I got my hands on the Predator 17 X and one thing was obvious: It’s a heavy machine. Granted, I’m a little bit vertically challenged, the Predator 17 X carries all the trademarks of gaming laptops we’ve seen: big, bad, and boy-does-it-run-fast.
Specs you wish your laptop had
The Predator 17 X comes with a 7th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, backing up an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. It’s this kind of intense graphics power that makes it one of the gaming laptops that is VR-ready.
And with new games like Agony by Madminds Studios, Kittypocalypse by Bolverk Games, and your classic Keep Talking And No One Explodes by Steel Crate Games joining the ranks of VR games, the Predator 17 X will make your current specs seem ancient by comparison.
It has 64GB of memory with a 512GB SSD and an additional 2TB HDD. If that doesn’t scream a ton of gaming power, I don’t know what does.
How does it keep itself cool?
As far as cooling this beast goes, Acer developed the Aeroblade 3D technology that scraps the old plastic fans with thin metal blades.
These blades are designed with axial fins that help the laptop cool down more efficiently than with usual metal fans. The Predator 17 X comes with three of these fans, so expect this beast to make a considerable roar.
Prepare to lift
This laptop weighs a ton. How much exactly? It weighs a whopping 4.55kg and the dimensions are 42.30 x 32.15 x 4.50cm. With my figure, it takes a few minutes of silly tottering around the office to get this from point A to point B.
The Predator 17 X’s dimensions are not surprising for a gaming laptop, though — considering its premium counterpart, the Predator 21 X, has an exclusive crate for you to bring it around. This unit is barely portable, but is a whole lot more manageable than most gaming laptops, thanks to its properly placed curves and matte finish.
Backlit keyboard that will make you puke rainbows
The Predator 17 X has a customizable, individually lit, and multi-colored keyboard. I think I’ve said this in a previous review: People often underplay the benefits of having a backlit keyboard.
With this sweet setup, you can probably imagine the incoherent squealing I had in my head. (I have a strong conscience that reminds me day by day to respect the more-or-less quiet space that is the GadgetMatch office.) Forget about rainbows shooting out of unicorns, this laptop will let you play on them.
Customizable macro keys to help you get good
With the Predator 17 X, you’ll run out of excuses for not joining the PC Master Race. It’s got everything you need from being bold at first glance, to integrating the quick customizable macro keys on the left-hand side of the keyboard.
Unfortunately, all these specs can only do so much to help someone build their skill set, so getting this laptop comes with the pressure of getting good, and fast.
Jack of all gaming trades
I played Overwatch, Street Fighter V, and Rise of the Tomb Raider on the Predator 17 X. While playing Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game stuttered too much on the notebook’s native 4K resolution and gameplay looked too gritty to enjoy. After tweaking the settings and downing the resolution to 1080p, it played out well at 70fps. On Overwatch though, it could handle gameplay at 4K, but exclusively on 60Hz at best, which is the monitor’s maximum refresh rate.
You can play a ton of other games on the Predator 17 X, and it does well for practically any game you install on it, but it does fall through the cracks when trying to max out the specs for testing 4K. Don’t mistake this as a faltering factor though, since even GTX 1080-equipped desktop PCs have a tough time handling resolutions above 1440p with smooth frame rates.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
For gamers who want a semi-portable gaming laptop, this can handle a good beating. Despite sustaining the stigma of poor portability for gaming laptops, given that carrying this thing can most likely tear through any laptop bag available, it’s still a pretty good deal.
Considering an ample amount of storage for games, an RGB backlit keyboard, customizable macro keys, and three aeroblade cooling fans — not to mention being VR-ready — this laptop is one tough beast. Starting at US$ 2,700 or PhP 220,000 in the Philippines, the Predator 17 X can stop being the laptop you wish you had to the laptop you wreck people in-game with.
[irp posts=”13649" name=”Acer Predator Triton 700 First Look”]
A beginner’s guide to Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Niantic, Inc. has just rolled out its brand new game to over 150 countries worldwide over the weekend. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is also a location-based game that uses augmented reality and builds on the current platform of the company’s games Pokémon Go and Ingress.
Quick disclosure: I’m far from being a Potterhead so I might not get the right terms related to the franchise in this article. Although, I’m a long-time and current player of Pokémon Go hence I checked out Wizards Unite.
Onto the game itself. If you’re like some players I know who would rather just get to the game right away and skip the numerous pages of introduction and dialogues, the main plot of the story is pretty simple. A mysterious event called Calamity has struck resulting in certain magical items and beings to scatter in the real world.
It is your job as part of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to bring these items, people, and creatures back to the Wizarding World and complete your registry. This registry acts like your Pokédex and tells you what you have and things to look out for.
Throughout the game, you will come across different terms, items, and structures. Let’s take a quick look at the basic elements of the game:
Professions – Just like in the books and movies, you can choose from three types of professions once you reach level six. These are Auror, Magizoologist, and Professor.
Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and complements the other two during battles. It’s important to note that you can later on switch professions if you wish to but the upgrades already bought could no longer be reattributed.
Confoundables vs Foundables – In Wizards Unite, foundables are those you hunt down to bring back to their proper time and location. Meanwhile, you banish the confoundables that are responsible for getting the foundables stuck in our world.
Casting Spells – In order to banish confoundables, you need to cast spells by accurately tracing the pattern shown on your smartphones. There are about ten spells available as of the time of writing but the company says they will eventually be adding more. In addition to accuracy of tracing, speed also plays a big part to achieve a “Masterful” trace (there’s Fair, Good, Great, and Masterful).
Spell Energy – You’ll need to have spell energy to cast spells. Initially, you’re allotted up to 75 energy points and you use them whenever you try to cast spells on the confoundables. When it reaches zero, it’s basically the equivalent of running out of Pokéballs and you could no longer “catch” foundables.
Structures – Structures like Inns and Greenhouses are your way of getting more spell energy and ingredients to make useful potions. Inns will give out energy by dining in them, while Greenhouses churn out ingredients to make different potions. So playing in areas densely populated with Inns and Greenhouses will ensure you have the resources for a more efficient grinding session.
There’s a third kind of structure and it’s the Fortress. A fortress is a place where up to four friends can join forces and battle together different sets of magical creatures to further upgrade their abilities and come across rarer entries for the registry. Every tier gets tougher and tougher so it encourages players to team up with new players and overcome stronger foes.
Potions – As mentioned earlier, you can concoct your own potions by getting ingredients from Greenhouses. As per usual, these potions vary with different effects and can be used in battles either to heal yourself, make the spell more effective, or prevent the foundable from departing away and missing the chance to add it to your registry.
Portkeys – To get you moving while playing the game, you’ll be able to collect Portkeys that only open after walking certain distances in the real world. Right now there are 2KM/5KM/10KM variations of Portkeys and once it’s opened, it has the power to bring you to different locations so you can collect items and even XP.
Now that most of the basics have been covered, here are some tips to keep in mind while playing based on me and my wife’s experiences.
- Download all assets as soon as you can. This will make loading times faster while performance will be more stable.
- Turn on Trace Auto-Align to make encounters with AR slightly faster
- An Inn with a green color serves up to 10 energy points, purple and blue give up to seven, brown up to six, and a pink one only dishes out a maximum of three energy points.
- Master Notes are secret patterns that reduce brewing time of potions. Figure it out by checking the available patterns at the Potions Info page.
- As the stages you battle in Fortresses level up, magical creatures grow stronger. Having a friend to fight alongside you will be needed even more so in the higher tiers of Fortress matches.
- If you see a floating icon with a beam of light above it, it means it’s a high risk foundable with high rewards. Be sure to get it!
- Use Dark Detectors for rarer foundables to appear, Exstimulo potions against higher risk foundables, and Baruffio’s Brain Elixir before claiming rewards like Portkeys to get double XP.
- Flags and smoke from Greenhouses and Inns, respectively, signify they’re still on cooldown.
- Be sure to have enough energy before battling at Fortresses. Quitting during an unfinished session will render the Runestone useless.
- Turning off AR during encounters is easier for the phone and will save precious battery life.
- Just keep on playing. Niantic’s games reward players who just keep on exploring new things (or simply staying) in the game.
If there’s anything we missed or if you want to add to these tips, be sure to leave a comment!
Dr. Mario World is coming to Android and iOS in a few weeks
A classic coming back to life!
After a week from E3 2019, Nintendo has announced the release of its latest mobile game. The Japanese game company has been reviving its classic titles lately and the newest one coming to our phones is Dr. Mario World.
A new trailer for Dr. Mario World gives us our first look at the game. From the looks of it, it’s going to be pretty different yet familiar. Instead of a Tetris-style gameplay where the capsules fall down the screen, Dr. Mario World will require players to drag the capsules on the playing field. Since the game will be played on phones with touchscreens, this approach makes better sense than left-right buttons.
Like most free-to-play titles, the game will have in-app purchases that’ll help players progress in the game. The game also has countdown timers and character customizations.
The original Dr. Mario game came out in 1990 and it instantly became one of the best Nintendo titles. It was originally developed for the NES. It was ported and remade for multiple platforms after.
Taiwan Excellence is holding its first esports cup in the Philippines
With a prize pool of P360,000
Esports continue to grow in the Philippines thanks to the help from both organizations and major brands. The latest to make its mark in the local competitive scene is Taiwan Excellence, which will be holding an esports cup in Manila beginning in July.
With the help of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) and Taiwan’s Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), there’ll be a PhP 360,000 prize pool for the expected 2,000 participants from across the country. The featured games are Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and League of Legends (LOL).
Registration for the tournament begins on June 15. The first phase of the competition will start on July 6 for CS:GO and August 3 for LOL. The grand finals will happen from October 4 to 5 at SM North EDSA The Block, Quezon City. Taiwan Excellence’s esports cup was previously held in Malaysia and Thailand.
“Taiwan is known for its breakthrough electronics industry, with renowned innovations and quality products being developed for global distribution. Now with esports, we take pride in sharing that industry-leading brands are from Taiwan, with Filipino gamers,” said C.T. Wu, director of the Strategic Marketing Dept. at TAITRA.
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