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Review: Acer Predator 17
4.1Overall Score

Price (RRP): $3299
Manufacturer: Acer

Not every PC should be treated the same, and Acer’s Predator 17 looks to prove it, skipping past the slim and minimalistic design most laptops features these days, opting for something meaty, angry, and looking to conquer your gaming needs. Does it succeed?

Features and performance

Gaming machines tend to be a different breed of computers, and if you’re a gamer or you’re buying for a gamer, this fact is one of the first things you find out, because the number one lesson is gaming computers look nothing like their regular or business-friendly counterparts.

Take Acer’s 17 inch Predator as an example: here is a machine decked in black rubber with a real angry look to it.

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While most laptops tend to go for simple and elegant in their design, or often just the essence of minimalism, gaming machines like the Predator are totally different, featuring soft black rubber along the lid and inside, honeycomb texturing under the hinge, and a bunch of red lighting.

It’s also big and bulky, delivering a 17 inch display — something that has become less popular over the year — in a body that weighs almost four kilograms.

Yes, that’s a “4” next to the word “kilograms”. It’s not light at all.

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There is a fair amount of componentry inside the Predator 17 to account for this weight, and a bunch of ports, too, enough so that if you had to be on the look out for a future-proof machine, Acer feels like it’s trying to offer that, delivering four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size DisplayPort, an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card slot, a Blu-ray reader with DVD burning capabilities, and even one of those new fandangled Thunderbolt 3 ports, which also means you have a USB Type C port in a pinch.

That’s a fair amount of flexibility, but it does lend itself to making the Predator 17 one large machine, and it’s a large machine with a few bonus features which help it to stand out.

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For the Predator 17, Acer has teamed up with case and cooling brand Coolermaster to build a removable fan. Yes, if this computer decides to get a little hot, or your online and gaming activities become a little too much for the system to bear, you can replace that optical drive with a drive-bay fan, bringing a little bit of that customisable desktop experience to a laptop.

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It’s a great idea and very easy to replace, though our testing of the Predator 17 didn’t reveal that it was doing all that much.

Then again, if you decide to push the system harder than we did — because some people don’t play nicely and like to overlock — we’re sure you’ll be happy with the inclusion of the removable fan bay.