4 best eye tracking laptops to own in 2018
The jury is still out on whether there is enough scope for eye tracking laptops currently. Perhaps it is the noted limitations of the eye tracking software and hardware available at present. However, there appears to be a consensus that eye tracker embedded laptops are the future.
The limitations on current eye-tracking technology on laptops have however not stopped people in the gaming community from salivating at mere prospect putting the technology to work. It is certainly a welcome option to the headsets gamers sometimes wear to enrich their gaming experience. Eye tracking brings a new hands-free mode of interacting with your PC that even makes touch ready screens look like old technology.
There are already laptops available that have embedded eye trackers and some that support integration with peripheral eye tracking devices. Already Microsoft has taken the lead and has added eye tracking support for Windows 10. Today we are running the ruler on the best eye-tracking laptops on the market. Let’s get to it.
Buy these eye tracking laptops to impress your friends
1. Alienware 17 R4 Gaming Laptop (suggested)
This is the first ever notebook built with integrated eye tracking capability. The notebook uses Tobii eye tracking hardware and software to anticipate a PC’s user’s presence and intentions.
It is not surprising that Alienware, itself a major player in the high-performance PC gaming systems industry, was the first company to recognize eye trackers’ potentially massive appeal for gamers. The Alienware 17 PC harnesses the intelligence of eye-tracking technology to improve the experience for gaming PC users.
Features that the Tobii eye tracking hardware and software enabled on the Alienware 17 gaming notebook include;
- Wake on Gaze, which enables users to prompt the notebook from sleep mode just by staring at the Alienware logo on the screen. This ability minimizes the likelihood of accidental power-ups as the machine can accurately perceive and execute the user’s intent,
- Automatic Stay Awake/Dim screen, which saves power by automatically dimming the screen the moment you turn your gaze away from the screen and restores brightness when you focus your gaze back on the screen,
- Gaze responsive keyboard lights – To save power, the keyboard backlights switch off when you look directly onto the screen and only light up when you bring your attention to the keyboard itself,
- Auto lock – Thanks to the integrated Tobii eye tracker, the PC locks up the moment you step away from the laptop. This is an important security feature that will address the risk of unauthorized use as happens when users forget to close their laptops after use or when stepping away for the occasional chore.
Alienware 17 R4 is a seriously cool PC with many incredible features beyond the Tobii eye-tracking technology integration. It is ridiculously fast and spots a 17-inch screen on a huge frame that turns the recent trend towards slim and super portable notebooks on its head.
- Maybe a result of all the weighty and expensive parts sitting on the chassis, the laptop is a heavy 9.5 pounds. This, however, isn’t a usual laptop for you and me. Yes, some of the features will seem flashy, like the backlit trackpad, RGB LED strip lights embedded on the sides. But that’s what you get for a premium gaming PC these days.
If you can handle the heat and noise it discharges, as well as the steep price, the Alienware 17 R4 will make for one heck of performance PC. Whether you will buy it for its absolute power or the eye tracking features is the question only you can answer.
2. Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro Black Edition (suggested)
Acer has focused its missiles on the PC gaming market for a while now. And their machines get bolder and beastlier with every release. With the Acer Aspire V 17 Nitro, we can now also add fancy, futuristic technology to the list of superlatives.
Perhaps wanting to steer this notebook towards a larger market, and not away from the gamer market per se, Acer chose a professional looking design for this laptop. It hardly looks like a gaming PC and executives can take out in meetings without feeling awkward.
In place of the sharp edges, flashing lights, and boxy appearance synonymous with gaming PCs is a sleek, Acer-like design with name ingrained silver hinge and the Acer logo in the center of the top cover. Opening the laptop, you will quickly notice the Tobii IR eye tracking camera sitting there under the Acer logo, ready to capture your gaze.
Using the Tobii eye tracker in Windows requires you to touch your keyboard for some commands, like tapping the trackpad to move the cursor to where you are looking on the screen. It is when gaming that you really put the eye tracking features at work. With over 45 games now supported, you have enough to test the eye tracker with.
Other features include a 17-inch display and the standard extras like 2 USB 2.0 ports as well as SD card slots and headphone, Ethernet, HDMI output, and microphone jacks. Add a core i7 Intel processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512 SSD and 1TB HDD of storage and you are guaranteed peak performance even when gaming.
3. MSI GT72S G Tobii
Besides the blistering core i7 powered notebook’s speed and its remarkable gaming experience, the one other thing that stands out about laptop is the integrated Tobii eye tracker. Of course, that noted gaming experience is in part thanks to the Tobii eye tracker itself.
The gaming laptop is a collaboration between MSI and Tobii, hence the PC’s name. The collaboration enabled a sleek design and a solid performance laptop with a colorful display and equally enticing entertainment features.
MSI, an inventive gaming PC maker, carved out a sleek design with curved edges that are a welcome reprieve to the common boxy design you get with gaming PCs. Tobii brought its eye-tracking hardware in the form of software and three sensors embedded just below the display.
The Tobii software is pre-programmed into the PC’s operating software and can be used in place of the trackpad for navigating the cursor with your eye movements, operating the Windows 10’s Snap feature, and to launch apps.
You are going to tire playing games constantly or will at least want to do some work in between your gaming breaks. It will be a pity if you had no use of the eye tracker beyond gaming. Thankfully you can put it to use for other non-gaming tasks, albeit minimally.
Everytime you gaze away from the screen, the PC’s display dims off and will light up when you focus your eyes back to the screen. A Gaze Trace feature helps you track your eye movement through a transparent ball that gives you a visual image of your mouse as you shift your gaze through the screen.
Most of the other eye tracker enhanced functions like scrolling through web pages and page zooming will require you to use your fingers to touch or swipe your fingers on the trackpad. Despite the not-so hands-free experience, the MSI GT72S G Tobii is still a fabulous PC that is worth the indulgence of buying it.
4. Acer Predator 21 X
The Predator 21 X is a monstrosity and possibly the wildest gaming laptop design ever conceived. Everything about this Acer notebook is over-the-top. It is ridiculously chunky, heavy, and has a price to match.
But the die-hard gamer, albeit one flush with cash, will instantly fall in love with this monster. Under the hood, the Predator has all you could ask for including a powerful quad-core processor, seemingly inexhaustible, expandable storage, a 21-inch curved screen, a full height mechanical keyboard, and a trackpad you can flip over and hide.
The Predator 21 X is the fastest laptop on the market. But possibly the only feature that concerns us for this article is the Tobii EyeX eye tracker embedded under the display.
By just your gaze as your eyes move across the screen, you will be able to execute regular trackpad and mouse tasks. Just as well, as not many gamers care a great deal about the trackpad anyway.
To their credit, the Predator’s designers still gave gamers a choice of using either the trackpad or the gamer-friendly keyboard controls. The trackpad panel can be flipped over to reveal a keyboard on the opposite side.
At $9,000, people aren’t queuing up at retail stores waiting for their chance to snag their own Predator 21 X. The price is forbidding, but the laptop is still an object of enormous desire for any gamer.
Eye tracking laptops open up an incredible new world for gamers
Thanks to eye-tracking sensors and software that PC manufacturers can now integrate into their products, users can now confidently describe scrolling, pointing, and clicking with your mouse or touchpad as so last year. This opens up many applications for PCs, especially for gamers.
If you sort out the budget, any one of the laptops we have reviewed here will give you a computing experience that’s still perhaps still ahead of its time. It is certainly a great time to be a gamer.
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