Print 21 comment(s) - last by drycrust3.. on May 5 at 2:11 PM

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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By bug77 on 5/3/2013 6:49:01 PM , Rating: -1
Their revival is more 1366x768 crap? And how are 4 speakers on laptop going to output surround sound? Am I supposed to stick my head into the keyboard? I think there's a "slight" chance people will not flock to these devices.

RE: Seriously?
By zinc0099 on 5/3/2013 6:54:04 PM , Rating: 5
Why is the PC market still selling such low end screens?!?! Most tablets have higher res screens on them. I will never buy a laptop without a 1080p screen ever again.

RE: Seriously?
By inighthawki on 5/3/2013 9:44:18 PM , Rating: 3
Did you do a ctrl+f for "1366" then not even read the rest of the sentence?

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 11.6" screen is the only one without 1080p, and it is the one that needs it the least.

RE: Seriously?
By StevoLincolnite on 5/4/2013 5:34:00 AM , Rating: 3
Still. Pixel count wise, even the 11.6 model should have 1080P.

Back in the late 90's (That's about 15 years ago folks!)I had a 17" CRT with a 1280x1024 screen, that's about 1.3 million pixels.
15 years later with more modern screen technology and they are trying to sell us 1366x768 screens which is about 30% less pixels (About 1 million) than what I had 15 years ago?

No thanks! 1080P as a minimum today please!

RE: Seriously?
By Mint on 5/4/2013 12:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
1366x768 is 20% less, not 30% less.

1080p on 11.6" can be a problem for fixed resolution graphics and UI elements in Windows programs designed for more typical dpi. The only way around it is to use a 2560x1600 panel (like the Nexus 10, rMBP) and use 200% scaling on everything but text rendering (and photos in the browser and photo viewer).

That adds a lot of cost and is of questionable value for an 11.6" with Acer branding. They can't get away with rMBP pricing.

RE: Seriously?
By bug77 on 5/4/2013 5:38:49 AM , Rating: 1
Reading your own quote, there's a 15.6" in there, too. That's the one I was complaining about, actually.

RE: Seriously?
By inighthawki on 5/4/2013 5:30:21 PM , Rating: 3
Right, but it clearly states that it comes in two flavors, so why is there any complaint? It's like going out for ice cream and complaining that they carry too many flavors beyond the one you wanted.

The 1366x768 laptops are clearly not geared towards people who want the best.

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer

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