We have several times written about Acer’s Predator series, which is going to compete with the more established players in the gaming world. Not only have the screens with eye-tracking received attention, but a number of well-equipped PCs have come out of it.
The Acer Predator 17X is the current top model, if we ignore the giant Predator 21X, which requires heavy PC driving license – and costs as much as a small sedan! The edition we have tested is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor, 32 GB RAM and a Geforce GTX 1080 graphics processor. It has both SSD and a conventional hard drive on board, but no optical port. The modular DVD port we saw on earlier Predator models is gone. All the computers in the test are without optical drives.
Like the vast majority of gaming PCs, Predator 17X is pitch black. The lid, keyboard and bottom are all made of a matte black plastic with an almost silky surface. The only exception is the metal grills on the cooling vents in the back, which are bright red.
As with Asus’ heaviest models, the hinge to the screen is pulled slightly forward on the chassis. It makes the machine seem a little smaller, but nevertheless, it never seems small. There are three to four regular laptops on a Predator 17X, both in weight and scope. And even in price. However, it is very well constructed. The lid opens with the right combination of firmness and smoothness, and the keys are without any wobble. These are details, but details that show a difference.
Geforce GTX 1080 is Nvidia’s best graphics processor for home use. And it plows through most games like a hot knife through butter. Our graphics testing demonstrates this as well. The heavy 3DMark Type Spy test comes out with a score of 6,599 and 3DMark 15 ends at 14,352.
In return, there is no particular reason to buy a monster machine for purposes other than graphics. The general tests Geekbench, Basemark and Cinebench all show excellent results, but not much more than an i7 machine with no super graphics can handle.
The Acer Predator 17X has a built-in battery, but you would do well by using the power supply. Battery life is the second shortest we have ever measured: it clocked in on an hour and four minutes in our battery test. Only the giant MSi GT80 Titan performed worst. And only by a minute.
The SSD disk is excellent and provides a fast start up. But it is no speed party. MSi and Omen are more than twice as fast.
Acer is working hard with the Predator series to capture a slice of the gaming market, and the Predator 17X is a brilliant and well constructed machine that can satisfy even the most demanding gamers. Performance is at the top, and it requires almost a photo finish to decide the differences between Acer and the archrival Asus.
This kind of performance in a laptop has its price. Both in terms of money and portability. The Predator 17 requires a solid PC carrier bag, and the battery is more for decoration. And it costs a fortune – but no more than a serious racing bike or any other top-end hobby equipment.