(Pocket-lint) - Now here's a collaboration we didn't expect to see: Acer has teamed up with Porsche Design to make a laptop with a little extra 'vroom vroom', in the Porsche Design Acer Book RS.
The German design company has dabbled with tech brands in the past - most notably Huawei, with its RS versions of the Chinese company's phones - and now it's turning its hand to laptops.
So what's special about the Acer Book RS and does that Porsche Design label mean it'll cost you a small fortune?
- Diamond-cut CNC machined 3k carbon fibre cover and silver-colour all-metal chassis
- Screen: 14-inch Full HD IPS touchscreen, 90% screen-to-body ratio
- Unibody hinge elevates backlit keyboard upon opening
- Glass precision touchpad with fingerprint scanner
- Thickness: 15.99mm / Weight: 1.25kg
It's Porsche Design so there has to be carbon fibre, but of course. Here it's the lid of the machine, adding that classic look to the all-metal chassis. It's really these materials and cuts - look at the edging around the trackpad, for example - that help the Porsche Design version stand apart from typical laptops.
Being that it's partly made from carbon fibre means the weight is low, too, at 1.25kgs. While that's not the lightest ever laptop - something like the Huawei MateBook X is impressive; even Acer's own Swift 7 series is among the lightest ever at sub-1kg - it's befitting of a device that's 15.99mm thick and packs in enough smarts and battery to keep you going. It's all fuel for the engine, if you will.
There are other subtle details that make the laptop stand out: upon opening that lid - which is emblazoned with an embossed Porsche Design logo - the whole laptop's backlit keyboard elevates, thanks to a unibody hinge, which helps the typing experience. It's got decent key travel, not too sunk into the body.
The trackpad, which is glass-topped - none of that plastic nonsense here - also comes with a fingerprint scanner built-in towards its upper corner. An odd place for such a scanner, we think, but it'll be useful for rapid login - or there's Windows Hello for facial recognition login instead, if preferred.
The screen is a 14-inch Full HD panel, so not a fancy Quad HD offering, nor does it benefit from the higher refresh rates that you'll find in Acer's gaming laptop ranges. That's because, well, day-to-day workloads just don't need such features. And at this scale we find the panel is resolute enough. It's battery life that matters more anyway.
- Ports: 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 4), 2x USB-A (3.2), 1x HDMI, 3.5mm jack
- Up to 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, up to 16GB RAM
- Intel Iris Xe graphics, Optional Nvidia GeForce MX350
- Dual copper heat pipes cooling system
- 15 hours battery life, fast-charging
- Dual-band Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+)
- Optional accessories
Just how well battery life will last we don't yet know, having only handled the Porsche Design Acer Book RS for a short period of time. But the companies promise up to 15 hours - which is decent innings. This figure is based upon the machine being a collaboration between Porsche Design and Intel - the latter introducing Intel Evo, which it says is designed to optimise performance and real-world battery life.
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS comes with Intel's latest chipsets, its 11th Gen Core i processors - up to i7 with Intel Iris Xe graphics. Or you can go the whole nine yards and add a turbo in the form of Nvidia's GeForce MX350 discrete graphics card.
Inside there's a dual copper pipe system for cooling, designed to draw heat away from the processor and graphics units to keep the machine cool for the aid of battery life. There's even fast-charging here, with just 30-minutes at the plug said to deliver over 25 per cent of the laptop's battery life - to deliver 4 hours of use. We expect such features in our phones, so it's good to see it in a laptop.
The array of ports is fast too, Thunderbolt 4 fast, meaning 40Gbps is possible - four times the already impressive 10Gbps of Thunderbolt 3 (which you don't find on all that many machine as it stands anyway). We can see where the 'RS' badge - which means Racing Sport in German - earns its place here.
Porsche Design being that high-end company, the Acer Book RS doesn't just finish there - there are optional bundled accessories too. What's called the Porsche Design Acer Travel-pack RS, this travel pouch - made from fancy leather, of course - connects to a notebook sleeve, which doubles-up as a mousepad for the also included Porsche Design Mouse RS (complete with more fancy carbonfibre).
So how much will you pay for this fancy schmancy machine? It's from £1,899 for the laptop only ($1,399 in the US / €1,799 in Europe), or £2,099 with the Travel-pack included ($1,999.99 in the US / €2,399 in Europe).
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS is a surprise launch indeed, bringing some more standout - maybe outlandish, depending on your viewpoint - design language to Acer's laptop line-up.
It brings lots of up-to-the-minute technologies, too, from Intel's 11th Gen Core i processors, to Intel Evo for battery life assurance, and Thunderbolt 4 speeds to boot. We can see where it got that 'RS' badge from.
Whether all that translates to real-world worth for most people - given the high asking price of £1,899/€1,799/$1,399 for the laptop only - is a whole other big question. Recession, what recession? Gimme the fancy carbon fibre stuff already.