We got our first look at the Acer Concept D hardware during Computex last year. The design of the laptops is about power and portability — for a given sense of the word — versus mobility and the monitors are focussed on high resolution for creators to get the maximum value from their investment.

What are they?

We’ve been lucky enough to get the Acer Concept D as a package and what a package it is. The hardware is very much at the very pointy end of the performance with the intended target market being content creators. For some users, there’s a pretty serious downside to the serious specs and that’s some serious heft to the hardware. The laptop is neither small nor light and the powerpack for the laptop adds considerable weight to your carrying also.

The CP7 Monitor is something special though. A well presented, 4K screen with a bunch of inputs, huge adjustability and a couple of lovely little extras with a focus on graphic/video content. But does the quality of the image cover the huge price for the monitor?

ConceptD 5 Pro

Let’s start with the fact that this thing is a serious beast! It’s got almost all the trimmings. It’s got specs that you’ll need to achieve anything, except mobile work because while this is a laptop it’s more portable than mobile. It’s very heavy for a laptop, the battery life is frankly… terrible and the power pack is also rather cumbersome.

But mobility isn’t the point of this piece of hardware, it’s for professionals who are on the move and need a lot of power as a desktop replacement. The specifics of the specs lend that way also headlined by the 9th Generation Intel i7 Processor, NVIDIA® Quadro RTX™ 3000 graphics, up to (you can choose at purchase) 32GB of DDR4 memory and up to 2TB of PCIe SSD.

The connectivity range is not bad, but unfortunately (particularly when considering the cost of the laptop) not brilliant. It does have Wi-Fi 6 which, when transferring large files from a content creation perspective, is important for top end hardware now. But I’ll be honest though if I was to spend this much money on a laptop to discover it didn’t have a Thunderbolt port for the higher-speed connectivity and in particular a dock, buyers remorse would rear it’s head quickly. The other puzzling omission (particularly for a device focussed on content creation) is the lack of an SD Card slot.

The interface with the laptop is quite outstanding in the form of a keyboard that was remarkably comfortable to type on for long periods and a screen that was truly stunning. The keyboard is also a full-size keyboard offering a number pad as well as the usual features you’d see on a laptop. The keys are backlit which makes it very easy to work in low light conditions and the touch is soft while remaining tactile enough to know when a keypress has registered.

The screen as mentioned is gorgeous, several times while I was trying to work on this review I got lost in 4K sample videos because it truly astounded me just how good this screen was. The colour reproduction is the best — at the time of writing this review — I’ve ever seen on a laptop, the brightness dynamic enough to handle a variety of workspaces and the transitions were liquid-smooth.

A serious piece of performance hardware

Ultimately with the D5 Pro, this thing is an absolute beast. It’s got a massive amount of processing power that will take some serious beating and frankly, far more than I can personally make use of outside of occasional video editing. In that realm, the render times were really impressive: A video from my GoPro (exact same editing project) rendered on my desktop took nearly 18 minutes, with the D5 Pro taking around 12 which is an impressive performance.

The screen is so slick, producing clean colours and detail that you can’t get on cheaper laptops – you are getting a lot of what you pay ($3,899.00) for just on the screen. This is in reality, a portable workstation but that doesn’t make it perfect.

The downside to hardware this beefy is that due to the processing power, this is physically a big laptop with poor battery life. I managed to destroy the battery in only a few hours, coupled with a connectivity (physical ports) selection that leaves a bit to be desired – I’m not sure I’d be spending my cash on one of these even if I was a capable video or audio content creator because it’s missing those tiny bits of polish on the feature set.

Concept D CP7 Monitor

This monitor is stunning and has impressed me beyond words. Make no mistake though, you’ll pay — $3,199.00 in fact — for the quality of hardware, the quality of the images and it’s not a monitor for everyday users. In fact, I don’t think with my image and video editing skillset, that I’ve even gone close to doing it justice but boy did I enjoy playing games on it!

While I’d have loved to just play games for a couple of weeks testing this monitor, I did manage some time doing some basic video editing and my usual work. Something worth noting to users who normally have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude is that the higher resolution is so easy on your eyes and creates extra space on your screen.

The specs are right up there on the screen as with the laptop but taken to a new level with not just the picture display but also a shield around the screen (you don’t have to use this) to prevent light reflection and ensure clear, crip colours with the full-colour gamut being delivered to users.

The spec highlights include:

  • 27” UHD (3840×2160) UHD G-Synch Monitor
  • NVIDIA G-SYNC compatiable HDR1000
  • Can be overclocked to 144Hz
  • 90% DCI-P3 wide color gamut
  • Response Time 4ms
  • VESA 100 x 100mm
  • Connections: 1 x HDMI, 1 x DP, SPK, Audio Out, USB 3.0 Hub x 4

I’m a big fan of having plenty of inputs with monitors so that I can leave my PC plugged in and simply switch inputs when I’m working from home or testing equipment for Ausdroid. It makes life easier, faster and means that if you’re upgrading at home at a later date, your monitor is ready for future hardware upgrades too.

What Acer has delivered with this monitor is a professional quality monitor. It’s very much designed for users who are creating high-quality visual content like video and graphic design. Its high resolution, high refresh rate and high colour gamut so is focussed on ensuring the fine details in your projects are delivered with a level of clarity, not previously seen.

The Concept D Experience

We were fortunate enough to have both the laptop and screen through on review at the same time which was an outstanding experience. The combination of a highly specced laptop and screen that is out of this world is insanely good… but insanely expensive. The combination is a cool seven grand but unless you’ve got some pretty serious funds and a very clear need for such high-end hardware this is a tough sell.

That’s not because of the quality of the hardware, or a reflection on the user experience. That comment is purely based — with a focus on the monitor — on the availability of very good quality hardware, significantly cheaper, so the monitor will only really appeal to graphic professionals.

The laptop I believe has a more broad sales potential with content production professionals, highly skilled amateurs and even developers who need a mobile workstation. Even with that in mind, while it’s an outstanding offering – I can’t help but feel the market is fairly limited to big budget professionals.

Do you think there’s a realistic place in the market for hardware like this, or is it a pure (unnecessary) indulgence?

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Tom Sekulic
Tom Sekulic
1 month ago

Anyone looking for a true *no-compromise* powerhouse laptop should consider Lenovo P Series Mobile Workstations. This can be also configured with 96Gb *ECC* RAM, OLED 4K screen, Xeon CPU, RAID NVMe, 16Gb Nvidia Quadro GPU + too much to list.
Now, that’s a no-compromise machine!

How do I now this? I have one work provided machine.

No, I don’t work for Lenovo.

michael
michael
1 month ago

Nice beast of a laptop , I dislike the current trend of super light no substance paper thin garbage compromised laptops , some barely have any ports at all , and would fly away in a light wind ,
not even a dam headphone jack( I miss the old days ….. well some of them anyway 😁).
Yes , the SD card and thunder bolt would have been nice to have.
It seems strange to make a almost no compromise beast and not have every bell and whistle.
But I guess you can work around the omitted features.