There’s a reason Acer is the number-two PC manufacturer in the world—and looking to knock top-dog Hewlett-Packard from the top slot: the company makes a large range of products that target a broad range of customers. Today the company has unleashed that shotgun approach on the U.S. market, announcing a bevy of new Acer Aspire notebook computers running the gamut from slim ultraportables to mainstream workhorses to media-centric notebooks to a brand new “multimedia center” notebook that aims to be the ultimate in personal home theaters.
First up, the new top-of-the-line Acer Aspire AS8943G aims to be a multimedia powerhouse that pushes the limits of what can be done with a notebook. The AS8943G features an enormous 18.4-inch high-definition LED-backlit LCD display, Intel Core i7 processor, ATI Radeon Mobility HD5850 graphics with 1 GB of dedicated video memory and full DirectX 11 support—the machines want to be video and gaming powerhouses. Add a standard 4 or 8 GB of RAM to the mix (it’ll handle up to 16 GB), a 500 GB hard drive, FireWire and eSATA ports, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, gigabit Ethernet, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and a dual-mode touchpad that can flip between a multi-gesture mode and a media console mode, and the AS8943G starts to get fascinating…then Dolby-optimized Acer CineSurround audio with five integrated speakers, Blu-ray drive, and HDMI output kinda put the icing on the cake. How much? The Acer Aspire AS8943G starts at $1,549 and should be available now at retailers.
Next, Acer turns its attention to the power business travelers with its new TimelineX series of PC notebooks, designed to offer up to eight hours of battery life without sacrificing computing power. The TimelineX series will be available in four sizes—with 11.6-inch, 13.30inch, 14-inch, and 15.6-inch displays, respectively—with weights ranging from 3 to 5.5 pounds. The 13.3-, 14- and 15.6-inch models will be available with integrated optical drives and either Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors, 3 to 4 GB of RAM, and 320 to 500 GB of hard drive storage. The 15.6-inch model will feature 10-key numeric keypad, while the 14-inch model will be available with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics (with DirectX 11 support) for enhanced gaming and multimedia…although user will be able to dial back to integrated graphics to save power. The 11.6-inch model will ship with a ULV Core i3 or Core i5 processors. The TimelineX systems all feature gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and (in select models) Bluetooth wireless networking, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, HDMI output, a multi-gesture trackpad, and Dolby Home Theater audio.
The TimelineX units will be available in a variety of configurations. The 11.6-inch models will start at $599.99 (for a ULV Core i3 processor and a 320 GB hard drive) or $699.99 (for a ULV Core i5 and a 500 GB drive). The 13.3-inch units will start at $729.99, while the 14-inchers will start at $799.99 for a Core i3 CPU and a 320 GB drive and $899 for a Core i5 and a 500 GB drive. The 15.6-inch model will start at $749.99. They should all be available today from U.S. retailers.
Acer is also offering the Acer Aspire AS5745 and AS7745 notebooks for folks looking to a little entertainment power: the AS5745 sports a 15.6-inch 1,366 by 768 display while the AS7745 jumps up to a 1,600 by 900-pixel 17.3-inch display. The 15.6-inch AS5745G model will feature an Intel Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT 330M graphics, support for up to 16 GB of RAM, and select models will come with a multitouch screen capability. The 17.3-inch AS7745G will sport a Core i7 along with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics, along with a second hard drive bay for added storage capability and a Blu-ray drive. Both will offer up to 500 GB hard drives stock, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a digital media reader. Prices will start at $699, with a touch-screen edition of the AS5745 starting at $899.99 and jumping to $1,049 for a 2.8 GHz Core i7. The 1.7-3-inch Acer Aspire AS7745G with a Blu-ray drive, 8 GB of RAM, ATI graphics, and a Core i7 720QM processor will start at $1,399.
Finally, folks on a budget—you know, like students and parents—can check out new Aspire value notebooks, which will offer AMD Phenom II, AND Turion II, and AMD V Series processors along with Intel Core i3 and Core i5 options. The new units will ship with 4 GB of RAM standard, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet, stereo speakers, and either 15.6-inch or 17.3-inch displays powered by ATI Radeon HD 4250 or Intel HD graphics—HDMI output is also there for hooking up to an HDTV. The units will ship with hard drives offering 250 to 500 GB of storage, and some models will have a Blu-ray disc drive for entertainment options. The updated Acer Aspires should be available later this month with starting prices ranging from $429 to $899.99.