Acer updates its desktop replacement multimedia laptop with depth-sensing camera technology from Intel
CES 2015 hasn’t even officially begun yet but Acer has already made a slew of announcements ahead of the show, headed by an upgrade to its Aspire V17 Nitro desktop replacement multimedia laptop. Rather than bump performance with new interals, the company has instead added depth-sensing 3D camera technology with an Intel RealSense camera.
Similar to the Xbox One‘s Kinect camera, RealSense uses a standard camera, a laser projector and an infrared sensor to map objects in three dimensions. It can recognise facial expressions, all ten of your fingers and gesture motions for controlling games and apps without reaching for the keyboard or touchpad, but it will also let you scan objects in 3D for turning into interactive models or blueprints for 3D printers. Acer is including scanning software 3DMe with the laptop to get you started, as well as the game Warrior Wave to demonstrate how you can interact purely with gestures.
Apart from the camera, Acer doesn’t appear to have made many other internal upgrades from the current V17 Nitro; you still get a 17.3in, Full HD display, a combination of either 128 or 256GB of solid state and 1TB of mechanical storage, an Nvidia GeForce 860m dedicated graphics card with up to 4GB of memory, and up to 16GB of RAM. It will also ship with a 4th Generation Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor, rather than the new 5th Generation Core CPUs, otherwise known as Broadwell.
Other Acer laptops are set for a Broadwell upgrade, however; the company confirmed it would be updating the Aspire R 13 convertible and Aspire S7 Ultrabook with 5th Generation Core processors as soon as Intel makes them official. Although Acer can’t name specific processors just yet, it has suggested that battery life should improve from roughly 7-8 hours to around 10 hours on both machines – at least if you opt for a 1080p resolution display. Versions with higher resolution 2,560×1,440 panels should last a little less. The Switch 12 tablet will also be getting a Core M upgrade in early 2015.
The Aspire V17 Nitro is set to go on sale from Janaury onwards, with prices expected to start from €1,299 – meaning around £1,100 when it arrives in the UK. We’ll be taking a closer look as soon as the doors open here at CES 2015, so if you’re after a gaming laptop with depth-sensing camera tech be sure to check back for some first impressions.