Acer ConceptD 5 - A Thin and Light Laptop For Graphics Design
Acer has a new series of laptops from the beginning of 2019: it is called ConceptD and it is dedicated to professionals in the creative environment. These laptops are specially designed for processing photos in Photoshop, editing video content in Premiere and more.
The ConceptD 5 is one of the few truly portable creative laptops on the Windows platform, being equipped with both powerful hardware and a well-calibrated screen, but is also delivered in a compact format, being one of the few laptops on the market that offers everything in one package.
The ConceptD 5 model is not a 100% new laptop if we are strictly looking to its exterior. It is built on a chassis very similar to the Acer Swift 5, another ultraportable product of the company, but the components inside are completely different.
It is constructed using a full white magnesium casing, which is pleasant to the touch. The reason why more and more manufacturers are starting to adopt magnesium at the expense of aluminum is of course portability, and ConceptD 5 excels at this.
We are dealing with a lightweight and slim laptop, despite the fact that its purpose is to provide the necessary performance to the creators working in graphic design.
Although it adopts a compact format, this model does not give up connectivity. We are talking about three USB Type-A ports, one USB Type-C, HDMI port, headphone jack and of course an SD card reader, making transferring photos or videos from a camera very easy.
The 15.6 inch screen comes with a thin white frame, something we do not encounter very often, and the 4K panel is factory calibrated to provide the most natural colors, compatible with more professional standards: 100% Adobe RGB and PANTONE validation with a Delta E<2. The screen is very bright and despite the fact that it uses an IPS panel, it does not have any lighting leak at the edges, resulting in very pronounced shades of black.
Finally, we have a fairly normal keyboard from Acer, with a medium-sized, not too large or too small, multitouch trackpad, below the keyboard, on the right side, there is a fingerprint sensor. These three elements are similar to those on Swift 5, noting that they use a yellow light, which matches the color of the keystrokes.
With the looks out of the way let’s see what’s under the hood of the Acer ConceptD 5:
Screen: 15,6”, OLED 4K UHD(3.840 x 2.160 pixeli), factory calibrated
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750G @ 3,1 GHz (4C/8T)
GPU: AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL
RAM: 8 GB DDR4
Storage: Western Digital 512 TB NVMe SSD
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1, 3 x USB 3.0 Gen2 Type-A, , 1 x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x jack 3,5 mm combo
Other: Yellow backlight keyboard, fingerprint sensor
Battery: 3.220 mAh (4 cells)
Power supply: 90W
Weight: 1.5 kg
OS: Windows 10 Pro preinstalled
Acer ConceptD 5 Usage Experience
When it comes to normal office work, the ConceptD 5 is doing really well. In theory, we should be able to tell this about any laptop model, regardless of price and configuration, but the truth is that this doesn't happen every time.
First of all, the display on the ConceptD 5 is one of the best we have used lately when it comes to image quality. We haven't used an OLED screen laptop yet, but the screen on ConceptD 5 is very close to the experience of using a panel that can display a near perfect black.
Of course, some might ask why you would need a 4K screen on a laptop, but considering that this laptop is made for those who actually work with high resolution photos, or even videos, you need to be able to see details without zooming in or getting too close to the screen.
Because it has a high resolution, and the pixel density is very high, so even if you zoom in, you won't see the pixel gap as with a Full HD screen, for example. Of course, a 4K screen consumes more power when the laptop is used on the battery, so we recommend lowering the resolution to Full HD if the autonomy is more important than the image quality at that time. Not having a gaming computer, the refresh rate of 60Hz is appropriate, but there is a lack of a touchscreen, given that the laptop is designed for graphic design.
However, it is interesting that it can be used in an office with other high resolution monitors. The HDMI 2.0 port allows the attachment of a 4K monitor, while the USB-C port can provide connectivity to another high resolution monitor, even higher than 4K, being compatible with the DisplayPort 1.2 standard. You can thus have an office setup with monitors, keyboard and mouse connected via USB-C through a hub, which you can quickly connect to, and when you leave, you can take all the projects with you on a very compact computer.
Using the laptop away from an outlet is not very long lasting. We talk about two hours, maximum 4, depending on the mode of use and the chosen power profile. The reason is a combination of high resolution screen, along with powerful components.The ConceptD 5 is equipped with an Intel Kaby Lake-G processor, meaning an Intel Core i7 of the eighth generation with an integrated GPU produced by AMD: RX Vega M GL. This is by no means a gaming GPU, but it can be used both for running more modest games and for accelerating functions in professional applications.
Surely those working with CAD design applications will appreciate the presence of such a GPU. Of course, the laptop heats up quite a bit in "serious" use, but its cooler isn't exactly noisy, which is worth noting since it's a work computer, which will be most often used in an office with other people around.
Acer ConceptD 5 Performance
When it comes to performance, the tests demonstrate exactly what Acer also suggests in the product description. We have a laptop suitable for graphic editing and photo editing, so suitable for Photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator, but not exactly suitable for Premiere Pro or After Effects.
The processor is a Core i7, really, but it's a quad-core with hyper-threading, weaker than a more recent Core i7, but stronger than what's found on the cheaper MacBook Pro models, for example, which we use Core i5 based. Also, the graphics chip is not suitable for 3D effects in After Effects, but it is stronger than what Intel usually offers on its portable models, so it will help more in the applications that can use it. The 3DMark test suggests that we have nothing to do with a gaming computer in any way.
On the other hand, Acer equipped this model with a very powerful SSD. We are dealing with a PCI-express x4 SSD in M.2 format, with a free M.2 slot in the configuration tested by us. This model can be factory configured with two SSDs in RAID0. Given that the model we tested offers speeds of 2.3 GB/s already, the model with SSDs configured in RAID0 could certainly reach the limits of the PCIe x4 slot.
Here are the results for the benchmarks we ran on the ConceptD 5:
PCMark 8 – 5.334
3DMark Time Spy – 2.131
Cinebench R20 – 1.245
WinRar – 8.924 KB/s
CrystalDiskMark Seq Q32T1: Read – 2.981 MB/s / Write: 2.380 MB/s
CrystalDiskMark 4KiB Q8T8: Read – 1.103 MB/s / Write: 969 MB/s
The Acer ConceptD 5 has managed to achieve its objectives, from our point of view. It's a well-built laptop with high-performance components and a lightweight, thin body. It has small disadvantages such as low autonomy and lack of a touchscreen, but many other benefits, such as the 4K matte screen, space for 2 SSDs and a very quiet cooler.
Those who need a desktop computer will probably need to focus on the bigger "brother" laptop for productivity, the Swift 5, while Photoshop and Lightroom users will certainly appreciate this model more.
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