At IFA 2015, Acer inserted itself into the conversation as a go-to for mobile gaming. The company’s Predator 8, like NVIDIA’s SHIELD Tablet, is all about maximizing gaming on a tablet. With an 8-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display, Intel Atom processor, and four front-facing speakers, Acer believes it has a winning formula. But like any mobile device, price is very important. Acer seems to have appropriately priced the Predator 8, with the 32GB model going for $299. And starting today you can pre-order that model of the tablet from Newegg.
The online electronics retailer will be the exclusive seller of the Predator 8 for these next two weeks. Newegg doesn’t have the 64GB model listed on its site at the moment.
Come comment on this article: Acer’s Predator 8 up for pre-order from Newegg
The Predator 8 is a monster of an Android device with some pretty impressive specs. The Atom x7-Z8700 processor is a 64-bit quad-core CPU chip with Intel’s Gen8 graphics architecture, and all that graphical power is showcased on a gorgeous 8-inch, 1080p display. It’s got 2 gigs of RAM and either 32 or 64GB of internal storage, depending on which version you pick. If you need more, there’s a microSD slot to boot.
The physical architecture of the tablet is pretty interesting as well. The lightweight aluminium is formed into a shape that makes the Predator 8 look like it fell out of a sci-fi action movie, and the four magenta parts are front-facing speakers that offer support for virtual surround sound that Acer calls “Predator Quadio”. The Predator 8 employs a technology Acer refers to as TacSense. It’s basically a more intelligent version of a Rumble Pak that provides vibrations for a more immersive gaming experience.
The cameras are decent, but nothing particularly stunning. This isn’t a device for nature photography, it’s a device for playing the hell out of demanding games. The rear-facing camera rocks a 5 MP sensor, while the front-facing one features a 2 MP resolution.
The Predator 8 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop, and the tablet hopes to be a rival for the Nvidia Shield tablet. The price tag is $299, which is fairly reasonable for a device with this much power under the hood.
Are you going to be picking up a Predator 8? The aesthetic seems to be a bit polarizing with some praising its unique look and others criticizing such flourishes as tacky. In a market that seems to be dominated by a minimalist aesthetic, it’s definitely a distinctive step. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.
It looks like your smartphone could have yet another pre-installed application on it, as Opera today announced that its data-saving application Opera Max can now be found installed on handsets from 14 OEMs. After today’s announcement, Opera is expecting to see Opera Max on over 100 million Android-based smartphones by 2017. That’s an impressive number, but just how useful will Opera Max be to consumers? Or will it be shoved away in a folder somewhere, along with the other masses of bloatware?
Opera created a handy video explaining how Opera Max work, but the gist is that Opera Max grab traffic coming to your phone and routes it through Opera’s servers, where a handful of data-saving techniques are applied. This could include compressing images on a web page or optimizing HTML and CSS. Opera says these techniques could bring down regular data consumption by nearly 50 percent, while bringing down power user consumption by nearly 60 percent.
Opera in the past has had 11 partners bringing Opera Max to smartphones, but the latest to join in this partnership is Acer, Hisense, and TWZ. That means you can now find Opera Max preloaded on smartphones from those three manufacturers, along with Cherry Mobile, Evercoss, Mobiistar, Fly, TWZ Micromax, Oppo, Prestigio, Samsung, Symphony, and Xiaomi.
There are obviously some privacy concerns with Opera Max routing all of your traffic through Opera’s own servers, but they have yet to be addressed.
Opera Software has been experiences some downfalls in revenue, and as a result, the company is considering looking for a buyer. With that in mind, there’s no telling what the future is for Opera Software’s many products.
Have you used Opera Max before? What are your thoughts on data-management services like this?
Come comment on this article: Opera Max can now be found preinstalled on devices from 14 OEMs
The Chromebook 11 C740 is perfect for students on a budget or anyone needing a small and light machine they could take with them anywhere. But Acer has a much more powerful Chromebook in its lineup this year. Enter Acer’s Chromebook 15, a true powerhouse for all of your office needs. It’s also perfect for entertainment with its crisp Full HD display.
It’s an impressive machine, and it may be the only Chromebook you’ll ever need.
This is no compact laptop. With such a large display, it needs to have a bigger housing. The new Chromebook 15 wants to be the machine that can meet all of your needs, and in doing that, portability isn’t the focus. At almost 5lbs, I’d hardly call the Chromebook lightweight, but it’s fairly easy to carry around.
Its housing sports a white-colored textured design, which looks alright while very generic. It has a microweave pattern, keeping the Chromebook from looking too generic, but that comes with a lot of downsides. The Chromebook 15 attracts dirt and grime way too easily. If you don’t clean it often, the dirt and grime it collects from sitting on your desk gets difficult to remove, making it a real eyesore.
The Chromebook is also oddly thick. You’d think a machine like this would have a certain amount of thinness to it with having such low specifications.
As far as the keyboard goes, it’s frustrating in that it’s not spacious enough. It resembles that of the compact C740 (and the Chromebook 13 from 2014). It’d be natural to think that a larger Chromebook would come with a more defined keyboard footprint. The trackpad is very responsive, and there’s little jump to it.
There are certainly a lot of pitfalls as far as design goes. It all feels so very generic, which isn’t something you want out of a pricier Chromebook. However, if you bought this Chromebook for media, you’re in luck.
The Chromebook 15 has a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display that shows media beautifully. Not only is it great for media, but the larger size allows you to manage more browsers, tabs, and other applications easily. There are also two front-facing speakers placed on either side of the keyboard, which sound good.
The model I was sent to review is the CB5-571-362Q, the unit with a Full HD display. Interestingly, Acer isn’t advertising this, but it’s actually an IPS panel, an interesting choice that doesn’t allow for those nice wide-viewing angles, and the matte finish evokes little glare. Other configurations of this model with a much less enthusiastic display, which in turn bring the price down.
On the left side of this unit is your power, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 slot, and an auxiliary port.
On the right side is a SD card reader that can support up to 128GB of extra storage, and a USB 2.0 port. With this model you also get dual-band 802.11AC WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.
Finally, above the screen is a 720p HD webcam along with a microphone.
Inside the Chromebook 15 is a fifth-generation Intel Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and a wicked fast removable M.2 32GB SSD. This is possibly the most interesting aspect of the Chromebook 15’s hardware. The SSD is small in size, but if you were to ever need more room, there’s potential for breaking into the Chromebook and swapping it out for a larger capacity SSD.
Most probably won’t need more space than that on the Chromebook, given that all of your documents are in the cloud, but its a nice possibility for the power user. Beyond that, everything was smooth as expected. There were no hangups in testing, and things were generally faster and smoother than previous models. This machine boots up in an advertised 7 seconds. I even found it could do so in 5 seconds.
As far as performance goes, Acer did a fantastic job. I really like the ability to pop open the machine, something that many manufacturers are moving away from.
As per the norm on a Chromebook, battery life is out of this world. It’s frustrating having machines that only last two, three, maybe four hours of use, which is all commonplace as far as Windows laptops go. Not that that’s a bad thing. Windows laptops have much more powerful hardware than you’ll ever find in a Chromebook.
Acer understands the users’ needs for a long-lasting battery, and thus, threw a monster 3220mAh battery in here that can last up to nine hours of consistent use. In other words, you can get a full 8-hour work day from the Chromebook 15, even longer if you aren’t using it for eight hours straight. Very impressive.
As you might expect, Acer’s Chromebook 15 is running the latest version of Google’s Chrome OS. Everything runs smoothly, applications open quickly, and the marketplace is constantly expanding with more applications, thus making a Chromebook even more useful.
For those not familiar with Chrome OS, it does require an Internet connection, though there’re ways to create documents offline, making an Internet connection not constantly necessary. You’ll need to connect up when it’s time to sync your documents to the cloud for access on another computer.
Honestly, there isn’t much to say here. Chrome OS, is still, well, Chrome OS. It’s not for everybody, as you can only access cloud-based applications. There’re no native Windows or Mac apps on this machine to be seen, though there’re ways to boot another operating system on here if you ever get tired of Chrome. However, at that point, you’ll see a serious drop in battery life and most certainly performance. And in that case, you mine as well have bought a different laptop.
The suggested retail price is $449, though you can buy it from the Google Store starting at $349, and other retailers may even have their own markdowns. Several other models start at $249 from various retailers, such as Amazon and Newegg.
When it comes down to it, the Acer Chromebook 15 is a nice machine specifically for media. That large and crisp 15.6-inch display paired with the dual speakers make for a great movie night or YouTube session, but at $349, it’s a very generic Chromebook that may leave you wanting to look elsewhere.
Come comment on this article: Acer Chromebook 15 review
Whether spurred by work regulations or the desire for personal data security, many of us spend more time than we’d like entering PIN codes and passwords to access our devices. Biometric authentication tools, specifically fingerprint sensors, can help us reclaim those moments by providing access with the touch of a finger. The technology isn’t new, but it’s only in the past few years that it’s started to become standard on mobile devices. This week, we trace the ascent of the fingerprint sensor, from its early days as a peripheral to the embedded technology that’s simplifying and securing our mobile lives. Slideshow-332525
That “PC Does What?” ad campaign from the likes of Dell, HP, Intel, Lenovo and Microsoft isn’t a rumor anymore. As Business Insider notes, each of the five spots highlights a different aspect of modern Windows PCs including their svelte designs, gaming prowess and convertible configurations. The series of 30 second ads will start airing October 19th, but if you’re the impatient type you can hop past the break and see them embedded below.
[Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Via: Business Insider
Source: Intel (YouTube)
With the PC market dwindling and Microsoft itself now providing some of the best Windows 10 models (like the powerful Surface Book convertible), third-party OEMs have to do something to stand out. That’s perhaps why Acer has decided to put an internal battery in its 17.3-inch Aspire Z3-700 all-in-one (AIO) to take it to a new place — the road. The form factor and relatively small 2-kilogram (4.4 pound) weight suggest that it’s more a big tablet than an AIO, but Acer says the dual kickstand and 1080p, 10-pound multi-touch screen also make it a fine desktop PC. Slideshow-328073
It’s not a bad idea for graphics designers or others who might prefer a desktop form factor but need a big, reasonably portable tablet from time to time. As such, it has a battery that can run it up to five hours and support for a dedicated stylus. It’s also equipped with the latest Intel sixth-generation Core Skylake or Celeron CPU, an SSD or HDD and up to 8GB of RAM. It’ll arrive by the end of the year in Europe starting at €599 ($680).
The other product revealed by Acer today was a new Aspire R14 convertible notebook. It’s pretty similar to the last, Lenovo Yoga-like R14 model (not the one with the easel-like hinge), except that it now has a fancy new “diamond-cut” edge design and a smaller, 360-degree dual-torque hinge. That’ll give you laptop, tent, display or tablet modes, depending on how you orient the 1.9-kilogram (4.1 pound) device. It also comes with sixth-gen Skylake CPUs, SSD or HDD disks and up to 8GB of RAM, though Acer didn’t mention the 14-inch screen’s resolution. That model will arrive in the US by the end of the month starting at $699. Slideshow-328074
Windows 10 may have breathed new life into your PC, but it didn’t do anything to juice PC sales this summer. Both Gartner and IDC estimate that computer sales dropped several points year-over-year (between 7.7 and 10.8 percent) in the third quarter, right when the new Windows arrived. That’s one of the steeper drops in recent memory, in fact. Not that it comes as a complete surprise. As the analyst firms explain, Microsoft’s fast-tracked release left many PC makers shipping existing systems with Windows 10, which weren’t going to drive demand as much as brand new models. You’re not going to buy a months-old laptop just because it’s running new software, are you? The big question is whether or not the wave of new Windows 10 PCs launching this fall will make a difference — if there’s still a sharp decline, the industry is really in trouble.
The new platform wasn’t the only factor at work, of course. The researchers blame the downturn on a combination of a stronger US dollar (which hiked PC prices in many other countries) and a transition away from old Windows 8 PCs. Some vendors fared better than others, though. As a rule, big-name brands like Apple, Dell, HP and Lenovo (the market leader) have emerged relatively unscathed — it’s the smaller, more vulnerable companies that are shedding legions of customers. Even Acer and ASUS saw sales plunge by over 10 percent. It’s too soon to say if Windows 10 will stop the bleeding, but the days of booming computer businesses appear to be long gone.
[Image credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu]
Does another promising device bite the dust?
At IFA 2015, it was quite obvious that Acer is aggressively pushing its Predator line of elite devices. There was a whole flashy area dedicated to it, surrounded with the brand’s industrial, red-accented theme. To recap, we were shown powerhouse gaming laptops, large curved monitors packed with Nvidia’s G-Sync technology, a smartphone with a 10-core CPU monstrosity, and a sweet-looking 8-inch gaming tablet – the Predator 8.
Acer’s new elite tablet brings some fresh features to the gaming tablet segment, a segment that previously existed by one other – the Nvidia Shield tablet. So does the Predator 8 stand a chance? Let’s check it out.
In picking up the device for the first time, you can tell one of Acer’s objectives for the Predator tablet was to wow the user with the design. This thing is flashy and totally not for someone who doesn’t want to draw attention. Everyone will know this tablet is special, a completely different take from the subtlety of the Nvidia SHIELD. I love it.
Unfortunately, the feel did not back up the awesome appearance. There’s no other way to break it down, it feels cheap. The chassis is mostly plastic. OEM’s sometimes make plastic work, but Acer just didn’t with the Predator 8. My word to Acer: You can’t skimp on build with a premium device.
Okay, so it’s apparent Acer cut some corners to make the Predator 8 a reality, but how far does that fact extend? Let’s go over the performance, but first, a breakdown of the specs:
In addition, one of the staples of the Predator 8 are four front-facing speakers. You read that correctly, four. Like many OEM’s are doing these days, the external audio is supported by some Dolby Audio software trickery.
So with all that said, how does it sound? It’s good, just not superb. It can get loud, but the quality leaves to be desired. It is treble-heavy, almost shrilly sometimes. It reminds me a lot of the Nexus 6 speakers, where Motorola obviously made loudness a priority over quality. On the Nexus 6, bass was almost non-existent. I would have to do a review of the Predator 8 before I can conclude the same, as Acer’s booth wasn’t the quietest environment.
Next up is the display. Unfortunately, it left to be desired as well. This is often my experience with Acer displays, but I was hoping a premium product of theirs would be of better quality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible. Looking at the screen straight-on it’s fine, and colors have particularly nice vibrancy. However, tilt the device and the image slightly (but noticeably) washes out. We should be past the days of washing-out displays. Maybe I’m just spoiled by Samsung’s fantastic S-AMOLED panels.
And last but not least is the gaming performance. Bear in mind that this is not a full review, and I give the Acer the benefit of the doubt of maybe not having finished software. Asphalt 8 was loaded up on the device, which serves as a good gaming benchmark.
For some reason the gameplay stuttered, too much for my taste. It was playable, and bits where it didn’t stutter were smooth, but every time action ramped up (i.e. crashing into a wall, because I suck at racing games), the performance struggled. On a normal tablet I could look past this occurrence, but not on a “gaming” tablet.
So can I recommend the Predator 8? It depends. Acer does bring some neat things to the tablet, that weren’t there before, such as quad, front-facing speakers and gaming-tuned haptic, vibrational feedback. Only, quality isn’t where it should be for a stand-out, elite device. It’s almost like a normal tablet in disguise.
If you can look past the cut-corners and really want a sweet-looking, gaming tablet, there’s no other that pulls it off like the Predator 8. If you want a better overall package, look to the Shield.
Both tablets have near-stock software, 8-inch 1920×1200 displays, front-facing speakers, and run $299 retail. However, Nvidia’s Tegra K1 chipset should have significantly more gaming power than Intel’s HD graphics.
The post Is Acer’s Predator 8 tablet a Shield-killer or just a nice try? appeared first on AndroidGuys.
When it comes to gaming tablets, the available selection is quite limited, but there is going to be a new one to pick from soon. We go hands-on, and give you the first look at the Acer Predator 8 tablet!
Along the lines of the Acer Predator PCs, the Predator mobile devices are meant to deliver a high-end gaming experience on the go. The Predator 8 is a very unique-looking Android tablet that is designed to bring a fantastic gaming experience to a compact form factor.
The Predator is an 8-inch tablet, and you can see right off the bat that it has a look unlike any other mobile device we’ve seen so far, with its sharp and aggressive body line, and the corners, where the speakers are located, flaring out from the main body. There’s one speaker in each corner, for a total of four front-facing speakers, which Acer likes to call “Predator Quadio.” This setup is of course intended to deliver an audio experience like no other, and they do sound extremely good.
Up front is an 8-inch IPS LCD display with a Full HD resolution, that uses zero air gap technology. Acer also claims that this display supports a 100% of the NTSC color gamut, which is certainly very impressive for a screen on a tablet. Granted, it is hard to say actually how accurate that claim is without more technical testing, but it is a very good looking screen, with great viewing angles, color saturation, and brightness.
Under the hood, the Acer Predator 8 comes with an Intel Atom x7-Z8700, backed by an Intel HD Graphics GPU and 2 GB of RAM. 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage options are available, which can also be further expanded via microSD card, by up to an additional 128 GB. For a device designed with gaming in mind, the amount of RAM sounds a little bit low, but the Intel chipset should make for a solid gaming experience and good overall performance. Should you ever need to take pictures or do video chats, there is a 5 MP primary camera on the back, along with a 2 MP front-facing unit. As is the case with most tablet cameras, this camera setup is likely not going to be very impressive though.
The Predator 8 also comes with what Acer calls TacSense technology, that provides vibrations and tactile feedback on the screen and throughout the body of the tablet when gaming, similar to what you would experience on the DualShock controller of the PlayStation 4. This is meant to provide for a more immersive experience when playing games, and it definitely does add to the experience. The vibrations are nice and strong, but not overly so that they feel like a distraction.
On the software side of things, the Acer Predator 8 is running Android 5.1 Lollipop, and it is a very stock-like experience, with the unfortunate exception of a lot of pre-installed bloatware. Acer has done a great job with keeping everything else as clean as possible however.
So there you have it for this first look at the Acer Predator 8 tablet! The tablet will be available in the month of November, priced at an affordable $299, and if you are looking for a gaming tablet that could potentially rival the Nvidia Shield tablet, the Acer Predator 8 tablet is likely going to be your best bet.