With a flurry of possibly desirable consumer products in its arsenal — from a Windows 10 convertible with a liquid-cooling system to a super-durable Chromebook to a smartphone with a 5,000mAh battery — Taiwan’s Acer indeed seems hell-bent on clawing out of the hole it has dug for itself in the wake of the PC’s decline.
And from what we’ve seen and heard during the event (Acer provided a live-steaming video feed from the show floor), the company could be headed in the right direction on the road back to the big leagues.
That said, here are five upcoming Acer products that have caught our fancy the most.
Acer Liquid Zest Plus
If you can get past the awkward naming convention — to which many other phone makers are guilty of — Acer’s 5.5-inch Liquid Zest Plus might be a decent choice for road warriors who prefer the convenience of a massive 5,000mAh cell, rather than carrying around a portable charger or extra battery.
Even more impressive is that the device includes fast charging over a wired charger and a 13-megapixel rear camera that combines three autofocus technologies: laser, contrast detection, and phase detection. The Liquid Zest Plus also has a sub-$250 price tag, bringing it within the reach of mainstream users.
Acer Switch Alpha 12
The Alpha 12 is a hybrid-tablet-slash-Surface-rival that comes with a keyboard dock and a built-in kickstand for use as a laptop. Unlike similar machines, however, it packs liquid cooling into a fan-less design to keep its sixth-generation Intel Skylake processor running cool.
The tablet is slated for release sometime in June. The base model starts at $599 (P28,000), though the price doesn’t cover the magnetic keyboard attachment. Pricing for the latter has yet to be announced.
Acer Aspire S 13
Measuring just 14.5mm at its widest point and weighing 3 pounds, the S 13 is yet again proof that notebooks could be made thinner and lighter than ever before.
Sure, it’s not as attractive as the latest HP Spectre, nor does it have copper accents — the S 13 is, in fact, a boring white slab with moderately sized bezels. But it also has a starting price that’s hard to ignore for a notebook this portable: $699 (P33,000).
Couple that with a 13-inch 1080p matte display — touch optional — a sixth-gen Intel Core i series CPU, up to 8GB of RAM and 512MB of SSD storage, USB 3.1 Type-C and USB 3.0 ports, and battery life that lasts up to 13 hours, and you’ve got a rather compelling package.
Acer Chromebook 14 for Work
Acer is the world’s leading manufacturer of Chromebooks — machines that run Google’s Chrome OS — having been a big supporter of the category over the years, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it would go to great lengths to create a rugged Chromebook that can survive the elements and impact from a 4-foot drop onto a hard surface.
Like other Acer laptops on this list, the Chromebook 14 for Work is powered by the latest Intel Skylake processors that allow for faster speeds and improved graphics performance while maintaining decent battery life. It will be available next month with a $349 (P16,500) starting price.
Acer Predator 17X
The Acer Predator 17X joins a very short list of gaming laptops built for high-end VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. This behemoth of a not-so-easily-portable VR rig — it weighs in at 10 pounds and is about as thick as powerful laptops get — carries a desktop-class Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card so you can be certain it will play games in virtual reality nicely, something we can’t say about many machines priced beneath it.
That brings us to the price, which is, as you’d expect, cringe-inducing: The Predator 17X will sell for $2,799 (P130,000) when it goes on sale in June in the U.S.
But pricing aside, a laptop with this kind of feature set will only appeal to a very niche audience — in this case, VR developers who’d be willing to spend thousands of dollars to work from anywhere without lugging around a bulky desktop computer.