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When is a laptop no longer a laptop?

It sounds like the setup for a terribly geeky (and also straight-up terrible) joke, and if the calendars were showing April 1st we’d probably think this was an elaborate fool, but Taiwanese manufacturer Acer isn’t kidding with their latest announcement from IFA 2016 in Germany: the Acer Predator 21X “laptop” is real.

Why are we sneering over the use of the word “laptop” and posing ridiculous riddles around the nature of laptoppyness, you might be wondering? Because the Acer Predator 21X is ridonculous. Here’s the highlights of its obscene specification:

  • 21″ curved, 21:9 super-widescreen display (yes, curved, yes, 21:9, and no, 21″ isn’t a typo)
  • 7th generation Intel “Kaby Lake” desktop processor (with viewing window; no, really!)
  • Up-to 4TB of all-flash storage
  • Full-size, Cherry MX mechanical keyboard (with numpad and hotkeys)
  • Tobii eye-tracking camera built-in
  • Five system cooling fans (yes, five)
  • Four speakers and two subwoofers (yes, two subs) for Dolby Digital surround sound
  • Two power supplies (yes, two; which are required because…)
  • Two Nvidia GTX 1080 graphics cards (in SLI configuration)
  • Oh yes, and we should probably mention it weighs in at 8kg/17.6lb

That’s just stupid, Acer. 8kg/17.6lb is heavier than the heaviest bowling ball you’re allowed to use. 8kg/17.6lb is like carrying two adult cats, or a single medium-sized dog (like a spaniel or beagle) under your arm. If your “laptop” is too heavy to carry around comfortably, and is frankly unbearable to have on your lap, then it ceases to be a “laptop” – instead, it becomes a desktop replacement or mobile workstation – and we still have no idea how much the Acer Predator 21X monstrosity is going to cost; probably somewhere around the price of a cheap second-hand hatchback.

But still, the Acer Predator 21X has a lot going for it. A curved 21″ screen is rather nice, and full-sized Cherry MX keys would be brilliant, and the convertible trackpad/numpad idea is really clever, and you can’t argue with twin-GTX 1080s… on second thoughts, we’ll allow it; just don’t refer to it as a “laptop”.

The Acer Predator 21X isn’t out just yet, and we’re not sure anybody will be able to afford it when it is. They also make other nice gaming laptops and monitors, though – shop Acer Predator series on Amazon.

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