Gaming

Acer Predator 17 X Review: A heavy beast

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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.

The Predator 17 X has the power jack, two USB 3.0 ports, microphone port, earphone jack, and SD card reader on the left

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.

A USB-C port, two other USB 3.0 ports, HDMI jack, full-sized DisplayPort, and LAN cable port are found on the right

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.

SEE ALSO: Acer Predator Triton 700 First Look

[irp posts=”13649″ name=”Acer Predator Triton 700 First Look”]

Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone receives US pricing

Last piece of the puzzle

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ASUS is certainly taking its time with the release of its one and only gaming phone. First announced at Computex 2018, the ROG Phone finally has an official price to go with its US release.

For the model with 128GB of storage, you’d have to shell out US$ 899. For the larger 512GB storage variant, the cost goes up to US$ 1,099. Both come with a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor and 8GB of memory.

Of course, there are accessories to go with it. First is the ROG Mobile Desktop Dock, which costs US$ 229; the ROG Phone Case retails for US$ 59; the ROG Professional Dock is valued at US$ 119; you can buy the ROG TwinView Dock for US$ 399; the ROG Gamevice Controller is at US$ 89; and lastly, the ROG WiGig Dock goes for US$ 329.

Those are a lot of accessories for one phone, but that’s what makes the ROG Phone a truly gamer-centric device.

As stated last week, the ROG Phone will hit US shores starting October 18, with other regions to follow soon after.

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Gaming

PlayStation’s PSN Online ID change coming soon

Full rollout coming early 2019!

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You’ll soon be able to retire your DarkWarrior1214 PlayStation ID. In a blog post, Sony PlayStation said they will soon begin testing the PSN Online ID change feature as part of their preview program.

Beta testers part of the preview program will be able to change their PSN ID as much as they want. However, once the feature rolls out to everyone, only the first name change will be free. Succeeding name changes will cost US$ 9.99 for regular users.

PS Plus users will be charged a smaller fee of US$ 4.99. The online ID can be changed through the profile page on your PS4 or at the Settings menu. There’s also an option to display your old PSN ID alongside your new one so your friends can recognize you right away.

Not for all games

The feature isn’t available for all games, though. Only PS4 games published after April 1, 2018 along with other most-played titles that were published before that date will have the feature. PlayStation also warns that changing the ID might cause some issues with some games that can be fixed by reverting to the old ID. Here’s to hoping PlayStation finds a way to address those issues some time down the line.

The planned full rollout of the feature is in early 2019. What will be your new PSN Online ID?

SEE ALSO: Sony unveils PlayStation Classic, comes pre-loaded with 20 games

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Gaming

Razer Phone 2 is a faster, more streamlined gaming smartphone

Truly flagship all around

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Razer has been synonymous with gaming. Last year, they embraced the mobile gaming scene with the launch of their own smartphone simply called the Razer Phone. This paved the way for the popularity of gaming smartphones and other manufacturers, like ASUS and Honor, unveiled their own. Of course, Razer must fight back and now we have the Razer Phone 2.

At first glance, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the new Razer Phone and the old one. The Razer Phone 2 has the same size, same boxy shape, and same thick top and bottom bezels that house the front-facing speakers.

Don’t be fooled, because the Razer Phone 2 has some significant upgrades over its predecessor.

The new Razer Phone offers up to 30 percent better performance with the use of a Snapdragon 845 processor, Adreno 630 graphics processing unit, and an improved vapor chamber cooling system. It also comes with 8GB of memory and 64GB of storage.

As for imaging, it still has dual 12-megapixel rear shooters, but the main sensor is now equipped optical image stabilization. An 8-megapixel front-facing camera takes care of selfies and live-streaming duties.

With a new glass back, the Razer Phone 2 is capable of wireless charging. And to complement this new feature, there’s also a wireless charging accessory with Chroma — Razer’s popular RGB lighting system.

Speaking of Chroma, the Razer Phone 2 also has it. The rear triple-headed snake logo lights up in 16.8 million colors. Let’s also not forget about the added water and dust resistance with an IP67 rating.

The rest of the great specs is carried over from the predecessor including the 5.7-inch IGZO display with 120Hz refresh rate and touch sampling, and the 4000mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4+ support.

The Razer Phone 2 is priced at US$ 799 and it’ll be available in Mirror Black and soon in Satin Black. Pre-orders start on October 11 on Razer’s website.

SEE ALSO: Razer Phone 2 hands-on: Not only for gamers

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