Despite the pictures, I sincerely swear that, in person, that astronaut on the new Acer Aspire 3D 15 SpatialLabs Edition was reaching their arms out to me. I’ve rolled my eyes at 3D screens before, but this time, it looked so realistic that I poked the astronaut’s tummy like it was the Pillsbury Doughboy. I wasn’t wearing glasses, and the whole thing was equal parts weird and cool. That’s exactly the sort of thing you expect to see at CES 2024 on some far-out, high-end idea tech, but this 3D laptop is coming out next month for around the same price as a 15-inch M2 MacBook Air.
To be fair, $1,399 for a laptop isn’t nothing — especially when you consider that’s the starting price. However, it’s pretty dang cheap as far as Acer’s SpatialLabs devices go. Acer debuted its SpatialLabs 3D tech a while back on a ConceptD laptop for creators and then later to the Predator Helios 300. Those computers are a whopping $3,500 and $4,000, respectively. This is the first time we’ve seen a SpatialLabs laptop in this price range, which opens up the platform to more artists, coders, and creatives.
Acer’s SpatialLabs stereoscopic 3D tech works by tracking the position of your eyes and head using two picture sensors in the top bezels. Each eye sees different, almost identical 2D images that trick your brain into seeing in 3D. The idea is that by lowering the price of entry, more users will be able to play with 3D entertainment and creative pursuits — for instance, realtors who might want to turn CAD files into a more digestible 3D model for prospective home buyers. It also supports Acer’s OpenXR platform as well as development tools like the SpatialLabs Unity and Unreal Engine plug-ins.
The Aspire 3D 15 SpatialLabs Edition has a 15.6-inch UHD screen and can be specced out with up to an Intel Core i7-13620H processor, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 2TB of storage. For ports, it gets an HDMI 2.1 port, USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4 port, ethernet port, headphone jack, and three USB 3.2 ports. It also supports Wi-Fi 6 and Microsoft Copilot.
It’s not going to outdo Acer’s other SpatialLabs computers in terms of specs, but this is beefy for an Aspire laptop. I also didn’t see any major lags in the 3D rendering. I could twirl my little space friend around just fine.
That said, the Aspire 3D 15 I saw had the same limitations as past SpatialLabs laptops. Mainly, only one person can view it at a time, and it’s blocked by really bright backlighting. Even so, it is neat to see Acer bring down the price.
Acer also announced the $1,999 Predator SpatialLabs View 27 game monitor. I didn’t get to see this in my hands-on peek before CES 2024, but the 27-inch 4K Ultra HD display has a 160Hz refresh rate, 400 nits of brightness, and supports Nvidia G-Sync and AMD FreeSync. It’ll also have two 2.5W speakers for spatial music. For ports, it’s got an HDMI 2.1 port, a normal display port, a USB Type-C port with display port support, and two USB 3.0 Type-A ports.
Alongside its fancy 3D tech, Acer is launching three new Swift laptops: the Acer Swift Go 14, the Acer Swift Go 16, and the Acer Swift X 14. Both Swift Go laptops feature Intel Core Ultra processors, Intel Arc graphics, a 1440p webcam, and new AI tools like Microsoft Copilot. The biggest differences are in the display. The 16-inch has a 3.2K OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate while the 14-inch has a 2.8K OLED display. The 14-inch also has the choice of a trackpad with built-in media controls. I only got to see a demo version, but as soon as I launched a YouTube movie, the media controls automatically lit up. Is it necessary? No, but it did add a little pizzazz. That said, it is “hidden” within the trackpad, so we’ll have to see if accidental presses become a problem.
Meanwhile, the Swift X 14 is another lightweight laptop aimed at makers, with a 2.8K OLED display, Intel Core Ultra H-series processors, and support for an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU.
The Acer Aspire 3D 15 SpatialLabs Edition will be available in North America in February, while the Predator SpatialLabs View 27 will come later in Q2 2024. The Acer Swift Go 14 and 16 will be available in March for $749.99 and $799.99, respectively. The Acer Swift X 14 is available starting in February for $1,399.99.