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Acer ConceptD 5 hands-on review: Acer’s newest MacBook alternative

Price when reviewed : £1465
(converted from €1,699)

Acer’s ConceptD 5 takes aim at Apple’s lavish MacBook Pro, but can it really compete?

After launching a long laundry list of laptops, desktops and fancy high-refresh monitors, it’s obvious that Acer’s gaze is fixed on the hardcore gamer. However, with all the song and dance about the company’s gaming prowess, there’s a brand-new range of devices at its annual tech conference that cater to a different set of potential pundits: MacBook users.

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Hello, Acer Concept D. Designed as a new brand of top-end desktops, notebooks and monitors that appear to be taking a leaf out of Apple’s book, the well-priced ConceptD 5 laptop is perhaps the most interesting of the range and has its sights firmly on the MacBook Pro.

Acer ConceptD 5 review: Key specifications, price and release date

  • 15.6in 4K (3,840 x 2,160) IPS display
  • Intel eighth-gen Core i7-8705G or i5-8305G processor
  • Up to 16GB of RAM
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL graphics
  • From €1,199 (UK price TBC)
  • July 2019

Acer ConceptD 5 review: Design, key features and first impressions

For a 15in laptop, Acer’s new ConceptD 5 is incredibly thin and light. Weighing just 1.5kg, the ConceptD 5 is much more backpack-friendly than its other 15in counterparts. There’s also a pair of super-skinny side bezels on either side of its 15.6in display – each measuring just a few millimetres.

The ConceptD 5 is fitted with a 4K (2,160 x 3,840) resolution IPS screen, which is supposedly capable of reaching a maximum brightness of 400 nits. Acer also says the ConceptD 5 has an average Delta E of less than two and an Adobe RGB colour gamut coverage of 100%, which, if true, means this laptop should be well-suited for colour sensitive tasks such as photo and video editing.

Despite its diminutive stature, the ConceptD 5 is equipped with powerful eighth-generation Intel Core i7-8705G or i5-8705G processors, with a choice of either 8GB or 16GB of DDR4 RAM and up to 1TB of speedy SSD storage. This will be a very powerful laptop, no question, and I can see this coming toe-to-toe with Apple’s most recent MacBook Pro when it boils down to raw performance.

Speaking of which, let’s talk about an area where I think the ConceptD 5 falters a little. While Apple’s lavish MacBook Pro always draws admiring glances on the morning commute, the ConceptD 5 is unlikely to. Its build quality also feels rather cheap. It definitely doesn’t look or feel anything like a device you’re expected to pay €1,699 for.

Still, things are much better when it comes to the laptop’s ports and connections. You’ll find two full-fat USB Type-A connectors on the left-edge, which sit between a USB Type-C port and HDMI 2 ports for hooking the laptop up to an external display. A further USB Type-A port sits on the right side, along with a single SD card reader.

Acer ConceptD 5 review: Early verdict

I’m not entirely convinced that this is the Windows machine that will finally topple the might of Apple’s MacBook range. It’s going to be a performer, there’s certainly no doubt about that, but at the time of writing I just don’t think the ConceptD 5 is quite the well-rounded package I was hoping for. Of course, I’d love to be proven wrong when I finally receive one for a full review.

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