.
Arguably the main star of Acer’s design and illustrator range this year was the new ConceptD 3 Ezel. To showcase its capabilities, Acer handed the device over to a professional animator and illustrator Filipa Santos (known professionally as Pypah).
As Pypah put it, the ConceptD 3 Ezel is “an amazing hybrid of a laptop and graphics display tablet,” that “functions beautifully as a work laptop as well as a tablet where you can immediately switch to create artwork wherever you are.” Pypah also commended the Ezel for its solid construction as well as the accuracy and sensitivity of its digital design pen.
What’s more, the ConceptD 3 Ezel is one of the longer running design and illustrator devices out there, with a battery life of up to 18 hours.
This year, Acer announced a brand new product line for its rugged and durable devices—Enduro. The first devices to be presented under the new series were the Enduro N7 and N3. Built for reliability and toughness in extreme working conditions, both devices are military grade certified, dustproof, and water resistant (IP67 – N7/ IP53 – N3), and use a hot swappable battery.
The N3 was also reviewed by astrophotographer Trevor Jones who found it to be significantly more reliable for a full night’s work in the field than a conventional laptop.
Viewers also got to see the N3 go through some intense stress testing including a drop test, rain test, and temperature test to assess its robustness.
After being subjected to multiple drops from average shoulder height, several minutes inside a rain test chamber, and four hours inside a container of dry ice (-30 degrees celsius), the N3 emerged fully functioning, with no damage to the screen, chassis, or keyboard. By the end, technicians John and Brandon, who ran the tests, had to concede that “Acer’s Enduro N3 is a tough computer.”
In addition to the N7 and N3, Acer announced that the Enduro product line will also include the Enduro T5 and T1 tablets.
With just over half the livestream dedicated to covering “Rock Paper Scissors”, the whole rest of the conference was left to cover gaming tech; and when talking about Acer’s gaming tech, one has to talk about Predator.
This year, Acer updated the Predator Helios 300 with a 240Hz screen with a 3-millisecond display, 4th Gen Aeroblade 3D cooling, and an 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor. That all makes the Helios 300 an immensely capable yet relatively light and compact gaming laptop.
Acer also made updates to the larger Helios 700, so it now comes with better processing power, smoother graphics, and a new cooling system.
The Helios 700 was also reviewed by gamer, coach, and streamer for Team Envy and the Dallas Fuel Justin “Jayne” Conroy who summed it up as “a dramatic improvement over any gaming laptop that I’ve ever used” citing that the Helios 700 doesn’t make the usual compromises other gaming laptops do to achieve portability.
Acer also had news to share for desktop gamers. This year’s Orion 9000 has been updated with a tempered glass side panel for better visibility and EMI shielding.
For cooling, the Orion 9000 is now available with triple Predator Frost Blades which generate 16% more airflow than before and 55% more static pressure.
Next, it was time to talk about gaming monitors, specifically the Predator X25. Acer claims they are number one in the world for making gaming monitors and this year, they intended to push the envelope even further.
So the Predator X25, on top of being a 360Hz eSports G-Sync gaming monitor, has other unique features such as adaptive light technology, light sense, proxy sense, and color sense. Together, these features create a more fun and immersive gaming experience while actually reducing strain on the eyes.
Following this and a small drinks break with a few cans of Acer’s new energy drink, Predator Shot, the press conference moved to its final segment for gamers and the conference—comfort.
This year, Acer sought out to enhance the comfort and functionality of their gaming chairs with the Predator Gaming Chair x Osim. As the name suggests, this new version incorporates OSIM technology that allows it to massage you from the neck down to the waist.
On the functionality side, the chair features bluetooth speakers embedded in the headrest, a control panel embedded in the right armrest, a four roller function, and recilination down to 145 degrees.
What’s more, the chair can also be combined with the Predator Thronos Air to create a fully featured gaming setup.
With that and a brief live Q&A session, Acer Chairman, CEO, and co-presenter Jason Chen brought Next@Acer 2020 to an end.