Gaming

IFA 2016: Acer Predator 21 X gaming laptop blows minds with curved display and two GPUs

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Gaming laptops have become the experimental platform for manufacturers to let out all the wild ideas they’ve come up with. Most recently, ASUS unleashed what we thought was a mobile behemoth, cramming two high-end graphics cards, water cooling, and a mechanical keyboard into a massive notebook. Acer may have done something even more unthinkable, placing a 21-inch curved display in its new Predator 21 X gaming notebook.

The unique IPS screen is a first for any laptop, and was previously unthinkable before Acer went ahead and produced it. The resolution will come in at only 2560 x 1080 pixels, though, so no 4K gaming here. To make up for that, anyone willing to shell out cash for the presumably insane price (none as of yet) will also enjoy two GeForce GTX 1080 video cards working in unison to render Ultra-level graphics with NVIDIA’s G-Sync technology on top to prevent unwanted screen tearing while playing games.

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As expected, all the other specs are of the flagship kind. A 7th-generation Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processor, which we briefly covered earlier today, will make an appearance in the Predator 21 X, along with up to 4TB of SSD storage, up to 64GB of RAM, and five worthy cooling fans to keep everything from blowing up.

To justify the 8kg weight, this Acer gaming notebook carries a full mechanical keyboard with a numpad that can transform into a touchpad, plus a loud 4.2 sound system (four speakers and two subwoofers) in case your current headphones feel embarrassed to plug into such a beast.

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This is a proof of concept more than anything, so we won’t be seeing the Predator 21 X in shopping mall windows. If you’ve already fallen in love with it and absolutely need to have the craziest laptop on the planet, you can place an order beginning January next year.

Gaming

Singtel introduces PVP eSports Championship

The telco’s next step in the world of gaming

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Singaporean telco giant Singtel has announced its latest eSports initiative, the PVP eSports Championship. It will be a multi-title regional eSports league from October 5 to 7, 2018 with a prize pool of US$ 300,000. For executives, the tournament is part of their efforts towards gaming within the Asia-Pacific region.

The tournament is done in partnership with industry players Razer, MET, Garena, and Blizzard. It will feature the popular PC game Dota 2 and Garena’s popular mobile game Arena of Valor. The Singapore leg of Blizzard’s global tour will also feature their popular game Hearthstone during the tournament.

Teams from Australia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines will compete in local qualifiers organized by Singtel. The winning teams will then move on to the Grand Finals in Singapore, where they will compete against professional teams from North America, Europe, and China. The tournament also serves as Singtel’s opportunity to scout for Singapore’s own eSports team, which they wish to sponsor for future competitions.

Singtel hopes that the tournament builds upon current gaming initiatives from telcos like Globe in the Philippines and Telkomsel in Indonesia. Singtel CEO Arthur Lang recognizes the power of mobile gaming within the region, with smartphones being the main gaming device. “Telcos have every right to play in the growing gaming ecosystem,” Lang said in a statement.

To know more about the upcoming tournament and how to get there, you can visit its official website or MET’s official post. Singtel will provide details on streaming services for the tournament in the future.

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Gaming

Huawei’s GPU Turbo update will start rolling out in August

A number of Huawei phones are getting a GPU boost!

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Huawei is keen on giving their phones a performance boost through a software update. If you own a recent Huawei device, you must have heard of the upcoming GPU Turbo feature that the company claims will drastically improve graphics performance of existing smartphones.

The Chinese company has announced the official list of Huawei smartphones that’ll be getting the GPU Turbo feature. Along with it are the target release dates. Check out the table below:

Image credit: Huawei

A total of 14 devices will soon receive the update. Current flagships like the Mate 10 and P20 series will get GPU Turbo first by August, followed by the recently released midrange phones, such as the P20 Lite and Nova 2i, sometime in September. Thankfully, Huawei didn’t forget about last year’s P10 phones as well as the Mate 9 series from 2016; both will get the update in November.

Huawei’s claims about the GPU Turbo feature leave us wondering how it’ll actually work, so we’ll see whether it lives up to the promise when it launches. Just so you know, Huawei states it will improve graphics processing efficiency by 60 percent and reduce power consumption by 30 percent. AR and VR performance will also be improved.

Keep in mind that GPU Turbo will only work with PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang at launch. More games will be supported in the coming months.

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Gaming

Genki finally gives us Bluetooth audio support for the Nintendo Switch

It’s about time!

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When I first bought a Switch, I knew I was getting the best-possible mobile gaming experience available today. However, my high hopes suddenly went downhill once I realized there’s no way of connecting my favorite Bluetooth headphones.

That’s right: Despite being designed for gaming on the go, the Switch has no way of accepting any form of Bluetooth audio — a feature that’s been present on smartphones and other gaming consoles for ages.

If you want sound outside of the built-in stereo speakers, you’d have to connect your headphones or portable speaker to the 3.5mm port. That’s not too bad, but it goes against the truly wireless era smartphones and mobile gadgets are (forcefully) ushering us into.

This is where Genki comes in. It’s a straightforward dongle that plugs into the USB-C port of the Switch and enables you to connect any Bluetooth audio device to the Nintendo console.

What’s great is that Genki draws minimal power from the console and can even provide sound to two devices at once thanks to the power of Bluetooth 5.0.

This is a simple solution to a problem Nintendo should’ve addressed long time ago. The Switch has been available for over a year now, and no first-party accessories have been released to add Bluetooth support.

It’s currently being funded on Kickstarter with only four days left to reach it’s US$ 30,000 goal. Clearly, people are seeing the need for Genki, since it has already amassed nearly US$ 400,000 as of writing!

There’s still time to pledge, but the cheapest US$ 29 deal is already gone and the US$ 49 Day One Edition is also no longer available. The estimated delivery date is October 2018.

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