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Refreshed lineup fills many mobile niches

The struggles of Taiwanese computer and gadgetmaker Acer, Inc. (TPE:2353) have been well documented.  

CEO and chairman J.T. Wang in Dec. 2011 summarized the mess his company was in remarking that Acer products were "cheap" and "unprofitable".  The company has fantasized about being more like Apple, Inc. (AAPL) and even issued bold threats to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) over the decision to launch the Surface tablet.  However, Acer appears far from Apple-like performance earning little profit; and its tablets have failed to compete in the market, giving little reason to take its Surface comments seriously.

But Acer is looking to breathe some life into its struggling line with a broad refresh announced today.

I. New Notebooks

The refresh brings new notebook computers -- the Aspire V5 and V7 -- a new hybrid Windows 8 laptop, the Aspire R7; a new ultrabook, the Aspire P3, and a pair of budget Android Iconia tablets.

The Aspire V5 and V7 line refresh brings NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) GT7xxM Kepler graphics.  The V5 and V7 are available with five kinds of screens -- a 15.6-inch 1080p (1920x1080 pixel) screen, a 15.6-inch "standard definition" (1366x768 pixel) screen, a 14-inch 1080p display, a 14-inch std. def. display, and a multi-touch-enabled 11.6-inch (1366x768 pixel) display.  The larger form factors feature four speakers with Dolby audio, while the smaller 11.6-inch model boasts a 3 lb. weight.  The V7 is essentially Acer's low end Ultrabooks and are identical to the V5 other than adding some new ports, SSD support, and a "silky touch" bottom finish.

Acer Aspire
(The Aspire V5 11.6-inch)
Acer Aspire V7
(The Aspire V7 15.6-inch)

The P3 Ultrabooks is 0.77-in. (19.55 mm) -- significantly thicker than the 3 to 17 mm thickness of Apple's latest MacBook Air.  It weighs 3.03 lb (about 27 percent heavier than the air), and packs the same 11.6-inch touch display as the V5/V7.  It comes with 60 or 120 GB SSD options; a 720p front-facing webcam; a 5MP rear camera; and Intel Corp. (INTC) Core i3 or i5 procesosrs.  Starting price for the i3-equipped, 60 GB SSD model is $799.99 USD.
Acer Aspire R7
Acer Aspire R7
(The Aspire P3 Ultrabook 11.6-inch)

Lastly on the notebook front Acer is offering up a 15.6-inch 1080 convertible with an "Ezel hinge" that allows the touch screen to be repositioned over the keyboard or be put in full tablet mode.  
Acer Aspire P3
(The Aspire R715.6-inch)
The hybrid design allows the user to quickly pull forward the screen for touch interaction, then pop it back for standard typing.  The laptop features an Intel Core i5 processor, 6GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, a 24GB SSD, and the four Dolby 8-watt speakers.  It will start shipping May 17, priced at $999.99 USD.

All of the new laptops feature backlit keyboards.

II. Android Iconia Line Gets Refreshed With Budget 7.x-inchers

Also announced was a pair of budget Android Jelly Bean tablets.  The first, the Iconia A1 is headed to the North American market in June priced at $199.99 and packing a 7.9-inch (1024x768 pixel) display.  

Acer Iconia

(The Iconia A1)

The budget design also packs a MediaTek Inc. (TPE:2454) quad-core 1.2 GHz ARM processor, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 b/g/n wireless, front-facing and rear (5 MP) cameras, either 8 or 16 GB of NAND flash, microSD, and microUSB.  The tablet weighs 0.90 lb and is 0.44-in (11.1 mm) thin.

The second tablet, the Iconia B1, is initially headed to Europe and Africa.  It has a 7-inch display (1024x600 pixels), 1.2 GHz dual- or quad-core processor options from Mediatek, either 8 or 16 GB of NAND flash, microSD, front and rear cameras, identical wireless options to the A1, and the ability the ability to connect via a 3G modem in select models.  

Acer Iconia B1
(The Iconia B1)

The Iconia B1 in its cheapest (dual-core, 8 GB NAND) receives similar budget pricing -- €129 (Wi-Fi)/€179 (3G) (roughly $169 USD for the Wi-Fi, $234 USD for the 3G model).

Let us know your thoughts on this major Acer product rollout.

Source: Acer

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RE: look alikes
By chadlowe1000 on 5/3/2013 4:49:35 PM , Rating: 0
The Novo 8 Discovery from Ainol Electronics also launches this week and compares to the new Acer Iconia A1, but the Discovery model offers better features and is priced less -- featuring a more powerful battery (5000 mAh) compared to the 3250 mAh on the Acer; and also offers twice the DRAM (2GB DDR3) and an 8 Core GPU (Power VR SGX544MP2). The DIscovery is manufacturered by Ainol Electronics which won runner-up for Best Tablet of the Year at CES 2012, for the first Novo series tablet. -- one of the first sites this new tablet is available through is TabletSprint - and is priced at $155

Many of the other features of the Discovery model are the same as the Acer, including an 7.85" mini-iPad size screen, 16GB Memory, a Quad Core processor (Actions ATM7029/1.5 GHz), Android 4.2 O/S, Bluetooth, MicroSD, both Front and Rear Cameras, and HDMI 1080p... however, what is most impressive is the Novo 8 Discovery works with one of the latest technology features launched in 2013... a Miracast HD Wireless Adapter ($25) which provides wireless connection to any HD TV - ideal for streaming movies (Netflix) and for video games as well as any other web content - essentially turning any HDTV into a computer device.

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