Acer has become one of the biggest computer companies in the world, taking a chunk of a market dominated by HP and Dell by producing machines for almost every segment. Yesterday in Sydney, the company showed us the range on its way into stores now.
Acer previewed five different laptops (not including size variations) under the ‘Aspire’ umbrella, with the standouts being the the Aspire Timeline 5820T and Aspire 8943G. The former is a 15.6 inch notebook, less than an inch thick. It’s ‘phat’ on the inside though, with a great graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 5650 with 1GB memory), Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and a six-cell battery good for up to six hours operation. A nine-cell battery pack offering up to eight hours between charges is optional, as is a Blu-ray drive for backing up data or playing movies in 1080p. The Aspire Timeline 5820T – also called the “Timeline X” – can be found now from $1599 RRP.
The touchpad on the Aspire 8943G doubles as a media controller when the middle button is pressed.
The Aspire 8943G is a high performance notebook that can take up to 16GB of RAM, and comes equipped with up to 1.28 terabytes (over 1000GB) of hard drive storage. It also provides a nifty dual-operation touchpad that switches between the default touchpad and a media controller. Built for video and multimedia, it features an 18.4 inch full HD screen with Blu-ray playback being an option you can add to the laptop. This feature sets makes the 8943G something of a heavy weight; definitely a desktop replacement and not a portable solution. This can be found the in a 15.6 inch iteration (5943G), which will be both lighter, smaller and cheaper.
The smaller 15.6 inch 5943G can be found from $2799 RRP while the larger 18.4 inch 8943G starts at $2999 RRP.
Acer’s new model Predator is a muscular beastie with a look that says “I’m going to eat you”. Except it’s a computer, so it won’t eat you, of course (though with a price tag of $4699, it will make of meal of your credit limit).
You can see from the above image that the Acer Predator seems to “bristle” in its orange and black livery. The unkind could describe it as something to have emerged from the back passage of a Transformer (if they have such a thing), and they wouldn’t be too wide off the mark.
Looks aside, Acer has jammed this thing full of gamer goodness, with support for up to three Nvidia video cards, 12GB of memory, multiple hard drives, and a liquid-cooled CPU. They company is also throwing a 23.6 inch Acer 3D capable screen into the package here. You’ll need to splurge on a pair of Geforce 3D glasses (which we’ve reviewed here) if you want to properly benefit from this, but with the included monitor you’re at least half way tooled-up for 3D action.
Many will remember the “Gateway” brand, a company similar to Dell in that it made computers to order and sold them via direct marketing, rather than through retail channels. Gateway gear was recognisable by the too-liberal use of Friesian cowhide patterns (ie. black splodges) on all packaging and marketing materials, and now it’s back. Sort of.
Acer, which acquired the brand in 2007, has revived the badge with four distinct notebook model ranges. These computers encompass netbook, thin, light-weight, and budget needs. Gateway computers appear to be Acer’s ‘value’ brand, the marque a company puts into the market so that the perceived premium-ness of the their primary brand isn’t diluted in the eyes of consumers.
We’ll come out and say it: the Gatway ID59C looks pretty cool.
We expect review units to be be dropping by shortly, so we’ll give you our verdicts as and when we get them.