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Acer Aspire Ethos multimedia notebooks sport removable touchpad remotes

Acer Aspire Ethos notebook

Computer maker Acer has been pumping out the new systems lately, with new desktops and TimelineX notebooks debuting in just the last week. Now Acer is looking to prove it can cater to the high end of the notebook market too, announcing the latest members of its Aspire Ethos notebook line will be available this week in the U.S. and Canada. The systems sport either a 15.6- or 18.4-inch display, Intel Core i7 processors, and a removable touchpad that works as a remote control when you’re parked on the couch and the computer is pushing media to a big screen.

“The Acer Aspire Ethos line is the notebook of choice for gaming and media enthusiasts,” said Acer’s senior business manager for notebooks Steve Smith, in a statement. “It combines leading technology with a great set of high-end features that make these notebooks more useful and enjoyable for everyday activities. With the remote touchpad, you can change a song or pause a movie from across the room.”

Acer Aspire Ethos notebook

The two new models of the Aspire Ethos are the 15.6-inch AS5951 and the 18.4-inch AS8951. Both feature up to a second-generation quad-core Intel Core i7-2630QM processors running at 2 GHz (TurboBoost brings that to 2.9 GHz) along with Nvidia GeForce GT555M discrete graphics with 2 GB of video RAM. (Intel Core i5 processors are also available.) The systems sport 500 GB to 1.5 TB of hard drive storage (the AS8951 can handle dual hard drives), ships with either 6 or 8 GB of RAM (up to 16 GB supported), either a DVD±RW super multi drive or 4×Blu-ray drive. The systems also run the usual bevy of accessories: a multi-in-one digital media card reader, gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0+HS wireless networking, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and an integrated fingerprint reader. The 15.6-inch model sports a 1,366 by 768-pixel display, while the 18.4-inch model sports a full-HD 1,920 by 1,080 widescreen display. The systems also sport a backlit keyboard, a USB 3.0 port, four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, a combo USB/eSATA port, and an IEEE 1394 (FireWIre) port.

The most unusual feature of the Aspire Ethos systems has got to be the removable touchpads: when users are watching media from across the room, the detachable touchpad can control the computer using LED buttons that launch music and videos, and the touchpad can be used vertically or horizontally. The system also features Acer’s InstantOn Arcade key, enabling users to access music and videos with just one button-press, without waiting for a full Windows boot. The systems also support Acer Clear.fi, enabling easy access to media on other Acer Clear.fi devices as well as DLNA-complaint systems on a home network.

The systems will be available this week, with the 15.6-inch Aspire Ethos AS5915G starting at a suggested price of $1,399.99, and the 18.4-inch Aspire Ethos AS8915G starting at $1,599.99.