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Acer ConceptD 7 review: A creative powerhouse designed for designers

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £2299
inc VAT

The Acer ConceptD 7 delivers almost everything its target market could ever wish for


  • Powerful performance
  • Delightful 4K display
  • Lots of connectivity options


  • Mediocre battery life
  • No memory card slot

Acer produces laptops catering for just about every consumer need. Its TravelMate and Swift ranges focus on portability and convenient on-the-go use while its extensive line of Chromebooks provides for those yearning for a simpler life.

The Acer ConceptD 7 is part of its ConceptD brand, with the D standing for whatever you like; dynamism, design, discovery, detail and development are among the ideas Acer has put forward. The company claims the range “overcomes the barriers between people and technology and enables creators to unleash their full potential”.

In slightly less pretentious language, the ConceptD 7 is a mobile workstation targeted at creatives and it has some impressive specifications to back that up but does the ConceptD 7 live up to Acer’s bold assertions?

Acer ConceptD 7 review: What you need to know

The ConceptD 7’s big sell is its display. It measures 15.6in across the diagonal and has a resolution of 4K (3,840 x 2,160). The key specification, however, is its colour performance.

Acer claims it’s capable of reproducing 100% of the AdobeRGB colour space (most laptop displays are less advanced), making it ideal for advanced photo and video editing. The laptop also has “integrated colour correction” and is Pantone Validated, too, which adds to its creative kudos.

Elsewhere, the ConceptD 7 matches its display with beefy, workstation-class specifications. It’s a powerhouse, housing an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 32GB RAM and a huge 1TB SSD.

Every model of the ConceptD 7 comes with integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630 as standard, although the GPU depends on the model you buy. Our review model housed the mid-range GeForce RTX 2060.

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Acer ConceptD 7 review: Price and competition

The ConceptD 7 we reviewed will set you back £2,299. For this money, you get 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060 graphics chip with 6GB of dedicated RAM.

For a model with the same core specifications but a superior discrete graphics card – the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 with 8GB dedicated RAM – you’ll be forking out £2,799. There’s also a “Pro” version for £2,499, which comes with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD and an NVIDIA Quadro RTX 3000 GPU with 6GB of RAM.

Apple’s iconic 16in MacBook Pro (2019) is the standout competitor when it comes to laptops aimed at creative professionals. There are a number of configurations available but for one with specs closest to our ConceptD 7 review model, you’ll be paying £2,799. This gets you an Intel Core i9-9980HK processor, 16GB of RAM along with 1TB of storage, integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M.

Fortunately, Apple isn’t the only show in town. The MSI P65 Creator is another laptop we’ve tested that’s sold as a creative workstation. We reviewed the 8RF model, which costs £2,159 but its Intel Core i7-8750H processor, though still beefy, is a generation old now (the ninth-gen chips were only ever intended for higher power applications) and its GeForce GTX 1070 GPU has also been surpassed by newer models. Additionally, you’ll only be getting 16GB RAM memory and 512GB SSD storage, which falls short of what’s on offer in the ConceptD 7.

You should also consider the Dell XPS 15, a fabulous laptop, which can be had in a similar configuration to the Acer for £2,299 – Intel Core i9-9980HK, 32GB of RAM, 1TB SSD and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650.

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Acer ConceptD 7 review: Design and features

At first glance, the ConceptD 7 has a touch of the MSI P65 Creator about it but it most closely resembles another Acer laptop, the Predator Triton Helios 500, with its tapered edges and air vents.

It’s sturdily built with a reassuringly robust aluminium chassis measuring 359 x 255 x 17.9mm (WDH). Given what the Concept 7 has under the hood, cramming everything into such a slim package and keeping the weight to 2.21kg is an impressive feat. However, it is worth noting that the power supply is pretty chunky (628g) and will add to your load when carrying it in a backpack. Those that don’t plan on using it portably but intend to hook it up to a second screen at home will be pleased to hear that its hinge rotates 180 degrees, allowing it to be placed into a vertical stand.

As you’d expect of a workstation machine, the ConceptD 7 has an impressive array of connectivity options. There’s a USB Type-C ThunderBolt 3 port on the right side of the laptop, where you’ll also find two USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1) ports and a mini DisplayPort output. On the left side you get another USB Type-A port (Sleep and Charge), an HDMI port, two 3.5mm jacks and an Ethernet port, which you’ll want to be a little wary of as its uncovered edges are quite sharp. The only glaring omission is that of any form of SD card reader, which is a big miss for photographers.

Sadly, the ConceptD 7 isn’t capable of connecting to the latest Wi-Fi 6 networks. This isn’t a huge deal given not many people have upgraded to Wi-Fi 6 routers yet but it does mean you’re not as well future-proofed as you might be. There’s no fancy way to sign in to the ConceptD 7, either. No fingerprint scanner, no Windows Hello face recognition; you have to type in your password or PIN.

Acer ConceptD 7 review: Keyboard and touchpad

I really, really like the ConceptD 7’s keyboard. It’s conventional in terms of layout but the keys are perfectly spaced out and enable fluid typing free of typos. As you’d expect there’s not a huge amount of travel into each key but there’s a lot more than you’ll find on a MacBook Pro with a butterfly switch keyboard.

There’s no numeric keypad but I didn’t feel hindered by its absence and all the essential hotkeys you’d expect are present: sleep mode, screen brightness control and a key for controlling the keyboard backlight. The backlight itself is an eye-catching amber colour and provides ample illumination for typing in darker environments.

The ConceptD 7’s 105 x 65mm diving board-style touchpad is centrally positioned and surrounded by an eyecatching reflective silver border. In use, however, I felt it was a little too sticky and I had to change to using the tip of my finger to make it comfortable to use.

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Acer ConceptD 7 review: Display and audio

The Acer ConceptD 7’s 15.6in 4K IPS display is its outstanding feature. Its screen-to-body ratio is 81% so there’s still plenty of bezel in view but it looks absolutely stunning. It’s really easy to fall down a rabbit hole of watching nature videos and drone footage of epic landscapes when the display quality is this good. At 365cd/m2 max brightness, it isn’t the brightest of displays but it’s perfectly good for most indoor situations.

Acer claims the ConceptD 7’s display covers 100% of the AdobeRGB gamut and we found that it was spot on in our testing, covering 99.6%. Not only that, the ConceptD 7 excels when it comes to colour accuracy, achieving a Delta E score of just 0.8. To give that result context, Delta E represents colour difference, with 0 being exact colour matching and any score of below 1 representing an effectively indistinguishable difference. Importantly, the backlighting is very even, too, ensuring that, wherever you look at the display, it’s going to give the same representation of colour and tone.

The ConceptD 7’s speakers are pretty good, too. They’re positioned on the front corners of its base, which is a bugbear of mine as it sends audio down into whatever surface the laptop is resting on – and if the laptop is resting on a soft surface the audio can sound muffled. That said, I was impressed by the sound quality produced by the ConceptD 7’s internal speakers. There’s clarity at max volume and little distortion and its output is pleasingly loud.

If you don’t like the way they sound, you can tweak the audio via Acer’s “ConceptD Palette” app using the MaxxAudio suite of tools. These allow you to create sound presets for Gaming, Movies, Music and Voice, which is a nice touch for those with audiophile tendencies. WavesNX promises to “turn any pair of headphones into a high-end 360° surround sound system” by tracking your head movements via the laptop’s 720p webcam and adjusting the audio as you move. It’s a pretty niche feature that only works with wired headphones but I found that its surround sound effect was surprisingly convincing.

Acer ConceptD 7 review: Performance and battery life

The ConceptD 7 we reviewed uses a ninth-generation hexa-core Intel Core i7-9750H running at a base frequency of 2.6GHz backed up by 32GB of RAM and discrete graphics, courtesy of an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060. This all combines to create a powerful machine capable of efficiently running the demanding tasks involved in 2D/3D design, video creation and editing and even live streaming.

It performed very well in our in-house 4K benchmark tests, scoring an impressive 185. That result puts it ahead of all but one of the laptops we’ve tested running eighth-gen Core i7-8750H processors, including the MSI P65 Creator 8F, which is designed for a very similar purpose.

It also holds up well against other laptops using the same processor, the Core i7-9750H. The ConceptD 7 does however fall someway behind the 16in MacBook Pro (2019) we tested, which employs an eight-core, 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-9980HK, but its Western Digital NVMe SSD put in a very impressive showing, beating most of its Windows rivals.

The Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics chip is a year old now but still proves to be a great mid-range unit. During our Metro Last Light Redux test at 1080p on high settings, the ConceptD 7 averaged 139fps, which is up there with some of the top-performing gaming laptops we’ve tested, including the RazerBlade 15 (2019).

The ConceptD 7 even managed an average of 31.9fps in the Hitman 2 1080p benchmark, which is so demanding that the majority of laptops we review can’t run it. It’s worth mentioning that during even the most arduous benchmarking tests, the ConceptD 7 didn’t operate loudly. Apparently inspired by the mechanics of silent owl flight, its fans kept noise to a minimum, which is commendable given how hard the laptop was being pushed.

It may not be designed or marketed as a gaming laptop but in terms of graphical performance, the ConceptD 7 certainly has the capability to double-up as one.

Our in-house video rundown test conducted with the screen set at a brightness of 170cd/m2 the ConceptD 7’s battery lasted 4hrs 52mins. This isn’t a terrible result given how powerful the machine is but it does mean the laptop is probably best viewed as a portable home workstation rather than a truly mobile laptop for road warriors.

Acer ConceptD 7 review: Verdict

Despite this, the ConceptD 7 is a superb workstation laptop, suitable for designers, photographers and video editors alike. In particular, its display is a delight to work with and demonstrates exceptional colour accuracy across the AdobeRGB gamut.

Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a case of style over substance, though, as the ConceptD 7 is also a pleasure to use and is powerful, too. Its ninth-generation Core i7 processor and Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060 GPU provide graphical performance on par with some of the best gaming laptops on the market and it copes with complex tasks quietly and effortlessly.

It may lack an SD card slot and battery life prevents it from being truly mobile but the ConceptD 7 is a premium laptop that delivers where it matters.

Acer ConceptD 7 specifications

ProcessorIntel Core i7-9750H, hexa-core, 2.6GHz-4.5GHz, Coffee Lake
Additional memory slotsNo
Max. memory32GB
Graphics adapterIntel UHD Graphics 630 / GeForce RTX 2060
Graphics memory6GB
Screen size (in)15.6
Screen resolution3,840 x 2,160
Pixel density (PPI)282
Screen typeIPS
Pointing devicesTouchpad
Optical driveNo
Memory card slotNo
3.5mm audio jackYes
Graphics outputsUSB Type-C (Thunderbolt 3)
Other ports3 x USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1), HDMI, Mini DP 1.4, Ethernet (RJ-45)
Web Cam720P
BluetoothBluetooth 5
W (mm)359
D (mm)255
H (mm)17.9
Dimensions, mm (WDH)359 x 255 x 17.9mm

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