The Predator 8 and its buzzy name contain a new generation Intel Atom 32-bit mobile chip, the X7-Z8700 (14-nm burning) with its four Airmont cores running at 1.6 GHz and able to mount when the user requests it. 2.6 GHz; a chip that we could already see at work in the Microsoft Surface 3. It comes with a 2 GB RAM and a storage capacity of 32 GB, expandable by adding a microSD card. A photo-video sensor of 5 Mpx takes place on the back and another of 2 Mpx is lodged on the front. To justify its positioning “gaming”, Acer also includes 4 speakers who take their quarters at each corner of the device and several vibrators (advanced touch engines) supposed to deepen the gaming experience. Wi-Fi a / b / g / n dual-band MIMO, GPS and Bluetooth 4.1 are also on the menu for wireless connectivity.
The set is powered by a battery of 4550 mAh and runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop OS slightly overhauled by Acer to hit icons and home applications.
The Acer Predator 8 tablet is priced at 349 €. It naturally tends to rub the Shield Tablet K1 Nvidia , sold for € 150 less.
What an atypical look that the Predator 8. Taking the lines of the range PC / Monitor for players of the Taiwanese brand, the tablet is a bit of a cliff in the slate landscape, with a rough structure of formwork, big unhooked at the four corners to insert red grid speakers, a back that mixes aluminum and plastic in a set of layers specific to this tablet. For anyone who knows Acer’s gamer universe, this slate will inevitably remind Predator laptops. DNA, physical at least, is common, no doubt. A structural expression that has a direct impact on the optimization of front space, since the 8-inch screen occupies only 67% of the front of the device.
At first sight, the appearance of the Predator 8 seems in line with its pricing. However, more closely, the construction is not a great satisfaction, with a summary assembly and a multiplication of elements that generates random and slight cracks in the shell handling.
The most unfortunate aspect in our grip and in the physical appreciation of the object comes from the prehension even of the Predator 8. Who therefore thought at Acer that pointed edges of speakers scattered at the corners of the product were going to fit perfectly in a palm of a human hand? Elements in direct and almost constant contact with the user. As a result, the Predator 8 can not be held firmly for a very long time, or it will leave marks and bad sensations. A unanimous return to the editor, where the embarrassment is immediately palpable.
On the heating side, the Predator does not spare a few hints of mercury when it must express all released horses. In greedy video game, it is not uncommon to see the machine reach 41 ° C, in a concentrated area nevertheless and which will primarily hinder the most sensitive hands.
By choosing a 1920 x 1200 px display, Acer gives its tablet a display with a density of 283 pixels per inch that fits perfectly to an 8-inch format and the user’s eye for any type of display . A readability also facilitated by a light reflection of the slab of 13%, an average contrast of 900: 1, a deep black and a maximum brightness of more than 450 cd / m². Results, without being crazy, enough for the all-comer.
Acer is trying out the various display modes via its MediaMaster application, accessible from the home page and each offering to touch by hand then the temperature and color saturation. The choice is given between Standard, Film, Game and Album. Unsurprisingly, the Standard mode remains dominant in rendering quality. It should also be added that, basically, each mode tritureless consistency basic renders, making the game manual saturation and temperature completely adventurous.
The color rendering lacks a bit of overall balance, but retains a certain fidelity, with an average E delta of 4. The color temperature is a bit high, at 7861 Kelvins, with a slight drift towards blue in shades the clearest. In terms of tactile responsiveness, the slab has a delay of 78 ms, in the market average, for a latency of 20 ms, in the average also IPS tablets (respectively less than 30 ms and 14 ms for the best students).
Let’s conclude with the famous Bluelight Shield option, which proposes to soften the blue light to soften the display and lessen the long-term impact on the eyes. The result is … ugly, with a thick veil and a sepia / salmon display. We will wait for a better application of this technology.
INTERFACE AND NAVIGATION 4/5
Between preloaded apps, duplicates – three app stores in total! – and the icons allowing direct download to content – games especially – Acer requires the startup nearly 30 additional software following the classic Google that can be found in any good Android tablet. Result, of the 32 GB, more than 9.1 GB are monopolized by the system.
Beyond this problem of space optimization – vivid microSD card -, Acer articulates its interface around a rather classic Android and even adds some good strings to his bow, like the awakening by tapping the screen. use of simultaneous applications in display sharing and an overlay frame reachable at any time containing 4 shortcuts of use (calculator and agenda in particular). Not sensational, but practical.
In terms of performance, the Intel X7 responds in a very nice way. In pure power, whether on the CPU or graphics, the machine slightly outperforms devices equipped with a Snapdragon 810, including the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet, to stay in the tablet market. Above all, Intel manages to maintain a consistent level of performance, unlike Qualcomm on its last chip that collapses quickly. The Nvidia Tegra K1, it remains largely in the lead, but this is not the real problem because most of the time, the Predator 8 turns like a devil.
What a strange idea – still – by the way from Acer to have placed only 2 GB of RAM with such a platform and a modified Android OS. This results in a few scattered slowdowns, especially the launch of a big app, a heavy game, out of these and for the launch of multitasking. Acer requires, nothing yet indicates that the slate will one day receive an update to 6.0 Marshmallow, which would be unfortunate, especially for storage merged with the microSD card.
Finally, to complete the comparison with the Shield Tablet K1 , which remains basic in its use of Android but already allows at least to manipulate the level of power and resources to allocate to each app, note that thePredator is still very weak against Game Stream and especially GeForce Now from Nvidia. Admittedly, you have to add a monthly subscription, but the game is no longer just Android and makes the tablet a game machine almost at the height of the consoles for the software offer. Here, only games from the Google Play Store will have a voice. Not so deep.
That classic Android with this Predator video. Management of all qualities (SD / HD / Full HD) without flinching and the need probably for most users to go through a third-party app-player (VLC, MX Player …) to increase the reading depth and file compatibility.
Difficult to gauge the headphone output of the Acer Predator. Indeed, its Media Master application, which offers different equalizers, can not be disabled. Just one can claim several audio profiles, all more irregular than each other. Thus we often find ourselves with somewhat fanciful results. When we get pretty much consistent results, we note that the headphone output is underpowered and suffers a rather high distortion at full volume. Fortunately the dynamic range is quite wide and the crosstalk well marked. We will avoid spreading on the frequency response curve, as it is more confined to contemporary art than audio rendering worthy of the name.
With its four speakers, the Predator 8 could claim to compete with the iPad Pro, unfortunately, in fact, it is far. If we find the spatialization of sound according to the inclination, this is its only common point with the Apple tablet. The rendering itself clearly lacks punch, and if the distortion is kept at a reasonable level, the camera draws a clean line on the bass to reproduce a sound concentrated mostly on the high-mids. Disappointment.
Notwithstanding the lack of competitiveness of the Predator 8 in the video game offer of the Nvidia Shield Tablet , Acer’s machine responds seriously on its main observation point. The Intel platform rises without difficulty to the height of the challenge: run any Android game at a high frequency, without ever a hitch. As for the Google Pixel C and the Shield, the Predator 8 is one of the rare homegrown products to perfectly rotate a monster like the title Riptide GP2 with its effects to the maximum.
On the other hand, white cabbage for the additional vibrators, which hardly express themselves on Asphalt 8 (distant simulation and on the surface of a return of force) and then goes away …
What to expect from the Predator in photo? Not much. The 5-megapixel main sensor at the back offers fake-color shots, average piqué and sharpness, crisp white balance and the whole thing has to deal with an application with a thousand settings that do not actually not really relevant to the service of such an inefficient tool.
Moreover, the application itself offers a slow shooting and afflicted with a persistent remanence and latency, unpleasant for the eyes and the responsiveness of the camera. The capture of the device is also complicated in this use, whether in portrait or landscape mode.
It is therefore necessary to turn to the front sensor, which saves the furniture as much as it can to ensure a drinking service when we engage in videoconferencing (Hangouts, Skype …). The remanence is contained and the visibility remains correct, even in light conditions not lenient. It does the job on that side, without ever going to compete with the queens in the field that are the iPad, Sony Xperia Z or Galaxy Tab S Samsung.
That a tablet claims a certain multimedia know-how is one thing, but that it is able to express itself long enough to satisfy its world is another that does not seem to seize Acer in this case. With a battery with a capacity of 4550 mAh, the Predator 8 must, in theory, rely on a lot of optimization to not disappoint the user. Las, in practice, the tablet magnifies the tick in all compartments of use. In a mixed use (web, game, OS consultation with our viSer general test protocol), the slate ceiling at 5:06 of operation, barely two-thirds of a day and simply the worst autonomy that we we have recorded on a slate this year (2 minutes less than the Polaroid Infinite 7). In game pure and hard,
The autonomy involved is a real problem for a product that claims to be a machine to play, especially since even by sticking the device to its charger, the requested power remains higher than the charging capacity of the beast and the So we lose the battery, a little slower of course, whatever happens. Another problem is that energy loading is a wound. It can sometimes take more than 4 hours and, on rare occasions, never reach 100% of load … In short, unless a severe optimization and on this single point of energy, the Predator 8 fires a huge ball in the foot that she does not have.
No tangle with Acer for tactile input, the Taiwan brand trusting the basic keyboard of Android 5.1 Lollipop. The typing can be fast, thanks to a good general reactivity of the machine and its screen. Plotting words is also part of the game, giving the Predator 8 a complete panel to quickly edit text or send an email. Finally, the only black spot is physical and returns to our observations of the ergonomics part. In portrait or landscape mode, long-term seizure becomes troublesome for the palms of the hands.