The Acer ConceptD Ezel 7 is an exceptional laptop for stylus-based design work, thanks to a quality Wacom EMR digitiser and Acer’s cleverly designed hinge. It’s expensive, though – and, when buying in late 2021, the inclusion of last-gen CPU and GPU hardware may sting.
- Superb colour depth
- Well-designed, versatile display hinge
- High-end Wacom EMR digitiser
- Textured glass screen is a great stylus surface
- Noticeable fan noise
- Uses last-gen CPU/GPU
- Weak speakers
Versatile screen hinge:The hinge allows the screen to be tilted towards the user, or folded on top of the keyboard as a makeshift tablet.
Stylus bundled in:A stylus comes with the laptop, and can slot into the side.
4K screen:The 4K screen makes this laptop ideal for professional creators.
The Acer ConceptD Ezel 7 is a creative workstation laptop. Look at the specs in isolation and you might assume “gaming laptop”. It has a Core i7 H-series processor and an Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics card.
It’s powerful enough for fairly serious design and CAD work, even if it doesn’t feature a super-expensive Nvidia Quadro-series card.
The one thing you will have to swallow when buying this 2021 laptop is that the Acer ConceptD Ezel 7 features last-gen hardware. It uses a 10th-Gen Intel CPU and a 20-series Nvidia GPU. 11th-Gen and 30-series are the norm for new cutting-edge gaming laptops at the time of review.
However, those laptops don’t come with the Acer ConceptD Ezel 7’s other benefits, including an articulating screen that can hover in the air and a great Wacom EMR stylus system. Those unhappy with the specs here could pick up the Pro version, which comes with Quadro RTX 3000-series GPUs, but still uses 10th Gen Intel CPUs.
- Incredibly heavy at 2.5kg
- Screen features second hinge for added versatility
- Build quality is excellent
In the weeks before using the Acer ConceptD Ezel 7, I tested the Acer ConceptD Ezel 3 Pro. That’s a smaller, lighter laptop that I might consider hauling around in a rucksack. Perhaps not every day, but it isn’t huge or excessively heavy.
The Acer ConceptD Ezel 7 is more like a workstation – a chunky, heavy laptop with components made for performance, not portability.
The two designer-orientated laptops follow the same core brief, however: the two points of articulation in the screen. The display snaps in place in the usual laptop position with magnets, but you can pull the screen away thanks to a secondary hinge that sits half-way up the panel.
This allows for many angled positions that aren’t possible with a 360-degree convertible, or even a laptop with detachable screen. You can leave the display hovering 10cm over the keyboard, for example. I actually find this useful for normal work, since the big cooling vents can make it feel as though the display is far away from you.
It’s possible to lie the screen flat on the keyboard, too, but with the keys sitting below the display, rather than on the other side of the laptop, as is the case in a 360-degree hybrid. Its bottom edge can also sit almost anywhere on the keyboard plate, using it as an anchor. This might be the most valuable position for digital drawing, as you can tilt the screen at a slight upwards angle, to avoid wrist issues after working away for hours.
Acer has done a great job with this hinge system. Sure, it doesn’t make the lid look that pretty, but I’m entirely happy with its stiffness and how easy it is to change angle on-the-fly.
The Acer ConceptD Ezel 7’s general build quality is solid, too. This is, apparently, a metal laptop, but Acer uses a micro-arc oxidation technique that creates a hard ceramic-like layer on its outer surface.
There are two USB-Cs with Thunderbolt 4 support, two USB-As, an Ethernet port, HDMI and, rarest of them all, a DisplayPort connector. The Acer…