Creative professionals have certain needs when it comes to content creation they’ve got special needs stunning true to color display is often top of the list. Acer has come up with a new line of products called ConceptD which has desktops, laptops, VR headsets, and displays. They’re aesthetically beautiful, run quiet and cooler than the gaming machines and they’re looking to take on Apple’s high-end production product line.
ConceptD is an evolution of Acer’s gaming line up if products, creating a billion-dollar business has given Acer the technical background to step into this space. Unlike Apple who does not refresh many of its professional creator products yearly, Acer brings out new gaming hardware yearly. This is good news for studios who might want to upgrade on their own schedule on not Apple’s.
Digital Domain was on stage during the Acer press event in New York talking about the work they do with so many film studios (I was personally most impressed with the Marvel titles they had under their belt). I asked them why they weren’t using Apple devices? Interestingly, many of the programs they use require specific graphics card or hardware configurations. They also run a lot of Linux devices and write their own programs to create certain effects. This type of flexibility isn’t possible on Apple products. Currently, they’re using Predator laptops, they’ve given the ConceptD 9 a try to get their digital human demo running on Unreal Engine 4 running at the press event. They said in the short time they’ve had it they found the battery life to be noticeably longer and it ran much quieter when being pushed.
For certification with most major studios, Digital Doman has to use Windows, and until now they’ve being using gaming rigs to get the job done. The best comment they made about being excited for the ConceptD line of desktops was that their artists might be able to trade in their office shorts for pants since the space under most people’s desks was just so hot from the hardware.
The Windows Laptop space for content creators might be ripe with real professionals pushing the boundaries of what content creation means. When I look around most press events, including this one, you do still see a lot of Macbooks. The ConceptD 9 is a beast of a device that is going to be out of the price range of most, the ConceptD 7 and 5 are more inline with Macbook and Surface Book pricing.
Acer ConceptD Series Specs
|Acer ConceptD 9||Acer ConceptD 7||Acer ConceptD 5|
|Display||17.3-inch, 3840 x 2160 IPS display||15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 IPS display||15.6-inch, 3840 x 2160 IPS display|
|CPU||9th Gen Intel Core i9||9th Gen Intel Core i7||8th Gen Intel Core i7/i5|
|RAM||Up to 16GB, upgradable to 32GB||Up to 16GB, upgradable to 32GB||Up to 16GB|
|Graphics||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080||Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q or Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060||AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL|
|Storage||Up to 1TB SSD||Up to 1TB SSD||Up to 1TB SSD|
|Size and Weight||16.8 x 11.9 x 0.92 inches, 9 pounds||14.1 x 10 x 0.7 inches, 4.6 pounds||14.1 x 9.5 x 0.6 inches, 3.3 pounds|
|Ports||Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C, HDMI 2.0, DisplayPort 1.4, USB 3.1 (2)||Thunderbolt 3, HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort 1.4||USB Type-C, USB 3.1 (3), HDMI, SD card reader|
The bezels on the D 9 are pretty thick, but some may be willing to live with that trade-off. The laptop is powered by a 9th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 CPU, and supports up to 1TB of SSD storage. Acer’s notebook supports a variety of modern connections, including Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-C and DisplayPort 1.4.
- Pantone Validated 4K UDH Display
- Ezel Aero hinge (similar to )
- Fan noise under 40dB
- Support for Wacom stylus
- First design under Acer’s new lifestyle brand for creatives, which emphasizes precision, performance, optimized cooling and functional design
Despite packing powerful specs, Acer says the fan noise will be less than 40 decibels, which beats the MacBook Pro. This is thanks to Acer’s 4th generation 3D aero blade fans.
Acer is also launching a ConceptD 5 thin and light notebook and ConceptD 7 system, both of which sport 15.6-inch 4K displays that also promise up to 400 nits of brightness. The D 7 packs a 9th Gen Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to an Nvidia RTX 2080 Max Q and up to 1TB of SSD storage. The sleeker D 5 rocks an 8th Gen Core i7 CPU, up to 16GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics chip and up to 1TB of storage in addition to a fingerprint reader.
The notebook space has a lot of competition, but desktops are where I see the ConceptD line getting more interesting.
The Concept D 500 features up to a ninth-generation Intel Core i9 CPU, up to an Nvidia Quadro RTX 4000, and up to 64GB of memory. Its chassis is classy and white, with a unique wood-inlay in the top panel that also houses a wireless charge point for compatible smartphones and tablets. It even has a pop-out headset cradle in the front panel. Like the ConceptD laptops, it too has a quiet and powerful cooling system that is designed to never exceed 40 decibels.
The ConceptD 900 offers an even more powerful hardware configuration. Resting inside a jet-black chassis, the 900 offers up to dual Xeon Gold 6148 CPUs with up to 40 cores and 80 threads. They’re combined with up to an Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 graphics card and up to 192GB of memory across its 12 RAM slots. Aimed at filmmakers, animators, and architects, this system even has enough bays and slots to handle up to 60TB of storage space.
ConceptD 900 desktop
- Delta E <1 Pantone Validated
- VESA certified DisplayHDR 1000 monitor
- 99% Adobe RGB Color Gamut
- Dual Intel Xeon Gold
- Nvidia Quadro RTX 6000 graphics
- 12 memory slots, five storage bays, multiple PCIe slots
- Up to 192GB RAM and 60TB of storage
Despite all that hardware, it too stays cool and quiet, with six cooling fans drawing air in through the front, triangular intake.
The CondeptD 500 will go on sale this June starting at $1,700. The ConceptD 900 will go on sale in May starting at $20,000.
Acer has entered into a niche which is currently underserved. Gaming devices are a different breed we’re excited to get our hands on these in a few months and test them out in different scenarios!