Acer Joins Creative Laptop Scene With a Rotating Screen, AMD Graphics

Acer today introduced ConceptD, a new brand under the Acer umbrella specifically targeting creative professionals, like developers, photographers, and videographers. Announced today, the portfolio features desktops, monitors, a VR headset and three new laptops.

ConceptD Laptops Specs

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Row 0 - Cell 0 ConceptD 9ConceptD 7ConceptD 5
CPUUp to 9th gen Intel i9Up to 9th gen Intel i7Up to Intel Core i7-8705G
GraphicsNvidia GeForce RTX 2080Up to Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-QAMD Radeon RX Vega M GL
MemoryUp to 16GB DDR4, upgradeable to 32GB with 2x SODIMMUp to 16GB DDR4, upgradable to 32GB with 2x SODIMMUp to 16GB DDR4
Storage512GB & 1TB NVMe SSDsUp to 512GB & 1TB SSDsUp to 512GB & 1TB SSDs
Display17.3-inch 4K IPS15.6-inch 4K IPS15.6-inch 4K IPS
NetworkingKiller Ethernet E3000; Gigabit Ethernet; 802.11a (2x2); Killer-Wireless AC-1550/1550i802.11a (2x2); Killer-Wireless AC-1550/1550i802.11a (2x2); Bluetooth 4.1
PortsThunderbolt 3; USB-C; HDMI 2.0; DisplayPort 1.4; 2x USB 3.1 Gen1Thunderbolt 3; HDMI 2.0; Mini DisplayPort 1.4USB-C; 4x USB 3.1 Gen 1; HDMI; SD card reader
Audio4x stereo speakers with passive radiator2x stereo speakers2x (not specified)
Dimensions (WxDxH)428 x 303.3 x 23.5mm358.5 x 255 x 17.9mm360 x 242 x 16.9mm

The entire line is supposed to be rather quiet with fan noise levels under 40dB, which during today’s press announcement Acer CEO Jason Chen said was about the volume of a typical library. The machines accomplish this with the fourth generation of Acer’s AeroBlade 3D Fans for cooling.

Naturally, these laptops also come with some high-end, color-accurate displays. Each comes with a 4K resolution, IPS screen that covers 100 percent of the AdobeRGB color gamut with a DeltaE of <2 or better (DeltaE < 3 is when color errors start to become visible for the average person) and have been Pantone-validated for accuracy.

ConceptD 9

At first glance, the ConceptD 9 is clearly the most premium of the ConceptD laptop lineup. Targeting intensive workloads like high-end 3D creations, it uses what Acer calls an Ezel Aero hinge for rotating the screen 360-degrees, great for presentations and drawing.

The convertible also comes with its own Wacom EMR stylus, which clings to the PC with magnets and offers 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

I spent a short amount of time with the ConceptD 9 (unfortunately the stylus wasn’t available) and went straight to testing that hinge. It seems steadily screwed in and worked pretty well.

I never encountered any resistance, and movements were firm. The screen held steadily in place no matter what position I left it in. One time the display did get stuck in the wrong orientation, but when I quickly flipped the screen back and forth, things went back to normal. For long-term reliability though, we wish the hinge was all metal. 

However, I wasn’t too impressed by the keyboard, which had keys that felt like they had a shockingly low amount of travel. On the other hand, the keys were as clicky as they were shallow. The touchpad and buttons on the side will be something I’d have to learn to grow accustomed to, personally.

ConceptD 7 and ConceptD 5

These are the traditional clamshell models of the ConceptD laptops. Upon its release, the 5 will be Acer’s thinnest and lightest laptop (3.3 pounds) for creatives. While the 7 is good for 6K RED video editing and rendering, the 5 is a more portable creative PC great for image editing and 2D graphic design.

One advantage the 5 has over the 7 is its all-metal chassis, including a magnesium-alloy top and palm rest and magnesium-lithium alloy underside. The plasticky 7, meanwhile, had a subtle but slightly rough feel to it, especially on the deck.

The 5 is also the only in the ConceptD line to sport AMD graphics, Radeon RX Vega M GL to be exact, contributing to the lower price tag compared to its RTX siblings. The 5 also has an 8th generation Intel CPU, whereas the other two rock newer and more powerful 9th generation CPUs.

ConceptD Laptops Prices and Availability

The ConceptD 9 will be available in North America in June starting at $4,999 and in EMEA in August at £4,999. The ConceptD 7 hits North American shelves April for $2,299 and EMEA in July at £2,299.

The ConceptD 5 arrives in North America in April at $1,699 and in EMEA in July at £1,699. 

Scharon Harding

Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.