Acer’s Got Game: New Predator, Nitro PCs Inbound

As we've come to expect, Acer dropped several new gaming desktops and laptops in its Predator and Nitro lineups at its annual next@acer event in New York City today. And the company included an intriguing tease about a gaming monster machine powered by not one, but two Intel Xeon chips. We suppose Core i9 CPU muscle isn't enough to quite satisfy every deep-pocketed performance-hungry gamer.

Helios Hertz So Good

The company unveiled two new Predator-branded gaming laptops: the Predator Helios 500 and Helios 300 Special Edition. The latter takes the budget-friendly Helios 300 that we tested last fall and gives it a luxurious make over, with an all-white chassis accented with gold trim, an upgraded 15.6” 144Hz 1920x1080 IPS display, an Intel Core i7+ (with Optane) processor, 16GB of DDR4 memory, up to a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD and 2TB HDD, and overclockable GeForce GTX 1060 graphics.

The Helios 500 takes performance and picture to the next level with up to a Core i9-8950HK processor, 16GB of memory (expandable to 64GB), and GeForce GTX 1070 graphics. The 17.3” display can be configured as an FHD (1920x1080) 144Hz or 4K (3840x2160) IPS panel, both of which sport Nvidia G-Sync technology. The Helios 500 also supports G-Sync with up to three external monitors via dual Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI 2.0 interface.

Pricing and availability for the Predator Helios 300 Special Edition gaming laptop are currently unknown, but the Helios 500 will be hitting shelves this June starting at $1,999.

Smaller Predator Orion Desktops

Acer also expanded its Orion series of desktop PCs, using the blueprint of the original Orion 9000 (beastly hardware, RGB-lit and edgy chassis) to create the Predator Orion 5000 and 3000. Both new Orion PCs feature a drastically reduced footprint compared to their predecessor with a mid-tower design, and the 3000 is even smaller than the 5000. They also feature an EMI-compliant side panel that protects the components fron potential outside electromagnetic interference. Despite the smaller cases, the Orion 5000 and 3000 can still pack plenty of horsepower under the hood.

The Orion 5000 can be equipped with up to an Intel Core i7-8700K processor, 64GB of DDR4-2666 memory, 32GB of Intel Optane memory, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, a 3TB HDD, and dual GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards in SLI. The 3000 takes a step down from that with up to a Core i7-8700 (non-overclockable) processor and a single GeForce GTX 1080. However, you can still get up to 64GB of DDR-2666, 32GB of Intel Optane, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a 3TB HDD.

The Acer Predator Orion 5000 will arrive in July with a starting MSRP of $1,499. The Orion 3000 will follow in October, starting at $999.

A Boost of Nitro

The Predator series wasn’t the only recipient of new gaming products. Acer’s Nitro desktop series added a new model called the Nitro 50, which sports up to an Intel Core i7-8700 processor, 64GB of DDR4-2666 memory, 32GB of Intel Optane memory, a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD, and a 3TB HDD. The Nitro 50 can also be equipped with both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards (up to Radeon RX 580 8GB and GeForce GTX 1070 8GB).

The Acer Nitro 50 gaming desktop will arrive in July starting at $799.

Predator X, Too?

Acer also briefly mentioned a new Predator desktop called the Predator X. The only hard specification given was that it could be equipped with up to dual Intel Xeon processors, heavily implying that the new Predator product could be more a of a workstation than gaming rig with the Xeon platform (which implies ECC memory and Quadro graphics as probable options). However, it could also be carving out a product for high-end game streamers that could use the dual-CPU to its fullest potential. Until Acer reveals more, we can merely speculate what the X does and who it is for. The only thing clear about the Xeon-powered Predator X at this point is that pricing won't be pretty.

Derek Forrest
Derek Forrest is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes hardware news and reviews gaming desktops and laptops.
  • Lutfij
    Finally, they're tracing back to their predator roots for the desktops!
  • Dyseman
    Good price on Laptop. It may let me break my Asus streak.
  • justin.m.beauvais
    I BOUGHT THE WRONG HELIOS! Man, that white and gold one looks sharp! Then there is the 500. That blue! That GPU! That CPU! Acer's high end stuff is looking pretty darn good. Color me impressed.