CES special feature: The tech of 2017
WE ROAMED THE FLOOR AT LAS VEGAS’ ANNUAL CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW TO GET A SNEAK PEAK AT THE UPCOMING GADGETS, PCs, WEARABLES AND TRENDS THAT’LL SHAPE THE YEAR IN TECH.
PC GAMING GEAR ACER PREDATOR 21 X
US$8,999 | Available February in the US; AU TBC In what could only be seen as a show of force from Acer, it has announced the Predator 21 X gaming laptop. It comes with a 21-inch 1080p curved screen (a world first for laptops), two GTX 1080 graphics cards, four 512GB SSD drives and 64GB of memory. Aside from the sheer grunt under the hood, it has premium features like a mechanical keyboard and built-in eye-tracking, as well as four speakers and two subwoofers. As with some of the other excessive gaming laptops we’ve reviewed over the last six months, it also requires two power supplies to run at full tilt.
RAZER PROJECT VALERIE Pricing and availability TBC
Although still a prototype and lacking concrete specs, Razer’s bold Project Valerie has one (or three) glaring feature(s). It is essentially a 17.3-inch Razer Blade Pro laptop, but instead of a single 4K display, this thing has three — the other two able to automatically slide out from behind the main display on sets of rails. Despite Razer having a history of its concepts not making it to market (such as last year’s ‘Project Christine’ modular desktop), Valerie was playable at CES 2017 and reportedly ran Battlefield 1 like a dream, albeit with a lot of noise.
TPCAST FOR HTC VIVE US$249 | Available Q2 2017
HTC’s Vive is trying to go wireless, and we’ve known this for a while as the TPCast has been available for pre-order since November 11, but now the unit has an official price and release date. This adapter should let Vive owners go wire-free for about 90–120 minutes on the standard battery (although an extended 5-hour battery is available), and consists of both a transmitter and receiver, which is how it delivers HD content wirelessly to the headset.
RAZER PROJECT ARIANA Pricing and availability TBC
Ariana was another concept-stage prototype from Razer, again focusing on broadening your gaming display, but this time with a projector. Project Ariana will use a fish-eye lens to project your game’s display as well as its periphery, better mimicking the natural view of the human eye. It uses 3D cameras to warp the display so it will appear flat no matter what obstacles lie in its way and incorporates Razer’s Chroma lighting for further visual
synchronicity. It may seem a bit niche, but Ariana will thankfully also function as a regular 4K projector.
ASUS VIVOPC X US$799 | Available March in the US; AU TBC
The compact VivoPC X looks to be a VR powerhouse for the lounge room, managing to stuff a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 processor and a GTX 10-series Nvidia GeForce graphics into a 5-litre chassis. This console-esque desktop is aimed at users looking for a PC that can handle the hardware demands of burgeoning VR tech, and as such is compatible with all the latest VR headsets and sports four USB 3.1 and two USB 2.0 ports for plugging in the relevant peripherals.
ACER PREDATOR Z301CT US$899 | Available February in the US; AU TBC
Acer’s 30-inch Predator Z301CT is pitched as “the world’s first 21:9 curved monitor with eye-tracking functionality”. Along with a 2,560 x 1,080-pixel resolution, the VA panel itself features Nvidia’s G-Sync variable-refresh tech and a rate that tops out at 200Hz. The eye-tracking bit comes in via Tobii, a technology which lets you do things in games just by moving your eyes (and is starting to become more useful as the list of supported titles grow), and it also features Acer’s ErgoStand which offers plenty of adjustability in positioning for some supreme comfort.
Razer’s Project Valerie sports three 4K displays, and can now be found on the Chinese version of eBay after being stolen from the floor at CES... Yeah.
Using a fish-eye lens, Razer’s Project Ariana is looking to broaden your gaming display to better simulate the human eye.
Above: The Acer Predator 21 X comes with a 21-inch 1080p curved screen. Above right: The ASUS VivoPC X can handle VR and lounge room gaming. Right: The TPCast signals the arrival of a wireless HTC Vive.
Perform actions in games using just your eyes — that’s the idea behind the Acer PredatorZ301CT curved monitor.