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Acer 'Gets' Gaming; CEO Jason Chen's Wise Words

Acer CEO Jason Chen ( (Image credit: Acer))

In an interview with our sister site Tom's Guide, Acer CEO Jason Chen spoke candidly about a range of industry topics and the company's interests and pursuits therein, but his comments on gaming stuck out as particularly noteworthy.

When asked if Acer was going to use gaming laptops as a way to introduce new design concepts that may trickle down to other devices, Chen answered the question by pivoting a bit and speaking frankly about what Acer needs to do on the gaming front.

"When I was talking to our product line president for the gaming area, I told him we need a different team," Chen said. "We can't assume that a higher-end graphics notebook equals a gaming machine. It's not."

Chen continued, "People who use gaming computers are a different group of people. Different thinking, different perspectives, different requirements. We can't assume that higher-end, bigger configuration is different, and therefore, we have different design and considerations."

Jason Chen clearly "gets it," which is reason enough to get a bit excited about what Acer might end up doing in the gaming space in terms of gaming notebooks and pre-built desktops, but there's more.

Acer Aspire V Nitro ( (Image credit: Acer))

He used the term "casual gaming" in reference to Acer's current gaming system offerings, such as the Acer Aspire V Nitro gaming laptop, which is curious. The Aspire V Nitro is no slouch in terms of specs; it sports 4th- or 5th-gen Intel Core CPUs, up to an Nvidia 860M GPU, up to a 1 TB HDD/256 GB SSD storage configuration, and a 15- or 17-inch Full HD display. There's also a 2x2 MIMO wireless solution on board, as well as four (four!) 2 W Dolby speakers.

So what's "casual" about that? His point was that high-end specs are not enough. Acer is going to be drilling down to the minutiae of what makes a good gaming system work, looking at aspects of the build such as key travel and backlighting.  

For now, Chen indicated that Acer is focusing on building a new gaming notebook (or series of gaming notebooks?), but eventually the company will be focusing this level of rigor and attention to detail on desktop gaming rigs and even tablets.

The timeline for all of the above, unfortunately, remains known only to Chen and the Acer brass. "Once we're ready [to break into the hardcore gaming market], we'll talk to you about that, but we're taking it step by step," he said.

Acer sees three growth markets on the PC side of things; one is, unsurprisingly, Chromebooks. Another is the 2-in-1 market, which will be bolstered by new devices running Intel's Core M chips. (As we've noted before, Core M processors are designed to enable impressively thin and light designs with no fans, all while improving battery life and performance.)

The third PC market growth segment Acer is focused on is gaming, and it's clear from Chen's comments that Acer will be putting the work in to make sure it gets gaming products right.

Updated 10:44am PST October 24 to include photo of Acer CEO Jason Chen.

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  • ABagOfFritos
    Maybe they should consider improving their overall build quality before anything. Acers have been known as shitboxes for years now. Rampant hardware problems from purchasing cheap parts.

    I like the sound of a lot of this, but I remain sceptical due to Acer's history of building crap computers.
    Reply
  • koss64
    Maybe they should consider improving their overall build quality before anything. Acers have been known as shitboxes for years now. Rampant hardware problems from purchasing cheap parts.

    I like the sound of a lot of this, but I remain sceptical due to Acer's history of building crap computers.
    I respectfully disagree with your statement on Acer's build quality,the workshop of my former employ used a Acer desktop as one of its workhorse trouble shooting/data backup/gaming machines(when a Radeon HD card was installed) and the machine as of this writing hasn't failed and still has the original parts. My former boss swore by Acer laptops and the only reason he has gone through 2 in the last 3 in the last seven years is because he wants the latest,his old laptops are still in good working order with some wear on them as they are his primary machines.
    Reply
  • GeekDad63
    "Acer gets gaming".... good Friday Funny. Can't recall anytime in past Acer was synonymous with gaming...so did they just have a revelation?
    Reply
  • Benevolence
    I almost replied "yeah Asus is good stuff", but then I remembered we're talking about Acer... That being said, I have a cheapo Walmart Acer (redundant?) that's managed to stay current for several years with the right upgrades like a new CPU, RAM etc etc...
    Reply
  • drapacioli
    Here's some good advice for gaming laptops: I don't care how the keyboard responds or the touchpad, just make them usable. Most serious gamers will use a controller or a separate keyboard/mouse anyway. Quality displays are nice, but the chassis itself usually isn't a factor cosmetically (at least for me).

    The most important thing to me is cooling and consistent performance. What good is the best specs money can buy if it's cooled by a single low-speed fan and the cheapest thermal compound available? Maximize your cooling potential and keep the gamers happy that they won't have to worry about frying their hardware or experiencing thermal throttling! Seriously, cooling is one thing so many manufacturers and models struggle with, if you can get that right, you'll get a ton of new customers when the word gets out that you've built a stable, cool gaming laptop!
    Reply
  • Benevolence
    Most of the kiddos in my programming class go on about "will this (macbook, or alienware) laptop be good for gaming? Usually all I ask is "how thick is it?". Some of the older guys get the idea, bigger heatsink = better performance. Heat dissipation is the biggest limiting factor for laptops vs desktop. Always wondered why no one's thought pipping the heat right out the top of the monitor, like a little smoke stack...
    Reply
  • scolaner
    "Acer gets gaming".... good Friday Funny. Can't recall anytime in past Acer was synonymous with gaming...so did they just have a revelation?

    Yes. That's the whole point of the article.
    Reply
  • scolaner
    Always wondered why no one's thought pipping the heat right out the top of the monitor, like a little smoke stack...

    Holy cow. That's an awesome idea. Can someone please, please do a mod that does that?!
    Reply
  • clifftam
    Actually Acer already sponsored a team for Starcraft 2. It ain't like they never associate with the gaming industry before.
    Reply
  • junkeymonkey
    acer = grandmas bargain walmart computer that's locked out for any upgrades over what it came with out of the box
    Reply