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Acer Gets Serious About Gaming with Predator Line

NEW YORK - Acer's been known to dabble in gaming with systems such as the V 15 Nitro, but at its April 23 press conference, the company promised to take things to the next level. Enter Predator: Acer's line of performance gaming machines that includes a desktop, a curved 35-inch monitor, a tablet and not one, but two notebooks.

While Acer was cryptically light on specs or pricing information, I was able to take a look for myself at the adrenaline-fueled design of its new gaming machines.

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The first product to hit the market will be the Predator X35 gaming monitor, which is due sometime in Q2. It features an ultra-wide 21:9 35-inch curved display with a 144Hz refresh rate, built-in DTS speakers and Nvidia's G-SYNC technology to ensure smooth playback no matter the frame rate. In the back, the X35 has five USB 3.0 ports, as well as connections for DisplayPort and HDMI.

In Q3, Acer will unleash the Predator Desktop and Predator Tablet. The desktop features a Mad Max-style case with a matte black paint job and vented side panels. In front, there are glowing red lights and a healthy amount of ports, including 2 USB slots, and separate jacks for your headphone and microphone. Unfortunately, since the back was barren, I couldn't tell what kind of graphics card Acer plans to include, but I'd put my money on at least an Nvidia GTX 980.

The tablet features a slick gunmetal gray body with chunky red accents and huge speakers built into the top corners. Acer representatives said the tablet would be running some form of Android, but couldn't give specifics on whether it would be a stock build or something customized by Acer.

Finally, towards the end of the year in Q4, Acer will round out the Predator line with gaming laptops in 15- and 17-inch flavors. Acer made a big deal about the giant vents across the back of the notebook, implying that they're needed to deal with the heat from its powerful graphics cards. The case features a smooth matte black finish and a giant silver logo on the lid, accented by red caps on the WASD and arrow keys.

Overall, the Predator series machines live up to the name with their aggressive aesthetics and solid build quality. We'll have to wait until Acer announces what graphics cards the machines will run on to see if they have a chance of living up to their promise.

Sam Rutherford is a Staff Writer at Tom’s Guide. Follow him @SamRutherford on Twitter, and Tom’s Guide on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Sam is a senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.