Here it is guys – the “content creators dream”. Finally, we got our hands on the Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71). It is the flagship of the ConceptD family and may be considered as a workstation for creators. As you may know, this series of laptops are bearing some R&D from the Predator Triton series. This is completely fine, though, because as you know, the Triton laptops are the thin and light gaming family of Acer.
This makes it possible for a thin, good looking device to pack monstrous hardware inside. Obviously, the Acer ConceptD 9 is based on the Triton 900 machine. However, there are some visual changes that make the design a little bit more subtle and easy to swallow, if you are a content creator. In fact, it not only features the super cool hinge mechanism, but it also has a layer on top that reduces the reflections and enables you to use a stylus (that comes inside the box).
By the way, the display is a 4K panel and according to Acer should cover a lot of checkboxes in terms of color coverage and accuracy. And the monstrous hardware we were talking beforehand? Oh, yes – just a Core i9-9980HK and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 – nothing extraordinary.
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-conceptd-9-cn917-71/
Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) - Specs
All Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) configurationsSee all Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) review – the ultimate tool for content creators configurations
What’s in the box?
Its packaging is separated into two boxes – one for the laptop itself and another for the 330W charging brick and the accessories. As we mentioned, the Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) features a dedicated stylus inside the charger packaging.
Design and construction
Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) is based on the Predator Triton 900 gaming laptop. If you are not familiar with this device, let us briefly describe to you what was most important about it – the hinge mechanism that turned it from a laptop to a full-blown creativity tool. But, it was too rough – it bore the Predator logo and had these aggressive hinge pillars. What you will see with the ConceptD 9, however – is e stylish redesign of the same chassis. On top of that, it is 0.4 mm thinner (23.4mm) and 400 grams lighter (4.10 kg). Indeed, a laptop such thin feels pretty weird when you try to lift it since it weighs above 4 kilos.
Our unit was impossible to open with a single hand, but the mechanism that brings the display closer to the user was flawless. Additionally, there is the stylus. We do not have exact figures about its sensitivity, but it certainly looks and feels professional. It also has some weight and is extremely nice to use with the top layer of the ConceptD 9’s display – it glides seamlessly and you have an immediate response. This makes the entire configuration a perfect tool for artists, photographers, and designers.
As you can see, the laptop has its keyboard on the bottom side of the base. Honestly, this is not the most comfortable position for a keyboard and it needs some time getting used to it. However, it feels like it has mechanical switches and is pretty comfortable for typing. We only didn’t like how the buttons are crammed up in the bottom right corner – for example, the “Shift” key is the same size as the “Control”.
Nevertheless, you still have the option of NumberPad, but it will be integrated into the touchpad surface. While the touchpad itself is very, responsive, and its keys are decent, we can’t be convinced that a portrait-oriented touchpad will be of great use on a landscape-oriented display.
Another contrast to the Predator Triton 900 is that instead of showing off the internals with a glass on top of the base, Acer has kept the things subtle and put a huge ventilation grill on top of the fans.
Good news – there are ports all over this thing. On the left, you’ll see two USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 1) and two audio jacks. Then on the right, you’ll find an RJ-45 connector, a USB Type-A 3.1 (Gen. 2) port, two USB Type-C 3.1 (Gen. 2) ports (one of which is a Thunderbolt one) and the power button. Lastly, on the back, there are full-sized DisplayPort and HDMI connector, and thankfully – the power plug.
Disassembly and upgrade options
Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) comes with a UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS touchscreen panel with a model number AUO B173ZAN03.1 (AUO319B). This results in a pixel pitch of 0.1 x 0.1 mm and 255 ppi pixel density, meaning that the screen can be considered as “Retina” when viewed from further than 33 cm – perfectly suitable for the 17.3-inch device.
Viewing angles are excellent, as you can see from the images below.
The laptop offers three preinstalled presets – Native, Adobe RGB, and sRGB color spaces.
We recorded a maximum brightness (in the Native preset) of 426 nits in the center of the screen and also 426 nits as an average across the surface with 7% maximum deviation, measured in the top right corner.
Values above 4.0 are unwanted and should not be present. The contrast ratio is good – 1400:1.
To make sure we are on the same page, we would like to give you a little introduction of the sRGB color gamut and the Adobe RGB. To start, there’s the CIE 1976 Uniform Chromaticity Diagram that represents the visible specter of colors by the human eye, giving you a better perception of the color gamut coverage and the color accuracy.
Inside the black triangle, you will see the standard color gamut (sRGB) that is being used by millions of people in HDTV and on the web. As for the Adobe RGB, this is used in professional cameras, monitors, etc for printing. Basically, colors inside the black triangle are used by everyone and this is the essential part of the color quality and color accuracy of a mainstream notebook.
Still, we’ve included other color spaces like the famous DCI-P3 standard used by movie studios, as well as the digital UHD Rec.2020 standard. Rec.2020, however, is still a thing of the future and it’s difficult for today’s displays to cover that well. We’ve also included the so-called Michael Pointer gamut, or Pointer’s gamut, which represents the colors that naturally occur around us every day.
Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71)’s display manages to cover the sRGB and Adobe RGB color gamma fully, and even spreads out to the DCI-P3 color spectrum.
The two charts to follow are illustrating the color spectrum of the sRGB and Adobe RGB presets.
We tested the accuracy of the display with 24 commonly used colors like light and dark human skin, blue sky, green grass, orange, etc. You can check out the results at factory condition and also, with the “Design and Gaming” profile.
The next figure shows how well the display is able to reproduce really dark parts of an image, which is essential when watching movies or playing games in low ambient light.
The left side of the image represents the display with stock settings, while the right one is with the “Gaming and Web Design” profile activated. On the horizontal axis, you will find the grayscale and on the vertical axis – the luminance of the display. On the two graphs below you can easily check for yourself how your display handles the darkest nuances but keep in mind that this also depends on the settings of your current display, the calibration, the viewing angle, and the surrounding light conditions.
Response time (Gaming capabilities)
We test the reaction time of the pixels with the usual “black-to-white” and “white-to-black” method from 10% to 90% and reverse.
We recorded Fall Time + Rise Time = 28 ms.
PWM (Screen flickering)
Pulse-width modulation (PWM) is an easy way to control monitor brightness. When you lower the brightness, the light intensity of the backlight is not lowered, but instead turned off and on by the electronics with a frequency indistinguishable to the human eye. In these light impulses, the light/no-light time ratio varies, while brightness remains unchanged, which is harmful to your eyes. You can read more about that in our dedicated article on PWM.
Thankfully, Acer ConceptD 9’s display PWM-adjusted at any brightness level. This makes it comfortable for long working periods, without harming your eyes in this aspect.
Blue light emissions
Installing our Health-Guard profile not only eliminates PWM but also reduces the harmful Blue Light emissions while keeping the colors of the screen perceptually accurate. If you’re not familiar with the Blue light, the TL;DR version is – emissions that negatively affect your eyes, skin and your whole body. You can find more information about that in our dedicated article on Blue Light.
Acer ConceptD 9’s display has a touchscreen 4K IPS panel, which produces a very detailed image with high maximum brightness and good contrast ratio. Additionally, it features comfortable viewing angles and very wide color coverage. In fact, what makes the machine stand out of the rest is the ease of switching between Adobe RGB and sRGB presets, which can be extremely useful for content creators, photographers, and Web designers. This gives them the ability to show their clients the project live, in real-time – the biggest advantage of laptops, whatsoever.
Buy our profiles
Since our profiles are tailored for each individual display model, this article and its respective profile package are meant for Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) configurations with 17.3″ AUO B173ZAN03.1 (AUO319B) (4K UHD, 3840 x 2160) IPS screen.
*Should you have problems with downloading the purchased file, try using a different browser to open the link you’ll receive via e-mail. If the download target is a .php file instead of an archive, change the file extension to .zip or contact us at [email protected]
Read more about the profiles HERE.
In addition to receiving efficient and health-friendly profiles, by buying LaptopMedia's products you also support the development of our labs, where we test devices in order to produce the most objective reviews possible.
Office Work should be used mostly by users who spend most of the time looking at pieces of text, tables or just surfing. This profile aims to deliver better distinctness and clarity by keeping a flat gamma curve (2.20), native color temperature and perceptually accurate colors.
Design and Gaming
This profile is aimed at designers who work with colors professionally, and for games and movies as well. Design and Gaming takes display panels to their limits, making them as accurate as possible in the sRGB IEC61966-2-1 standard for Web and HDTV, at white point D65.
THealth-Guard eliminates the harmful Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) and reduces the negative Blue Light which affects our eyes and body. Since it’s custom tailored for every panel, it manages to keep the colors perceptually accurate. Health-Guard simulates paper so the pressure on the eyes is greatly reduced.
Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71)’s speakers are loud and sound deep. Their low, mid and high tones are clear of deviations.
As of the moment of writing this review, we weren’t able to find any drivers for this machine, except for the ones found by the OS.
Now, we conduct the battery tests with Windows Better performance setting turned on, screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits and all other programs turned off except for the one we are testing the notebook with.
In order to simulate real-life conditions, we used our own script for automatic web browsing through over 70 websites.
For every test like this, we use the same video in HD.
We use F1 2017’s built-in benchmark on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming.
Currently, there is only one configuration of the Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71). It features the overclockable octa-core Core i9-9980HK CPU by Intel. It has a base frequency of 2.40 GHz and is able to reach up to 5.00 GHz on a single core. Additionally, it has 16 MB of cache.
Results are from the Cinebench 15 CPU test (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Fritz chess benchmark (the higher the score, the better)
Results are from our Photoshop benchmark test (the lower the score, the better)
Similarly to the CPU situation, you only have one option for a graphics card as of right now – the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 – currently the most powerful GPU for a laptop on the market.
Results are from the 3DMark: Fire Strike (Graphics) benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 3.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Heaven 4.0 benchmark (higher the score, the better)
Results are from the Unigine Superposition benchmark (higher the score, the better)
|Far Cry 5||Full HD, Normal (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|RTX 2080||136 fps||130 fps||120 fps|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, MAX (Check settings)|
|RTX 2080||190 fps||111 fps||75 fps|
|Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Very High (Check settings)||Full HD, Ultra (Check settings)|
|RTX 2080||128 fps||110 fps||73 fps|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018)||Full HD, Medium (Check settings)||Full HD, High (Check settings)||Full HD, Highest (Check settings)|
|RTX 2080||127 fps||118 fps||84 fps|
Temperatures and comfort
Max CPU load
In this test we use 100% on the CPU cores, monitoring their frequencies and chip temperature. The first column shows a computer’s reaction to a short load (2-10 seconds), the second column simulates a serious task (between 15 and 30 seconds), and the third column is a good indicator of how good the laptop is for long loads such as video rendering.
Average core frequency (base frequency + X); CPU temp.
|Core i9-9980HK (45W TDP)||0:02 – 0:10 sec||0:15 – 0:30 sec||10:00 – 15:00 min|
|Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71)||3.48 GHz (B+45%)@ 83°C||3.47 GHz (B+45%)@ 89°C||2.38 GHz @ 67°C|
|Acer Predator Helios 700||3.31 GHz (B+38%)@ 69°C||3.33 GHz (B+39%)@ 73°C||3.20 GHz (B+33%)@ 70°C|
While, obviously, the ConceptD 9 is miles behind the Predator Helios 700 when put side by side, we found the cooling to be sufficient enough. It comprises two enormous metal fans, that absorb air from the base of the laptop. This makes it possible for the Core i9-9980HK to never breach the 90C mark. Despite that, at the last checkpoint, the laptop seems to lose the Turbo boost and run on a base frequency. This, however, is not temperature related (as it works at 67C), but more like managed to give headroom for the GPU in the long run.
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 2 min)||GPU frequency/ Core temp (after 30 min)|
|Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71)||1643 MHz @ 71°C||1603 MHz @ 79°C|
|Acer Predator Triton 900||1697 MHz @ 70°C||1678 MHz @ 80°C|
|Acer Predator Helios 700||1647 MHz @ 65°C||1632 MHz @ 69°C|
|Acer Predator Helios 700 OC Mode||1791 MHz @ 61°C||1783 MHz @ 62°C|
Once more, the ConceptD 9 has very good cooling, as its RTX 2080 doesn’t throttle at all. Well, yes, the frequencies are lower than on the Predator Triton 900, however, we have to note that the laptop remained relatively quiet.
Man… this laptop is something special. It is formidable how a device that we have basically tested already… sort of (in the form of Triton 900), is baffling us once again. You know, if you are a digital designer, artist or some sort of a creator, you would need a set of tools on your desk. First, there is the computer, that has to be powerful enough, so your work isn’t slowed down or it doesn’t stutter under heavy load. Second and also of huge importance – you need a color-accurate display – it is inappropriate to use a dim and off charts panel for color-sensitive work. Then, there are the input devices. Sure, a lot of people can do stuff with their mice and keyboards, however, if you want to be really precise, you would have a tablet or even a touchscreen display laying in front of you.
All of this, of course, is going to cost you a pretty penny. After all, you’re doing it for work and it is going to pay itself back at some point. Now imagine, if you can pick everything we just listed, put it in your backpack and go to the coffee shop or the park or, more often – a co-working place. Well, now you can. The Acer ConceptD 9 (CN917-71) is everything we mentioned – in the form of a laptop. Yes – not the most orthodox one, neither it is a very affordable one.
However, the hinge mechanism gives you the possibility of bringing the display further towards you and can be stopped at any position that is going to be comfortable, while the high-quality stylus that comes inside the box is great. Additionally, it is extremely color accurate and it covers 100% of sRGB and Adobe RGB. By the way, there are three available color presets from which to choose. Thankfully, the panel doesn’t use PWM to adjust its brightness levels and has a very good maximum brightness of 450 nits.
Sadly, there were some shortcomings, like the short battery life and the 4.10 kg weight. This is too much for a laptop you plan to move every day. However, given the features it packs, you can forgive it, easily. Oh, and make sure you don’t put it on your lap when you are going for a long gaming session.
Needless to say, ConceptD 9 has a stunning raw performance. Its overclockable Core i9-9980HK and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 are an unbeatable duo. Interestingly, the laptop itself didn’t produce a lot of noise from its fans, which is great, however, the position of the keyboard, which was the major victim of the cooling, is not very comfortable.
Quite honestly, this laptop is hands down, the best content creator tool that we have tested, plus it comes with RAID 0 support and a ton of I/O.
- Inovative hinge that let’s you put the display in whatever position you want
- 100% sRGB and Adobe RGB coverage and no PWM for brightness adjustment
- Web design-grade color accuracy and 450 nits maximum brightness
- Monstrous hardware on board
- Comes with a magnetic stylus out of the box
- RAID 0 support and a wide variety of connections
- Short battery life
- Uncofmortable keyboard placement
You can check the prices and configurations in our Specs System: https://laptopmedia.com/series/acer-conceptd-9-cn917-71/