Acer at IFA 2019: Why we’re not putting 10th gen in ConceptD laptops… yet

Two of the biggest stories at IFA 2019 have been the unveiling of Acer’s line of creative-centric ConceptD Pro laptops, and Intel talking up its new 10th gen laptop processors.

Strange as it may seem, none of the new ConceptD Pro laptops feature either Ice Lake or Comet Lake processors, curious when you consider that Razer’s updated Blade Stealth 13 comes with Ice Lake, the AsusPro B9 (B9450) comes with Ice Lake, and, er, the new Acer Swift 5 comes with Ice Lake processors powering everything. 

So what gives? Why aren’t Acer’s latest and greatest creative machines, with their 100% Adobe RGB covering, Pantone Validated panels sporting the most bleeding edge Intel processors currently available?

The answer, apparently, is not as controversial as you might think. 

We spoke with John Miedema, product management director, product business unit, EMEA, who talked to us about the ConceptD range. Amongst other things, we asked why Ice Lake CPUs aren’t present in these new powerhouses. 

“It’s a timing issue,” Miedema said plainly. “We always try to find the right balance between bring a product to market on a specific date, so delaying it to catch the next generation of Intel, AMD, or Nvidia, or whoever, at some point, you need to bring a product to market.”

While Miedema would not be drawn on whether we’ll see Ice Lake or Comet Lake processors sitting in future ConceptD laptops, it’s a safe bet that this could happen in the future. “You will see at some point a refresh of our ConceptD products, our gaming products, Aspire, Swift, and everything”, he explained. 

Miedema added that production of Comet Lake and Ice Lake processors was still ramping up, so you might not have too long to wait. Then again, while the gains promised by the 10th gen of Intel laptop processors are exciting, the components running under the hood of the likes of the ConceptD 9 Pro – an i9-9980HK and  Quadro RTX 5000 – mean that interested buyers won’t necessarily lose out by being early adopters. 

Miedema explained how the ConceptD range came to be. “We kind of noticed that a certain percentage, a surprisingly large percentage even [about 15-20%] of people buying our Predator gaming PCs, are not necessarily into gaming.” 

“They are into video editing, post-processing, and they needed a powerful product to do this. And we thought that even though we were alright with more people buying a Predator product, we were not necessarily meeting their expectations. We wanted to bring them something that was a much better fit.”

“So, colour accuracy of the panel, silent, or quiet cooling, no external sound, key if you’re editing video. We wanted to keep the noise made as close to 40db as possible, equivalent to the ambient sound of a quiet library, so to not interrupt with video editing or whatever creative process they’re running.”

“What they see on their screens need to be seen on the print out, or the projector. It has to be what you see is what you get.”

We asked if Acer planned to launch a line of printers to complement this, or if there were any plans in the pipeline to partner with the likes of HP, or another big printing brands, and the answer was a negative. 

“I think at this point, we’re never ruling out any possibilities. If we see a market, we would try to work with other companies. We have worked with Nvidia to make sure that we have all the drivers here, so that the Quadro GPUs will work with the software creators want to use, but we’re not talking with printing companies yet. The main point about ConceptD is, a creator can buy Quadro products and they’ll know that it’ll work out of the box, thanks to driver support.” 

Wide colour space coverage and colour accuracy are perhaps not of high importance to gamers, who will prize fast refresh rates and response times above all else. But while ConceptD machines depart from gaming laptops in this regard, one feature has crossed the species divide along the way.

Just as the Predator Sense software lets you boost gaming performance (and have the fans get noisy in the process) ConceptD machines will feature Acer Palette, perfomance tweaking software which pretty much does the same thing. Once you’ve finished a video edit, the levels are fine, and you’re ready to export everything, it might be time to hit the turbo button and let the fans kick out some noise.

Prices and release dates for the ConceptD Pro range are still TBC. In the meantime, check out our round up of the new Acer ConceptD Pro laptops, the rest of the ConceptD range, and our IFA 2019 hub for the best from the show floor.

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