The Porsche you can play F1 2020 on – and quite a bit more

Gaming

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Almost as soon as the first motorised carriage began mass production over a hundred years ago, major motoring marques have been in love with the idea that they are not just selling a mode of transport – they’re selling a lifestyle.

Few have succeeded at this as well as Porsche, whose sleek styling and focus on function before form has made it one of the most popular and prestigious names in the automotive world. And with a motorsport pedigree as strong as the one the Stuttgart brand boasts, that reputation has only been enhanced on the track.

So desirable has the Porsche name become, they launched an entire luxury accessories subsidiary – Porsche Design – to allow fans to get their hands on a range of products to help live the Porsche lifestyle in all areas of their life.

From fashion, eyewear and watches to bags, pens and even carving knives, there’s no shortage of items enthusiasts can throw their money at.

Porsche laptop
Carbon fibre trim enhances its motorsport aesthetic

So how about a Porsche laptop?

Enter IT company Acer – technology provider to Alfa Romeo’s F1 team – who have produced this rather attractive notebook that promises to encapsulate that Porsche performance in a lightweight laptop.

Over the last month, we’ve been able to get behind the ‘wheel’ of the Porsche Design Acer Book RS. We’ve tested it, we’ve produced our grands prix coverage with it and we’ve tried simracing on it.

So if the Porsche brand holds a special place in your heart, how far does this device go to give you a taste of that luxury lifestyle?

Perhaps it’s the influence that ‘unboxing’ videos have had on internet culture, but the first thing you’ll notice when you open up the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is how fancily everything is packed. Every element lies wrapped and embedded in moulded casing so that, when you open it, it feels like you’re prising open something that James Bond has been handed by his quartermaster.

As weight is critical to performance in the racing world, it’s striking just how light this laptop really is at only 1.2kg. You can pop it into the professional looking case provided for protection while you carry it around in your bag or hands and almost convince yourself that you’re Patrick Dempsey about to board a trans-Atlantic flight to the weekend’s big GT3 event.

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The motorsport influence is clear in the aesthetics. The laptop itself features a carbon fibre cover to really reflect that motorsport inspired design, while the bespoke mouse features a carbon fibre button for left clicking that is clearly emulating a throttle pedal.

The mouse button mimics a throttle pedal
It all looks very swish from the outside, but the effect begins to wear thin when you get to use it and you realise that the mouse is the same kind of plastic you have on your standard office mouse at work. The metal scroll wheel also fits the design well visually, but the texture could quickly cause irritation to more delicate fingers.

Under the hood, there’s an 11th generation Intel processor with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for good measure, meaning the system boots up as quick as a 911 with launch control activated. There’s plenty of horsepower for running your day-to-day activities without little trouble and it thankfully runs quietly with minimal fan noise thanks to the dual copper heat pipes.

However, watch out if you’re doing any prolonged intense gaming sessions. While the hinge design naturally lifts the vents when opened to allow better air circulation, the casing around the keyboard and fan outlets can get almost uncomfortably hot while running at maximum revs.

The battery life is pretty much as you’d expect – long enough to get some serious work done at the airport if you don’t have a charger handy, but will drain a lot quicker if you’re doing anything that demands much from the processor. There is a Thunderbolt 4 port for pit stop-worthy fast charging and that also allows for exporting to an external display at up to 8K resolution – if you’re one of the few people in the world with an 8K-ready device.

In terms of visual performance, it all looks crystal clear on its 14-inch, 1080p touchscreen. But while the image quality on the screen is decent, many will be interested in whether you can use this laptop to indulge in some simracing to help live out those motorsport fantasies in the virtual realm.

That’s where things can start to get a little bit challenging if you’re looking at a product like this as a serious gaming investment. While the NVIDIA GeForce MX350 graphics card is nothing to sniff at – we were able to play a series of games from F1 2020 and WRC9 to Rocket League and even Grand Theft Auto V – what’s on offer here won’t be enough to let you race the more graphic-intensive racing games at full settings.

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Frame rates will suffer during those critical moments such as the start of a race with the field pitting under a safety car unless you make some sacrifices in the graphics quality settings. Thankfully there are plenty of ports to plug your wheel and various other accessories into,

Though not a gaming laptop, recent racing titles are playable
That’s not to say it’s unviable to use this Porsche-endorsed laptop to race the make’s most famous machines around virtual circuits, but when you’re talking about this kind of price of entry, it’s hard not to think about the superior performance you can get from some of the other options out there around a similar cost point.

But comparing this device to dedicated ‘gaming’ laptops feels a little unfair when Acer do not present this as a one-stop simracing solution or for those serious about esports or enjoying the latest AAA experiences in the best possible quality.

Instead, what you have is a perfectly decent laptop for work, personal and mid-range gaming use where the premium comes from having that ‘Porsche Design’ styling. And perhaps that’s where this device is best suited, not for those wanting to buy themselves into the Porsche lifestyle, but to compliment those who are already living it.

This product isn’t for embarking on your own racing endeavours in the virtual space – it’s for sitting around the garage while it logs all your data from your real-life track day in your Cayman.

Living the Porsche lifestyle does come at a premium, it seems. But if you already have the keys to your own model in your garage and are in the market for a new laptop, chances are you won’t let the extra mark-up on this pretty but practical laptop hold you back from further emboldening your Porsche persona.

Model tested: Porsche Design Acer Book RS, £1,899.99, Intel Core i7-1165G7 quad-core 2.8Ghz processor, NVidia GeForce MX350 2Gb graphics card, 1Tb SSD, 16Gb RAM

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 22 comments on “The Porsche you can play F1 2020 on – and quite a bit more”

    1. The subscription model is a good compromise and agreement between the provider and the subscriber.
      I pay a small fee each month so that you can be paid for your work and so that I do not have to see advertisements! This ‘article’ is a clear breach of that agreement. Perhaps only post sham articles like this to the freemium users.

      1. +1

        This is sadly up there with the articles that cut and paste press releases with only the thinist commentary

        1. @stillyp @falken @john-h @inininin

          Every now and then we publish something which provokes unexpected reactions to and this is one of those occasions.

          First one thing to make clear: Contrary to what a few have suggested, this article has not been paid for. Frankly I find it surprising anyone is suggesting this, as Will put forward several criticisms in his feature which you would never find in a paid advertorial.

          When we do run advertorials (as we have done earlier this year) these are always marked as such on the homepage and in the articles themselves, which also include styling differences to distinguish them from editorial. Our standard advice to advertisers regarding advertorial is as follows:

          “Please note all our advertorial promotions are always labelled as such. This is a strict requirement, to ensure our readers do not confuse editorial coverage with advertising.”

          This feature came about following other gaming hardware reviews we have run over the past year, including steering wheels and simracing rigs. Noting the response to those, we considered other products we thought might be of interest, which is partly what led us to considering our first feature on a laptop, with obvious motorsport connections.

          Hopefully that clears things up a bit. As I say, while the article is new ground for us in terms of its subject and treatment, I’m surprised by the vehemence of the reaction to it from some. Especially as we didn’t even say anything about Nikita Mazepin. Nonetheless, thanks for the feedback which I’ll take into consideration for future features.

          1. Welcome to the Internet…

          2. Thanks for the detailed reply @keithcollantine. You’ll have to forgive us, although reading the whole thing through again you’ve got to admit Will could be a good salesman!

            “And perhaps that’s where this device is best suited, not for those wanting to buy themselves into the Porsche lifestyle, but to compliment those who are already living it.”

            What exactly is the Porsche lifestyle!?
            The whole article is written in a completely different tone to the gaming and book reviews which are fantastic by the way.

            Anyway, ‘welcome to the internet’ indeed, where us armchair critics can sometimes misjudge things. Thanks for clearing it up and keep up the good work.

            1. @john-h That quote is basically saying that the only people for whom it might make any sense of buying it, are those already living the “Porsche lifestyle” with the funds to do so.

              What is the “Porsche lifestyle”? Well only those who can afford to live it truly know. Presumably it’s having to cash to splash around on brand name laptops when there are better and cheaper alternatives.

            2. Indeed @justrhysism, it’s often puzzled me why those with the most money often have the least sense.

              Anyway, just living the ‘Peugeot Lifestyle’ here, don’t mind me.

      2. Indeed. This is a bit of an insult. Either have the subscription model or run things like this and don’t. Happy to pay more than £1 a month if required. Besides, laptops are really not for playing driving simulators, we all know that.

      3. Funnily enough, I’d be absolutely fine with it if it was an actually useful and informed article about possible and best market options. Instead, it’s a blatant ad for an overpriced Acer Aspire with an overheating CPU and below-midrange graphics card.

    2. Stopped reading at “Acer”. I thought the days of luxury brands plastering their name over cheap Chinese products was long gone, but I guess not.

      Still, this puff piece helps Keith pay the bills.

      1. For your information, Acer is Taiwanese, not Chinese. They also make some pretty decent, if overpriced gaming equipment with their predator and nitro series. Check yourself

      2. @inininin No matter what brand of computer, phone, car, fridge or anything with a computer you own it will have Taiwanese chips because they happen to be world leaders in that tech.

    3. Such a blatant rip off of a MacBook Pro design 😂

      1. Doubt macbook pros can even run f12021 at a decent fps or at all…

        1. I had no issues playing F1 2020 on my 2019 MBP. 1920×1200, Ultra, 60+ fps.

        2. Said by someone who’s clearly never properly used an MBP.

      2. @brownerboy I know right! At first Glance I thought it was an MBP.

    4. Choosing a laptop for gaming is a bad choice most of the time, and the day ultrabooks will become credible gaming rigs has not yet come. The specifications for this one are really unimpressive – it lacks about 16Gb of RAM, 6Gb of VRAM and room for bigger fans to please someone ready to put so much money for gaming.

      Also, a docking station and an ergonomic mouse with more buttons would be a sensible choice. This laptop looks more like a branding exercise rather than a gaming-enthusiast machine unfortunately.

      1. @spoutnik I disagree. Laptops can be fully capable of running all games without any issue. I use a laptop (which is a couple of years old now) and get 60fps or more on all games the I play (at highest graphical settings), including intensive VR games (running at 90fps, including various sim racing titles). Mine is a couple of years old so only an I7 9th gen, with 32GB RAM and a GTX 1660ti

        Whilst I don’t disagree in saying a normal PC is has the potential to run games better, gaming laptops don’t deserve to be sneered at, when space can be a bit of an issue.

        1. @maddme still, a laptop for gaming remains a compromise. Tightly packaged components will die sooner, but I was referring to ultrabooks, because the article talks about gaming on an ultrabook which is not meant for. Gaming laptops are much bigger and with dedicated fans, and indeed can play any games decently.

      2. It’s in the article, this isnt marketed as a gaming laptop, just a fashion accessory

    5. Sorry, but what the hell does this have to do with motorsport?

      This is the worst thing I have ever seen in this website. Hopefully it’s not a sign of things to come.

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