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Full steam ahead

As lockdown eases Rob Horgan talks to Acer UK country manager Craig Booth about adapting to a new way of working, the impact of Covid-19 and the gaming specific announcements driving the company forwards…

Lockdowns around the world have affected each and every one of our lives and our businesses. And Acer is no different. The company’s flagship global press conference Next@Acer is usually held in New York with all the associated bells and whistles. However, due to the pandemic the event was streamed online instead – like many of our most-loved calendar highlights.

Despite moving to a virtual event, Acer still had plenty of products to showcase and news to share on the future of the company’s Predator Gaming line, ConceptD Creators range and consumer PC range. They even launched a new line of rugged laptops and tablets called Enduro. Talking to PCR, Acer UK country manager Craig Booth explains how the company has coped with the new way of working and lifts the lid on what we can expect from Acer’s award-winning gaming range.

How has Acer performed in 2020 so far and how has Covid-19 impacted its overall performance?
During the first six months of 2020, Acer has experienced a period of significant growth and increased sales in all areas. Our supply chain is agile, and we have been able to respond quickly to the market changes that Covid-19 has driven, both in consumer and commercial sectors.

Demand for Notebooks, Chromebook and Monitors has significantly increased as people moved to working from, and spending most of their time at home.

Can you tell us about the announcements from the recent global press conference and explain the challenges behind running a virtual event?
This year the theme for the conference was ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ which represented our core business developments. Paper represents our thin and light Swift notebook range, the ConceptD range designed for creators was ‘Scissors’, and the rugged new Enduro range was represented as ‘Rock’. Our Predator gaming range has seen a refreshed design and has been upgraded with all the latest Intel and AMD processors and Nvidia graphics cards and new cooling systems to manage this now immense power and technology.

There were some challenges with switching to a virtual way of working, but Acer has the technology in place and the team were equipped and ready to face this new way of working.

What’s the story of Acer Enduro? Who is the target audience?
Acer’s Enduro range addresses the need for technology and modern mobile devices in the field, A rugged, highly durable and top-spec range of notebooks and tablets aimed at first responders, field, and construction and warehouse workers.

What have been the success stories in the gaming sector in 2020 so far?
Beyond a record year for sales of gaming laptops, desktops and monitors, exceeding both the average market growth and our own ambitious internal targets, a major highlight has been the enthusiasm we have seen for both Acer’s Nitro and Predator gaming products when engaging with gamers, partners, industry experts and influencers throughout the gaming community.

Acer’s dual brand gaming strategy has been the cornerstone of our success over the past two years, offering everyday gamers exceptional value with the optimal price-performance ratio for mainstream games across the Nitro portfolio, along with uncompromised performance and immersive gaming for the competitive gamer on our Predator suite of products. The success is largely due to Acer’s innovative thermal management solutions, which took another major leap this year.

What are the prospects for Acer and gaming for the rest of 2020?
With the gaming community and industry continuing to grow and expand beyond expectations, we at Acer have bolstered our range of gaming solutions with a number of exciting product additions and refreshes that will let gamers experience this year’s thrilling new gaming titles to the fullest, whether you are looking for a competitive edge in first person shooters, immersive RPG, beautiful cinematic open worlds, adrenalin pumping sport and racing games and even the most realistic simulators.

We recently announced a comprehensive line-up of new gaming products for the second half of 2020 that will be available as early as next week already. These include the new Predator Triton 300 laptop that packs a lot of performance into an ultraportable design, letting you take your gaming anywhere on the go by combining a new 10th Generation Intel Core i7 Processor with Nvidia RTX 2070 Graphics in a 15.6” laptop that is less than 2cm thin.

The new Predator Helios 700, on the other end of the scale, packs desktop grade gaming performance into a mobile form factor by combining an overclockable 8-core 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10980HK processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER in a 17.3” laptop, only made possible by Acer’s patented thermal management solutions.

The very popular Predator Helios 300 range have also been refreshed with latest CPU and GPUs along with improved panel technology for the fastest refresh rates yet. For the truly power hungry gamers we announced the even more impressive Predator Orion 9000 Gaming Desktop, which is both a behemoth and a beauty of gaming performance.

How is Acer standing out in the competitive gaming sector?
We believe that there is a fundamental difference between just designing expensive PCs and designing powerful gaming PCs, which is why you will notice that thermal management and cooling solutions are central to our product designs and innovations as we continue to push the boundaries to unlock the maximum gaming performance from every Acer Nitro or Predator gaming PC to give gamers the competitive edge and immersive experience they seek.

That said, the gaming sector is more than just a collection of powerful gaming PCs and we have been working on expanding our offering beyond gaming hardware like desktops, laptops, monitors and accessories to integrate a full ecosystem of esports partnerships and events as well as the recently announced Planet 9 project, which is a community- orientated platform designed to bring different esports communities together to share, practice, compete and learn from
one another. Planet 9 will enable users to create and manage clubs, teams and tournaments, provide coaching solutions, track in-game data and statistics and share team stats as part of pre-game matchups for strategising.

Acer’s holistic approach of end to end gaming and esports solutions with our suite of Nitro, Predator and Planet 9 offerings, in combination with our strategic partnerships and events will continue to push our position in the gaming industry forward.

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