Print 22 comment(s) - last by GatoRat.. on Jun 5 at 4:49 PM

  (Source: Notebook Check)
Acer isn't looking to join its rivals at the ARM party

With rivals like ASUSTek Computer, Inc. (TPE:2357previewing sleek ARM-powered Windows 8 RT tablets/laptops/hybrids at Computex 2012 in Taiwan, some have been taking note that Acer, Inc.'s (TPE:2353Windows 8 product line is devoid of any ARM-processor models.

Acer chairman Zhentang "J.T." Wang told reporters Monday that the absence is no mere coincidence.  He commented, "According to engineer studies, unless we go into ARM 64-bit, otherwise performance is still not so great.  ARM is a newcomer, young and attractive but it takes some time."

Part of Acer's decision is also based on timing.  Windows 8 RT products are expected to be a relative rarity for holiday 2012, coming in earnest in Q1 2013.  By contrast Windows 8 x86 devices including tablets, laptops, hybrids, and desktops, will begin shipping in August, reaching volume by September.

While Acer is lending its support to ARM critics and skeptics, it's completely unwilling to join in the criticism-fest regarding Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTmore touch-centric Windows 8.  States Mr. Wang, "I have never been so supportive to Microsoft.  We have a good opportunity to grow again after the Windows 8 launch. Acer is fully committed to deliver a full line of Windows 8 products."

Acer J.T. Wang
Acer's J.T. Wang is a big fan of Intel chips -- ARM, not so much. [Image Source: Komplett]

Acer and others are almost salivating at the prospect of premium-priced tablets, hybrids, and Ultrabooks using Intel Corp.'s (INTCnew Ivy Bridge and Atom chip designs.  Part of the appeal is that Windows devices are expected to hit the kinds of price points only Apple, Inc. (AAPL) used to occupy.

Badly burned by the netbook craze and its subsequent collapse, Acer's has transformed its lineup showing off sleek Windows 8 devices with Apple-like case-aesthetics.  Acer's slides point to a $1,000 USD target price for its Ultrabooks and $1,800 USD price point for its hybrid tablet/laptops.

The only troubling news from Acer is that it dropped its Ultrabook outlook from 15-25 percent of its shipments, to only 12-25 percent.  Whether that forecast is indicative of drooping demand remains to be seen.

One danger Acer faces is being undercut by rivals like Hewlett Packard, Comp. (HPQ) who are willing to sell ultrathins at $600 USD or lower, powered by ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) cores or by Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMDaccelerated processing units (APUs).

Source: Reuters

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$1800 for a hybrid? What are they smoking???
By jnemesh on 6/4/2012 3:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
It MUST be something potent, if they expect consumers to pay that much for a Windows 8 hybrid!

THIS (price) is going to KILL any chance of Windows 8 competing with the likes of iOS and Android!

I know there are some of you out there who really think you need a tablet that runs Windows apps, but seriously, my $265 Toshiba Thrive (Android tablet) can run office programs, use a keyboard and mouse, and connect HDMI to an external monitor. If I REALLY need a Windows environment, I can get one via "cloud" services, or just remote desktop into my own box at home....

So WHY, exactly, would I want to spend almost $2000 for this POS?

By jimbojimbo on 6/4/2012 3:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
$1800 shocked me as well. I don't think they understand that people don't want a hybrid to get both a laptop and a tablet. They want a hybrid which is basically a tablet with all the laptop like functions which Windows 8 is supposed to give us. At most they'd pay $800 for it but more likely it'll have to be closer to $600-$700 to have any chance whatsoever.

RE: $1800 for a hybrid? What are they smoking???
By B3an on 6/4/2012 11:49:18 PM , Rating: 2
People fail to realise the amazingly obvious here.

Win 8 tablet hybrids are basically full laptops, they're a tablet + keyboard dock (that likely also extends battery life much further than any iPad). And like laptops they will range from $500 to $1800+. And again like laptops people will pay more for them as they're a full featured device that can be used for real work, and i dont just mean Office but things like Photoshop or even light 3D rendering. Or even gaming. You will get low end ones for around $500 that are similar in spec to iPad/Android stuff and high end tablet hybrids with i3, i5 and i7 CPU's with 4GB+ RAM and speedy SSD's. Which is likely the kind of hardware that the $1800 Acer has.

The great thing is that most of these tablet hybrids will have superior IPS displays. Almost every Win 8 tablet i've seen is IPS. Finally no more TN ****!!

Just use some imagination, it's not hard. These wont be like typical tablets, these things will actually be useful and will completely replace laptops and desktop PC's for many consumers. I'd definitely pay $1000+ for a device with a quality screen, longer batter life, better hardware than iPad/Android tablets that does everything my current laptop does and more.

Dont think of these as expensive tablets, think of them as high-end laptops, but with displays that are actually good and can be removed.

By Shadowmaster625 on 6/5/2012 9:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but how do you reconcile that with the fact that you can, at least in theory, take a $100 tablet, plug in a mouse, keyboard, and external monitor, and then RDP into your home server and have a workstation that you couldn't tell wasn't an actual full fledged workstation?

I realize that we really arent quite there yet today with RDP on android tablets. The RDP experience doesnt quite feel like a genuine windows desktop. But I think it is getting very close and will be made to feel genuine within the next year or two.

By nolisi on 6/5/2012 12:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
That theory is great for us techies. But for the majority of the market, they likely don't have the inclination, wherewithal, and sometimes resources to construct a basic network with a server, tablet and keyboard (all separate devices).

I'm not an Apple troll- but I must admit, Apple's strength is in its ability to hit all the points that the typical end user sees and integrate it well. An end user who doesn't see a server and can't show it off to their firends, let alone explain what they did or even set it up in the first place, is meaningless to the user.

However, if a user can show his friends his tablet, and then show off the dock with all the connectivity features, and it works outside of his home (do you think a user wants to set up VPN to their home server, really?) and it looks good while accomplishing all that, then you've got the users attention.

Sadly, this is why the cafe up the street from my house is littered with MacBooks/iDevices versus more feature rich/capable alternatives.

RE: $1800 for a hybrid? What are they smoking???
By asliarun on 6/4/2012 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
So WHY, exactly, would I want to spend almost $2000 for this POS?

I find $1800 excessive too, but you need to stop and think how much high end cellphones cost nowadays. If you step outside the US, high end cellphones cost $700 - $1000 depending on where you live. And you have people willing to shell out this kind of money for a pocket gadget that needs to be replaced in a year because it becomes obsolete, gets scratched/damaged, or gets stolen. Heck, people have even stopped caring about replaceable batteries or upgradability.

These are shiny toys as far as people are concerned. Consider why people pay obscene amounts of money for sports cars, luxury cars as well.

RE: $1800 for a hybrid? What are they smoking???
By nikon133 on 6/4/2012 5:18:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but Acer.

I know people who would pay small fortune for, say, Porsche or BMW made (or at least designed and branded?) devices... but Acer?

Margin you can put on that brandname is limited at best.

RE: $1800 for a hybrid? What are they smoking???
By spread on 6/4/2012 5:46:53 PM , Rating: 3
I'd pay up to $300 for an Acer. It's an Acer.

For a good Asus or Lenovo or MSI with a good screen and quality construction, up to $1000. I'm not really interested in a mobile x86 tablet unless it's Medfield or something low power and compact and long life.

By StevoLincolnite on 6/4/2012 10:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
Acer are trying to be like Apple.
I doubt it will work, one thing Apple has is it's massively loyal fan-base which seems to fight tooth and nail over the brand.

Acer has none of that.

Conversely, I have a Gigabyte convertible Netbook/Tablet, 10" screen, 8 hour battery life, Atom processor...
Only draw back is the thickness, but that's because of the keyboard.
But it's still nice to load up an old Windows 95 - 98 game like Master of Orion and play back those old games with touch, which is the strong point of x86 and Windows.

By retrospooty on 6/4/2012 6:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
THIS (price) is going to KILL any chance of Windows 8 competing with the likes of iOS and Android!

Agreed, but this isnt a Win8 thing, this is just a bonehead move by Acer. There are alot of other Win8 devices on this very site from earlier today that show some great products in the $500-800 range.

By Taft12 on 6/5/2012 12:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
The success or failure of Windows 8 will be tightly tied to what their closest partners (of which Acer is one) do with it. Acer's failure reflects badly on Microsoft.

By Jeremy87 on 6/4/2012 8:53:09 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't Acer say they want to stop making POS hardware and start making money like Apple?

Not that I would go for a $1800 anything, and IMO they should start a little bit lower first, but maybe it's one of those new luxury devices they've been wanting to make.

By BSMonitor on 6/5/2012 8:47:40 AM , Rating: 2
"According to engineer studies, unless we go into ARM 64-bit, otherwise performance is still not so great. ARM is a newcomer, young and attractive but it takes some time."

You mean bloggers like Mick have no f'ing clue what they are talking about. And that REAL engineers are saying what the rest of us have been saying all along. ARM is JUNK for running anything other than small-scale apps. Period.

RE: Weird
By FITCamaro on 6/5/2012 9:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
Based on the fact there are those looking to ARM for servers with high power efficiency, your statement isn't exactly accurate. For web hosting, ARM might be more than adequate. Obviously for serious crunching duties though, x86 CPUs are better.

RE: Weird
By BSMonitor on 6/5/2012 1:37:41 PM , Rating: 2
Fair enough, I was really just flame bating Mick. ARM has uses, but his typical blog about ARM is the demise of Intel and AMD and x86. And the ENTIRE future of computing is ARM.

People who do real work on computer hardware. Engineers, CGI tech's, scientists, researchers, computer programmers, etc, etc need more than what simple tasks an ARM system can provide. This is the bulk of CPU profit. ARM CPU's(Atom too) are nearly throw away products. High volume but limited lifetime/investment.

RE: Weird
By GatoRat on 6/5/2012 4:49:08 PM , Rating: 2
They may be looking at them, but more in a parallel computing sort of way. What ARM can do with such little power is impressive, but in terms of actual performance numbers, it doesn't come close to Intel or even AMD.

By jwcalla on 6/4/2012 5:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
What do you need 64-bit ARM for?

I think there has to be a better reason than that.

RE: uhhh...
By drycrust3 on 6/5/2012 4:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
What do you need 64-bit ARM for?

The biggest value of a new invention is something you haven't thought of.

RT vs Windows
By melgross on 6/4/2012 7:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
Since RT isn't actually Windows, I would assume it's suited for ARM. Is that wrong?

RE: RT vs Windows
By Gondor on 6/5/2012 2:53:30 AM , Rating: 2
Windows RT = Windiows 8 for ARM architecture

J.T. get'n freaky
By DigitalFreak on 6/4/2012 9:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
Based on that picture, it looks like J.T. is also a big fan of boobies.

RE: J.T. get'n freaky
By Gondor on 6/5/2012 2:49:19 AM , Rating: 2
We all are :-)

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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