Acer outs new Ultrabooks, previews AcerCloud online storage
By Paul Ridden
January 9, 2012
Ahead of a showing at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Acer has unveiled what is claimed to be the current holder of the world's thinnest Ultrabook title, the next generation of its Timeline Series of notebooks, and its own cloud storage solution. Details are in short supply, but here's what we can tell you.
The first of Acer's new offerings is a svelte, sexy black 13.3-inch addition to the S Series, named the Aspire S5. The new Ultrabook features a magnesium-aluminum alloy cover and brushed metallic detail, weighs less than 3 pounds (1.35 kg) and is just 15 mm (0.59 inches) at the thick end of its wedge. It's the first of Acer's Ultrabooks to feature a concealed I/O port panel, which is opened by pressing the MagicFlip I/O key to allow access to HDMI, USB 3.0 and 20 Gbps Thunderbolt ports.
The S5 benefits from Acer's Green Instant On technology - that resumes the unit in just 1.5 seconds - and Acer Always Connect, which gets users online and active fast. The latter also allows a sleeping notebook to be awoken and accessed from a remote device like a smartphone.
Full specs are yet to be revealed but the S5 will feature an Intel Core processor, SSD storage, and the promise of a long battery life. It will start shipping in Q2 for an as-yet-unspecified price.
Acer's new Aspire Timeline Ultra notebook is a little chunkier than the S5 at 20 mm thin, but is slimmer and lighter than earlier generations of the Timeline Series. It will be available in 14- and 15-inch versions, allow for all-day working on single charge thanks to a claimed 8 hour battery life, and will also come with the Instant On and Connect functionality outlined above.
Again, actual specs are yet to be provided, but Acer promises the latest Intel Core i processors, dedicated 3D-capable graphics, a choice of SSD or HDD storage, and a slim DVD optical drive. There's no price on this one either but we won't have to wait long to find out, as it's penciled in for a Q1 release.
Acer also took the opportunity presented by CES to preview its new AcerCloud secure online storage service, which makes use of both local and online storage so that users can retrieve multimedia and documents on the road. Users will, for instance, be able to rent a movie through their home PC and then watch it via a tablet, or start work on a document in the office and finish it on the train using a notebook computer. The company says that the service will support all Android devices at release, with Windows devices planned for the near future.
The service also features PicStream, where users can back up any photos taken with a smartphone to a home PC or share them with other devices.
AcerCloud will be bundled without additional cost with all of the company's new consumer PCs from Q2 in the U.S., Europe, Asia and China.