Gaming, Laptop

CES 2019: Most Exciting Laptops & Gaming Machines from Acer & Asus

CES 2019 is happening right now, and as expected, various manufacturers have introduced pretty interesting products. From slim and light productivity-focused laptops to beefy gaming machines, here’s a roundup of the most exciting products from Acer and Asus that were announced at the annual technology conference.

Acer Swift 7

Bezel-less laptops are becoming much more prevalent, and the Acer Swift 7 is the latest entry in the category. Sporting a 92% screen-to-body ratio, the Swift 7 has very, very thin bezels. Because of the lack of bezels, the webcam is now located in the keyboard. That’s right, it’s a pop-up webcam like the one found on the Huawei MateBook X Pro.

Other specifications of the Swift 7 include a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS touchscreen, an Intel Core i7-8500Y Amber Lake processor paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 256GB or 512GB of PCIe SSD storage, and two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. On top of that, the laptop is only 9.95mm thin, and it tips the scales at 890g – it’s a very slim and light laptop.

Set to be available in North America later this year in May 2019, the Swift 7 retails from $1,699, which comes up to about RM6,990. That’s a steep price tag, but it’s not exactly unexpected; the Swift 7 has always been positioned as a premium product.

Asus ZenBook S13

Asus also revealed its own bezel-less laptop in the form of the ZenBook S13, and it’s more powerful than the new Swift 7 in a couple of areas. Not only does it come with a faster Core i5-8265U or i7-8565U processor, it also features Nvidia’s GeForce MX150 GPU. It may not be a very beefy GPU, but it’s certainly good enough for casual gamers.

What’s even more impressive about the S13 is its high 97% screen-to-body ratio, and unlike Acer’s implementation, Asus is retaining the webcam at the top of the display. However, this does result in a “reverse notch” to create space for the camera. It’s also worth noting that the S13 isn’t as slim or light as the Swift 7 – the former weighs about 1.1kg, and has a 12.9mm chassis.

Rounding out the specifications of the Asus ZenBook S13 include a 13.9-inch 1080p IPS display, up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, PCIe SSD storage that maxes out at 1TB, two USB-C ports, one USB-A connection, and a microSD card slot.

Unfortunately, Asus has not revealed the retail price of the ZenBook S13 yet. The company did, however, mention that the laptop will be launched sometime in the first quarter of 2019. Looking at its hardware and feature set, expect the ZenBook S13 to carry a premium price tag.

Acer Predator Triton 900

Initially teased at IFA 2018, Acer finally revealed more information on the Predator Triton 900 gaming behemoth. What sets this gaming laptop apart from its competition is the hinge mechanism, which is dubbed as the “Ezel Aero Hinge.”

You can use the Triton 900 in four different configurations: the standard notebook mode, tablet mode, “Ezel mode” – the display is positioned right above the keyboard – and display mode, which flips the screen around. There are not many convertible gaming laptops in the market now, which makes the Triton 900 a rather interesting product.

The Predator Triton 900 is a serious gaming machine, so without a doubt it has some powerful hardware under the hood. These include a GeForce RTX 2080 GPU, a 17-inch 4K IPS touch display with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, Intel’s six-core i7 processor, PCIe NVMe SSD storage, and up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM.

These are all beefy hardware, so it’s not surprising that the Acer Predator Triton 900 retails from a whopping $3,999 – that’s about RM16,460. If you’re keen to get it, you won’t have to wait too long either: the gaming machine will be available from March 2019 onwards.

Asus ROG Mothership

This is yet another gaming powerhouse, and on the surface, the Asus ROG Mothership is…a gaming tablet. A very powerful one at that.

Much like the Predator Triton 900, the ROG Mothership is equipped with an RTX 2080 GPU, albeit it’s the mobile version. Aside from that, it also has a sizeable 17.3-inch 1080p display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Not surprisingly, the display also boasts Nvidia’s G-Sync technology – a given for a gaming machine of this pedigree.

Design-wise, the ROG Mothership has the form-factor of Microsoft’s Surface tablet, right down to the kickstand design and detachable keyboard. What’s different, of course, is the fact that the keyboard can also work wirelessly. Alternatively, the keyboard can be connected to the Mothership via USB-C if you’re worried about input lag.

Other specifications of the ROG Mothership include an Intel Core i9-8950HK processor, three NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 configuration, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, two USB-C ports – one of which is Thunderbolt 3 – four USB-A connections, an HDMI port, an SD card slot, as well as an ethernet connection. A very generous selection of ports.

Much like the ZenBook S13, the Asus ROG Mothership does not have any pricing information yet, though it will be available sometime in the first quarter of 2019 as well.