PC World – Acer on Thursday announced more notebook additions to its Windows 8 device lineup including two new Ultrabook models and three new mid-range notebooks. The new laptops feature 10-point multi-touch displays on select models, third-generation Ivy Bridge processors, USB 3.0, and the two Ultrabooks will come with hybrid HDD/SDD storage for faster boot times. All five new Acer models will launch October 26, the same day as Windows 8.
Here’s a look at what’s coming.
Best Buy special
Acer is offering two new Aspire Ultrabook models: the 14-inch M5-481PT with edge-to-edge multi-touch display and the 15.6-inch M5-581T sans multi-touch. The base configuration for the new Ultrabooks includes Ivy Bridge Core i5 processors, 500GB hard drives plus a 20GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI out, backlit keyboards, and integration with AcerCloud, the company’s cloud storage and sync service. Specs such as RAM and screen resolutions were not announced.
Even though these are Ultrabooks, which are designed to be ultraportable devices, Acer decided to include optical DVD drives with the laptops. That may add convenience for some, but it also means added weight. The M5-481PT weighs in at 4.6 pounds and the M5-581T tips the scales at 5 pounds, both Ultrabooks measure under an inch in depth. Acer claims the new Ultrabooks will have up to 8 hours of battery life. Pricing for the M5-481PT starts at $800 and the M5-581T starts at $700. Both models will be available exclusively at Best Buy, it’s not clear if Acer plans to offer wider availability at a later date.
Aspire V5 Series
Also headed your way on October 26, and not only at Best Buy, will be three mid-range laptop models including the 11.6-inch V5-171P, the 14-inch V5-471P, and the 15.6-inch V5-571P. The new models include third-generation Core processors, 500GB or 750GB HDDs, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 1.3 MP Webcam. Touch displays are available for the 14- and 15.6-inch models. Pricing starts at $750 for the 14-inch V5-471P with touch and 15.6-inch pricing starts at $700 (non-touch). Acer did not provide pricing for the 11.6-inch model. RAM and screen resolution specs were not announced.
Acer is just one of several computer makers planning on releasing laptops with multi-touch displays. Touch may be a nice feature to add to a spec sheet, it will be interesting to see whether people find it practical enough to bother using a touch screen on a traditional laptop.
Acer’s M5 and V5 announcements follow other recent Windows 8-focused rollouts including theIconia W700 andW510 tablets, and Aspire S7 Ultrabooks.