Acer's Aspire 9800 is the second notebook to boast HD-DVD support

Acer is going all out with its new Core Duo based Aspire 9800 notebook. While the Aspire 9800 has some impressive hardware specifications to justify its estimated $2,600 price tag, the one feature garnering the most attention is its optional HD-DVD drive. This would make it the second announced HD-DVD notebook after the Qosmio G30.

While the HD-DVD drive is rather noteworthy, the Aspire 9800 has a lot more to offer. For one thing, it comes with a massive 20.1" TFT LCD display. Although it has such a large screen, the maximum resolution is "only" 1680 x 1050 -- the same as 20.1" desktop displays  like the Dell 2007WFP. It would have been nice to have seen a WUXGA (1920x1200) display offered as an option. Powering the 20.1" display is a GeForce Go 7600 GPU backed up with 256MB of dedicated graphics memory. The Aspire 9800 is able to support dual SATA hard drives up to 240GB in a RAID 0 configuration.

As for other odds and ends, the notebook features a built-in analog/digital TV tuner, 3-watt speakers backed up with a 4-watt subwoofer and Dolby Digital Live support, a bundled VoIP Bluetooth phone, 1.3MP digital camera, 802.11b/g, GbE and Bluetooth support.

The Aspire 9800 can be configured with either Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition or Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition and comes with a 1-year Carry In warranty. Impressive as this new notebooks sounds, there is no word on availability in North America yet.

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