Last week, Acer unveiled a handful of back-to-school laptops, and today, the outfit's showing off gear for kids who've got a teensy bit more room in the dorms. The company just trotted out a pair of desktops, along with the beastly 23-inch T231H multitouch monitor. Both towers have a staid black chassis with Acer's clear.fi media streaming software on board. Of the two, the M series (pictured) is clearly for power users, with Core i3 and quad-core AMD Athlon II x4 processor options, 6GB of RAM, 1TB of hard drive space, optional discrete graphics, and a storage tray on top housing four USB 2.0 sockets and headphone and mic ports. The X series, meanwhile, has a trimmer, more compact design, and a modest spec list featuring Intel Pentium dual-core and AMD Athlon II X4 processors, 4GB of RAM, and integrated graphics. As for that 1080p display, it has an 80,000:1 contrast ratio and tilts between a 5-degree and 60-degree angle -- not unlike that swiveling HP all-in-one that came out earlier this year.
Looks like Acer's 7-inch Iconia Tab A100 has opted for a fashionably late entrance. We've just been informed by the company that its Honeycomb-sporting, Tegra 2-powered slate will not be arriving, as had been expected, right around now, but will in fact make its debut in the second half of 2011. No reasons have been given for the move, other than to say that the device has been postponed. The thing that prompted us to query Acer's PR team was a report out of Poland suggesting the A100 had been cancelled. Acer's UK reps are adamant that's not been the case, but anyone who was looking forward to grabbing one soon will be disappointed either way.
Price of netbooks is advantage over tablets
While the sound of tablets' soaring popularity has been likened to a death rattle for PC devices -- particularly the netbook -- PC giant Acer has held firm in its stance that it would not phase out netbooks in favor of tablets. But with the resignation of longtime CEO Gianfranco Lanci over a difference of vision last month (the Acer board members want the company to become more like Apple), that position was cast into doubt.
But, regardless of the Taiwan-based company's new direction, Acer has again reiterated that it believes in the netbook market, Elizabeth Woyke of Forbes reports in her blog.
"Tablets have impacted overall netbook sales, but we’re not stepping away from the [netbook] segment," Eric Ackerson, an Acer senior product marketing and brand manager, told Woyke. "We think there’s still opportunity for sales, including in the U.S."
There's one key factor that, at least for now, is keeping netbooks in the race: price. Woyke points out that nearly all tablets are in the $400+ price range. Apple's iPad, which is the de facto gold standard of tablets, can cost as much as $829 at its highest price point. Meanwhile, netbooks typically run south of $300, many in the $250 range.
Acer also indicated that the features you can pack into a netbook almost are on par with some notebooks, and that many consumers still continue to favor a physical keyboard over a virtual touchscreen one on tablets.
"The death of netbooks is overstated," Acer spokeswoman Lisa Emard told Woyke. "We may not see the same explosive growth [in the category] as before, but the netbook price point is still killer."
Acer's stunner to be launched in April '11
Acer isn't exactly a name that quickly comes to mind when think of smartphones, but the company is looking to change that rather quickly with a new Android-based device.
The unnamed smartphone sports a huge 4.8" display with a generous 1024x480 resolution (21:9 aspect ratio). If the large screen isn't enough to impress, the smartphone also features a full metal body with subtle engraved patterns.
When it comes to hardware specs, all the usual suspects are here including a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 8MP rear camera (with LED flash), 2MP front-facing camera, HDMI-out, and an accelerometer/gyroscope.
Connectivity duties are handled bier HSDPA, 802.11n, and the emerging Bluetooth 3.0 standard.
Acer calls its latest device "100% Smartphone, 100% Tablet", and you'll be able to find out more details closer to its April 2011 launch according to Engadget.
Not much more to tell you that you didn't already pick up from the headline. Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci told Dow Jones Newswire that it will be launching its first line of tablet PCs in New York City on November 23rd, priced from $299 to $699 each. That's all the man said, leaving us to speculate on the OS (though Android's been heavily rumored) and whether we're looking at the launch of an Acer 5-, 7-, or 10-inch tablet (or all of the above) priced with or without carrier subsidies. Still, with Android Gingerbread already on the lawn of the house that Google built we can expect to see a whole slew of Google sanctioned tablets launch before CES 2011 gets underway in January.
What do you get if you rip out the guts of an Acer Aspire Timeline 1810 laptop and replace the CULV processor with a newer, faster, Core i5 chip? Apparently what you get is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T. It will reprotedly have an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and an Intel Core i5-520UM processor with a clock speed that ranges from 1.06GHz to 1.86Hz depending on use. The graphics core has a clock speed of 166MHz to 500MHz and should be able to handle HD video playback, although it may not be powerful enough for some games with 3D graphics. The rest of the specs are pretty much the same as you’d find from Acer’s existing thin and light notebooks: 802.11b/gn WiFi, HDMI, SPDIF, 3 USB ports, and optional Bluetooth and 3G modems. The battery should be good for about 8 hours. The only thing that we don’t know yet is the price. Acer will make an official announcement in late March. If Acer can manage to upgrade the processor without dramatically boosting the price of the Aspire Timeline 1810 series, this will be a real winner.
What do you get if you rip out the guts of an Acer Aspire Timeline 1810 laptop and replace the CULV processor with a newer, faster, Core i5 chip? Apparently what you get is the Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830T.
It will reprotedly have an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display and an Intel Core i5-520UM processor with a clock speed that ranges from 1.06GHz to 1.86Hz depending on use. The graphics core has a clock speed of 166MHz to 500MHz and should be able to handle HD video playback, although it may not be powerful enough for some games with 3D graphics.
The rest of the specs are pretty much the same as you’d find from Acer’s existing thin and light notebooks: 802.11b/gn WiFi, HDMI, SPDIF, 3 USB ports, and optional Bluetooth and 3G modems. The battery should be good for about 8 hours.
The only thing that we don’t know yet is the price. Acer will make an official announcement in late March. If Acer can manage to upgrade the processor without dramatically boosting the price of the Aspire Timeline 1810 series, this will be a real winner.
Similarly to what happened last year, Acer is putting up quite a strong performance at MWC 2010. The company has showcased four new cell phones, including two brand new beTouch family members based on Android versions 1.5 and 2.1. The Acer beTouch E110 is being introduced as an affordable smartphone that comes with 2.8-inch QVGA display, 3.2-megapixel camera and 3G support, but without Wi-Fi. Finally, it appears to integrate a weakling processor, the ST Ericsson PNX6715 running at 416MHz. The beTouch E400 is more of a mainstream device that packs 3.2-inch HVGA display, 3.2-megapixel camera, 600MHz processor and Wi-Fi. Both cell phones will bring rich software functionality via a number of additional applications, similarly to the Acer Liquid A1. The Acer beTouch E110 is due this March, while the beTouch E400 is expected in April.
|The Acer beTouch E110 and E400|
The other two handsets run Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and belong to the neoTouch series – meet the P300 and P400. They are models that do not shine with any spectacular extra features – the Acer neoTouch P300 integrates 3.2-inch screen with WQVGA resolution, 3.2-megapixel camera and hardware QWERTY keyboard, while the neoTouch P400 is equipped with 3.2-inch display as well (but with HVGA resolution), 3.2-megapixel camera and lacks QWERTY. Both devices will come with the standard pack of features typical of cell phones in the same price category, including 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The market launch of the Acer neoTouch P300 is scheduled for March, but the neoTouch P400 will get delayed until May.
There is still no information on the retail prices that Acer's new models will be released at.
|The Acer neoTouch P300 and P400