Well, you can’t accuse computer maker Acer of being small-minded: the company has just announced the North American availability of its Aspire 9800 portable computer, sporting 20.1-inch, HD-capable wide-screen display and HD DVD drive. Acer had shown the 9800 at Taipei’s Computex show, and has now migrated the product to the North American market, where “bigger is better” might be an easy sell—a point Dell is also trying to prove with its XPS M2010 20-inch sorta-portable behemoth. But the Aspire 9800 comes in cheaper.
The Aspire 9800 aims to be a multimedia powerhouse, using a Centrino Duo processor, an Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics controller, 240 GB of RAID-ready storage in the form of two 120 GB, 5400 RPM Serial ATA hard drives. (I mean, with a 20-inch screen you’ve got room in that thing for all sorts of storage!) The 20.1-inch screen uses Acer’s CrystalBrite technology to provide sharp imaging, and claims game-worthy 8 ms grey-to-grey response time, and supports HD resolutions up to 1920 by 1080 pixels (yep, 1080p) for viewing high-definition content.
And the Aspire can deliver that high-def content with its built-in HD DVD drive, which supports 13 different optical media formats, plus HDMI and HDCP support for projecting HD movies and game content to high-definition televisions displays. The 9800 also sports its own speakers and subwoofer, plus Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect for hooking up to home theater systems using S/PDIF. There’s also a TV tuner: good luck getting DVB-T signals in North America, but it also supports standard terrestrial signals. Also built in: the Acer OrbiCam, a 1.3 megapixel CMOS camera for still images and video conferencing.
Intrigued? If you have $2,799 handy—more once you start tacking on options—Acer dealers will be happy to plop one of these in your lap. Although we doubt they’re liable for any bruising.
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