Acer is updating its entry-level and premium laptops for CES 2023, adding bigger screens and the latest parts from both Intel and Nvidia to its Nitro and Predator lines. All of the laptops will start launching in the spring. Here's what we know so far:
Predator Helios 16 and 18
The Predator Helios line is going the biggest, at 16 and 18 inches. Both will get brand new, streamlined designs in matte black chassis with thinner bezels and improved thermals. Those will house Intel's 13th Gen "Raptor Lake" Core i7 and i9 HX processors, as well as the latest Nvidia GeForce RTX processors, though Acer has been a bit mum on which ones, specifically, will be included.
These new Predator Helios configurations will also include up to 32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM and up to 2TB of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD storage in RAID0.
Part of the increase in screen size is thanks to a switch to a 16:10 aspect ratio, which both systems will use. The Predator Helios 16 will offer a 16-inch, 2560 x 1600 display at either 165 Hz or 240 Hz, with a Mini LED option from AUO at 250 Hz that the company says can deliver more than 1,000 nits of peak brightness. The Helios 18 has an 18-inch screen starting at 1920 x 1200 at 165 Hz, 2560 x 1600 (165 Hz or 240 Hz) or the Mini LED display at 250 Hz. Acer claims the 18-inch panel is "ideal for multiple monitor setups," though we'll have to see if it fits in with our bigger monitors.
Acer has moved many of the ports to the back, with an RGB light bar nearby (because what is a gaming laptop without RGB?). The keyboard is mini-LED backlit on a per-key basis with 1.8 mm key travel.
The PredatorSense software has been updated to a new version 4.0, which Acer says will facilitate adjusting system settings and adjust between performance profiles. Ports include HDMI 2.1, a pair of Thunderbolt 4 ports, a microSD card reader and USB 3.2 Gen 2.
The Predator Helios 16 will launch in March, starting at $1,649.99, while the Helios 18 will ship in April, starting at $1,699.
Nitro 16 and 17
For its budget machines, Acer is going thinner, though the screens are still getting bigger. These, too, will use Nvidia's RTX 40-series laptop GPUs alongside Intel's 13th Gen Core processors.
The 16-inch has a 16:10 display, with either 1920 x 1200 or 2560 x 1600 resolution with a 165 Hz refresh rate and Nvidia Advanced Optimus. The 17-inch Nitro stays 16:9 with a 1080p display at 144 Hz or 165 Hz, or a QHD screen at 165 Hz.
The Nitro 17 will go up to Intel's HX-class processors, and Acer is touting that it comes in at less than 3 kg (6.61 pounds) and measures 400.20 x 293.25 x 289.9 mm.
Following AMD's press conference, Acer announced versions of both the 16 and 17-inch versions with AMD's Ryzen 7000 CPUs and Nvidia 40-series GPUs with up to 2TB of storage and 32GB of RAM.
I'll have to see it in person, but from the images, I'm not terribly fond of the design. The 2022 version was very refined, but this one stands out as much more… loud.
Both have some basic trappings, like four-zone RGB backlit keyboards rather than per-key lighting. Both go up to 2TB of SSD storage and up to 32GB of DDR5-5800 memory, and use liquid metal thermal grease. Ports include HDMI 2.1, two Thunderbolt 4 ports, three USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports and HDMI 2.1. It isn't clear whether NitroSense is getting a new version like PredatorSense is, but Acer hasn't said anything about it.
Both the Nitro 16 and Nitro 17 will be available in May, starting at $1,199.99 for the Intel version. The AMD options will start at $1,149.99 for the Nitro 16 and $1,199.99 for the Nitro 17.
Updated January 5, at 10:57 a.m. ET with details on newly announced AMD models.
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Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex, among others. Follow him on Threads @FreedmanAE and Mastodon @FreedmanAE.mastodon.social.
I won't be surprised if laptops get bigger over time to accommodate bigger air cooling solutions.Reply