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.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME -

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.

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