Print 34 comment(s) - last by MCKENZIE1130.. on Nov 29 at 8:08 PM

  (Source: Engadget)
Who needs the Courier when you have the Iconia?

Many Windows fans were disappointed when Microsoft canned its dual-screen Courier project.  A dual-screen laptop/tablet device from Toshiba in September, the Libretto W105 cheered their spirits slightly.  However, that device was only available in a very limited run and quantities are already scarce.

Acer looks to come to the rescue, airing its upcoming Iconia 14-inch dual-tablet/laptop at its Global Press Event in New York City.

The device looks somewhat like a standard 14-inch laptop, except the keyboard is gone and replaced with a second LCD screen.

The device will pack Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) and is powered by Intel's Core i5-480M (unreleased specs)/ 560M (2.66 GHz, 3.20 GHz max turbo)/ 580M CPU (2.66 GHz, 3.33 GHz max turbo).  It also packs up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, VGA / HDMI outputs, a built-in microphone, a S/PDIF interface (high quality audio output).  Rounding things out is 320/500/640/750GB hard drive, Acer's CrystalEye webcam (1280x1024 resolution), 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0+HD, integrated 3G WWAN, gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 jack.

The laptop uses a 4-cell battery and weighs 6.18 pounds.  It comes with a one year warranty.

The one problem area could be graphics.  Acer shockingly didn't mention any discrete graphics solution.  Instead it merely mentioned that the system would come with integrated Intel HD graphics (with 128MB of video RAM).  For such a video-intensive device, this seems a major design flaw.  Intel's integrated GPU might be sufficient for basic graphical functions, but gaming or HD video could be a painful experience on the otherwise eye-catching device.

The company has put a fair amount of work into making touch a pleasant experience on the device.  Among its results is a full-size digital keyboard, which will typically display on the bottom screen, and a touch-driven media management utility.

Acer hasn't announced a price or ship date yet.

Also announced at the event was, Acer's upcoming cloud-based storage scheme.  Acer hopes that users will upload photos, music, and movies to the cloud and then access them from Wi-Fi connected devices like smart phones, TVs, or other computers.  The company says it will support "many" formats, but details on the implementation and potential partners (Android, etc.) are scarce at present.

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RE: Nice.
By TheRequiem on 11/23/2010 2:34:43 PM , Rating: 0
Also, the only thing that I think would be problematic with a computer like this is touch-screen issues. If the lower screen becomes unresponsive, then what do we do? Hard reset the computer like a cell phone? Not very reasonable, better wait a couple of generations. I'd hate to see this thing lock-up.

RE: Nice.
By PorreKaj on 11/23/2010 2:39:36 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Nice.
By Da W on 11/23/2010 3:31:13 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, the first dual screen was called the NINTENDO DS

RE: Nice.
By TheRequiem on 11/23/2010 4:19:04 PM , Rating: 3
I'm wondering, did that Toshiba model ever come to fruition? It still looks like it's a concept, not an actual product yet...

As for the Nintendo DS, lol, I don't think mobile gaming platforms quite match up the the scalability of a full-blown Notebook OS, but again, whatever.

RE: Nice.
By xsilver on 11/23/2010 6:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
yes the liberetto is in full production, I have seen it and dont think its all that great. What would make it more useful is to carry around a bluetooth or wired keyboard because other than custom keyboard layouts I cant think of many situations where this would be useful. Dual screens for powerpoint? screen too small.

RE: Nice.
By Adonlude on 11/23/2010 7:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
Ahh, thats what DS stands for! To be fair I have never actually thought about it.

RE: Nice.
By acase on 11/24/2010 12:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it stands for "developer's system".

(Admittedly I looked it up. Didn't think it could be as easy as dual screen though.)

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