Acer’s focus grows with a new smartwatch, VR headset, and 360 camera

Acer’s announcement-packed Next@Acer event included a slew of products ranging from gaming computers to slim laptops, with a varying set of release dates. A few don’t quite fit into any other major product releases, instead focusing on emerging and developing areas of technology with novel additions to the concept.

First up, the Acer Leap Ware takes the fitness smartwatch and refines it with a couple of key features that play well as a team. Instead of Android Wear, Acer developed its own smartwatch software, built on a MediaTek MT2523 chipset with an MT2511 for heart rate sensing. With a screen built from Corning Gorilla Glass and an IPX7 water resistance rating, users will not have to worry about an unexpected rainstorm or accidental damage, and a built-in LED helps for those who do not take their phone on a run. Acer also provides social features through the Liquid Life app, where users can share their workouts and battle for coins in the Liquid Life marketplace. The Leap Ware will hit shelves in North American in July, starting at $139.

Next up, two products with less clear release dates. The first is the Acer Holo 360, a 360-degree camera that also makes phone calls. It has 4G built right in and a small screen, which allows for quick viewing, editing, and sharing, all without a smartphone.

Acer also announced that it’s working with Microsoft on the mixed reality headset units promised for Windows Holographic, and that development kits are already in capable hands. No word on when either of those products will find their way into users’ homes, or how much they will cost when they do.

acer leap ware etc hmd devkit

Acer continues to find new and intriguing ways to reach into different product categories. We have been waiting for mixed reality headsets in particular for quite some time, so any sign of progress is appreciated. That said, Acer’s focus continues to fall squarely on computers, which made up the bulk of the content at this year’s press conference.

Product Review

This $295 smartwatch has the Armani name, but not the looks

The Armani Exchange AX Connected smartwatch does everything right. It has strong technical features, a good design, and isn’t over-priced. But is subtle brand name appeal enough to recommend it?

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for April 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.

Looking to get into shape? Snag one of these fitness trackers

Looking for your first fitness tracker, or an upgrade to the one you're already wearing? There are plenty of the wrist-worn gadgets available. Here are our picks for the best fitness trackers available right now.
Health & Fitness

From the office to the gym, these are the best smartwatches for fitness

The line between smartwatch and fitness tracker continues to blur. To help narrow the field of the best fitness watches, we sifted through what's available and curated a list of devices worthy of a spot on your wrist.

Google Chrome will get a Reader Mode for distraction-free desktop browsing

If Google's testing of Reader Mode on the Chrome Canary desktop browser is successful, soon all Chrome users will gain access to this feature. Reader Mode strips away irrelevant content on a webpage for distraction-free browsing.

Former student uses USB Killer device to fry $58,000 worth of college’s PCs

A former student used a USB Killer device to short circuit more than $58,000 of computers at a private New York college earlier this year. The student pled guilty to the charges and sentencing is scheduled to begin in August.

AMD Ryzen CPU prices get slashed ahead of Ryzen 3000 release

AMD's Ryzen CPUs have had their prices slashed as we edge towards the release of their third generation. Whether you're a gamer or someone who needs multi-threaded performance, there's a deal for everyone with some heavy discounts to take…

The number pad on HP’s Chromebook 15 makes spreadsheet work a breeze

HP's Chromebook 15 comes with a 15.6-inch display, a metal keyboard deck with full-size keys, and a dedicated number pad, making it the second Chromebook model, following Acer's Chromebook 715, to be suited for spreadsheet work.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.

Want to make calls across the internet for less? Try these great VOIP services

Voice over IP services are getting more and more popular, but there are still a few that stand above the pack. In this guide, we'll give you a few options for the best VOIP services for home and business users.

Transform into the ultimate leader with our tips and tricks for Civilization 6

Civilization VI offers both series veterans and total newcomers a lot to chew on from the get-go. Here are some essential starting tips to help you master the game's many intricacies.

AMD’s 2020 Ryzen CPUs could have a big boost in power efficiency

The sequel to AMD's Zen 2-based Ryzen 3000 CPUs is slated for a 2020 release and when it arrives, could leverage the new Zen 3 architecture to deliver impressive gains to performance and power efficiency.