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  (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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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.


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