Acer has revved up its Aspire line of notebook computers going into the end-of-year holiday buying season, emphasizing entertainment, multimedia, and performance in a bevy of new system designed to appeal to everyone from every day consumers and entertainment fans to serious hard-core gamers. Acer’s updated Aspire AS5742G, Aspire AS5745, and Aspire AS7745 focus on both mobility and premium entertainment—featuring displays with 120 Hz refresh rates and Nvidia 3D vision graphics—while the new Aspire AS8943G notebooks aim to blow away gamers with Core i7 processors and ATI Mobility Radeon graphics with 2 GB of video memory.
Starting with the big guns, the new Aspire AS8943Gs are unabashedly aimed at gamers and multimedia fiends: the systems sport Intel Core i7 740QM quad-core processors, from 4 to 8 GB of memory (upgradable to 16 GB), and pack a mammoth 18.4-inch edge-to-edge glass LCD display that can handle 1080p output. But it’s what’s powering that display that wil attract some attention: the system pack ATI Mobility 5850 graphics with 2 GB of dedicated video memory, meaning the systems are capable of running even the most demanding DirectX 11 gaming titles in full HD at maxed-out settings. Movie fans will appreciate the HDMI output for connecting to a bigscreen TV, along with the optional Blu-ray drive and integrated Ace CineSurround 5.1 sound system. The Aspire AS8943Gs also boast two hard drive bays (a 500 GB drive comes pre-packed into one of them), eSATA and Firewire ports, along with a bevy of standard equipment: gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and a fingerprint reader so only authorized users can bask in the epic glory. The AS8943G units are available now from selected retailers with prices starting at $1,499.99.
However, Acer isn’t only targeting gamers: the Aspire AS5742G, Aspire AS5745, and Aspire AS7745 series are aimed at folks who like their multimedia and a little more portability than a mega-notebook with an 18-inch display. Leading the pack, the Aspire AS5745DG is built around an Intel Core i5 processor, a 15.6-inch display (with 1,366 by 768-pixel resolution), and Nvidia GeForce GT4210M graphics with 3D Vision technology: pop on those shutter glasses and 3D content can jump off the screen. Acer also rolls in Acer Arcade Deluxe to convert 2D content to 3D with one click. The Aspire AS5745DG also boasts four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI output, a multi-in-one media reader, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, gigabit Ethernet, and a 500 GB hard drive: the Aspire AS5745DG system should land at online retailers in late October with prices starting at $999.99, although other AS5745 models will have suggested prices as low as $649.99.
Acer is pitching the Aspire AS5742G and larger AS7745 to folks looking for productivity and mobility: the AS5742G features a 15.6-inch 1,366 by 768-pixel display while the AS7745 steps up to a 17.3-inch 1,600 by 900-pixel display. The Aspire AS5742G systems will be available with a selection of Core i3, i5, or i7 processors and 500 GB hard drives, along with Nvidia Optimus technology for transparently switching between discrete and integrated graphics (improving battery life when you don’t need significant graphics performance). The 17-inch AS7745s will feature ATI Mobility Radeon 5650 graphics, a Core i7 processor, support for up to 16 GB of system memory, and space for a second hard drive. Blu-ray drives will also apparently be in option on all the new systems: Acer hasn’t said exactly when they’ll be available, but suggested pricing for the 15-inch Aspire 5742G will start at $749.99 while the 17-inch AS7745 will start at $799.99.
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