One thing Acer could never be accused of is limited ambition. Based on the company's breathless 2015 IFA press event, Acer is determined to find its way into consumers' hands and homes by any means necessary. From notebooks, to modular PCs, to high-end gaming devices, the company left no stone unturned and seems determined to appeal the widest range of consumers possible. Acer CEO Jason Chen identified Chromebooks, 2-in-1's, and gaming devices as the three major growth areas in the PC space, and in a packed event the Taiwanese electronics company seems to have covered all its bases, and then some.
The dream of the Pocket PC was alive and well at the Acer 2015 IFA press event. The company announced the Windows 10-based Jade Primo, the world's first PC phone. The Jade Primo can be used as both a portable smartphone and a full PC when connected to a monitor. This is achieved through Microsoft's Continuum feature, which adjusts the user interface depending on the input. The Jade Primo is powered by a Qualcomm 808 Snapdragon processor, features a 21-megapixel camera with a dual-LED flash, and sports a super AMOLED 5.5-inch display. The phone will also ship with a number of accessories, including a dock, keyboard, and wireless mouse.
Considering that Acer has yet to release any phones in the U.S., we doubt that the Jade Primo will make its way stateside in the near—or far—future. But fans of the company's computing division would no doubt like to see us proven wrong.
Revo Build Series
While considerably less pocketable, arguably the coolest announcement at the Acer event was the Revo Build series. This collection of modular computer components allows anyone regardless of their computer know-how to build a PC.
The base PC itself is a tiny 4.92-inch by 4.92-inch brick. The base unit will be powered by an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, and only allows for a maximum of 8GB Ram. It will also have three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, an SD card reader, and a headphone/microphone jack. To this, users can connect a GPU block, a 500GB or 1TB hard drive, a speaker, a projector, a microphone, a wireless charging station, and you get the idea.
The modules are completely wireless and snap together using a combination magnetic and conductive connection. More modules will be announced at a later date, and the company did hint at the possibility of high powered modules becoming available later. For now though, the Revo Build is clearly designed for mainstream markets—as well as emerging markets in developing nations.
The base unit will be available for budding PC builders in October. So far Acer has only announced availability in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, but a U.S. release may also be on the horizon.
Predator Gaming Family
Acer added a few new members to the growing family of Predator-branded gaming products. Probably the most exciting product joining the line-up is the Predator 6, a high-end Android smartphone designed for gaming. The Predator 6 is powered by a deca-core MediaTek processor and features 4GB of RAM. It also has a 6-inch HD display, four speakers, and haptic feedback.
Not content to only provide to on-the-go gamers, Acer also announced the Predator 15 and Predator 17 notebooks. On the surface, the 15" and 17" portables are fairly nondescript, but they're plenty powerful. Both laptops make use of Intel's newly announced Skylake Core i7 processors, and include GeForce GTX 980 GPU's, and up to 32GB of RAM. The 17" model has a 4K screen and both notebooks' optical drives can also swapped out for an additional third fan.
Acer also announced the Predator Z35 monitor. The 35-inch 21:9 aspect ratio monitor supports resolutions up to 2,560 x 1,080 px and has a 144 Hz refresh rate that can be overclocked to 200 Hz. Depending on your which GPU camp you fall into, the inclusion of G-Sync technology will be either a blessing or a curse. Unlike the more ubiquitous V-Sync, G-Sync forces the monitor to synchronize its refresh rate with that of the GPU. This reduces screen tearing and latencies. Of course, you'll need a supported Nvidia card to take advantage of this feature.
Acer also showed off a Predator-branded video projector. A dedicated gaming projector may sound like an needlessly unnecessary purchase, but there is one thing that separate this from the rest: throw distance. With only 19" of space, the laser powered device can project a 120" screen.
Acer also announced the U.S release date of the Predator 8 gaming tablet. After an initial October release in Europe, the device will be available in the United States in November.
Aspire One Cloudbook
Acer seems particularly invested in Windows 10. The company announced the Aspire One Cloudbook. Similar to the Chromebook, the Cloudbook is focused for online computing and features a number of features that are designed to better integrate with Windows. It has a fast 802.11ac wireless network adapter, a dual digital mic for better Skype audio quality and Cortana integration, and a 8-hour battery life. The Cloudbook is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 dual-core processor and includes 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, 1,366 x 768 screen resolution, Bluetooth 4.0, an HDMI port, and USB 2.0 port.
It will come pre-installed with Office 365 personal and 1TB of OneCloud online storage. Best of all, it will launch with a starting price of only $169.
Acer also announced the latest addition to its steadily growing fleet of Chromebooks. The convertible R11 has a full 360° dual torque hinge that allows up to four usage modes: laptop, pad, display, and tent.
The R11 is powered by an Intel Celeron processor, and has a 11" 1366 x 768 display, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a USB 3.0 port. It's also incredibly sturdy... Chen dropped it on the floor mid-sentence for effect.
While not announced during the actual press event, Acer also had on display the latest additions to the company's smartphone line, the Android-powered Liquid Z630 and Liquid Z530.
The more expensive Acer Liquid Z630 features a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A53 processor, a Mali-T720 GPU, and a MediaTek MT6735 chipset. It has 2GB RAM, 16GB internal memory, and a 4000 mAh battery. It also features a 5.5” 720p IPS display. It will retail for €200.
The smaller Acer Liquid Z530 has a 5” 720p IPS screen 720p IPS display, as well as LTE connectivity, a MediaTek MT6735 chip, and 2GB RAM. It will retial for €140.
As expected, neither products have a U.S. release date.