If you were wondering why Acer has been relatively quiet of late, the answer probably lies in the number of new products the company chose to unveil at this year's CeBIT show in Germany recently. Almost hidden amongst the raft of new desktops and notebooks was a monitor that has its own media player and WiFi capabilities, a powerful gaming machine and a pocket-sized projector.
Amongst Acer's new offerings are a couple of different ways to display content, the K11 pico projector and the D241H 24-inch computer monitor. At only 1.34 pounds and measuring just 4.8" by 4.6", the K11 offers powerful portable projection that combines DLP technology with LED lamp technology for better color saturation, 200 ANSI Lumens of brightness and a 2000:1 contrast ratio as well as improved durability. In addition to integrated USB and card reader connectivity there's also a HDMI port for uncompressed digital signals and multi-channel audio. Unlike some projectors, Acer claims that its technology ensures the K11 is "virtually immune to color decay".
More than a monitor, the D241H display is a mini information hub, digital photo frame and entertainment system. Users can manage schedules and appointments, check weather and news feeds and log into to email accounts without even switching on a connected computer. Whether you want to use its media player to listen to music or watch 1080p high definition videos, synchronize the family events calendar, view photos or check email or RSS feeds, the 24" D241H can load in content directly from the internet, from a home server setup or from a variety of flash memory cards.
HDMI and DVI connectivity options feature on this "bulletin board of the third millennium" which benefits from an 80,000:1 contrast ratio and a 2ms response time combined with Overdrive technology that "allows the display to reproduce true to life moving images". Users can control all the action via a remote which has its own sliding QWERTY keyboard and may be left wondering why they bother to connect it to a computer at all.
Invasion of the desktops
Acer's Veriton range sees significant expansion with Intel Core i7, i5 or i3 processors being offered on the M490G, X490G, M680G and S680G series. The only noticeable difference between the first couple and the others is the chipset used, the former using an Intel H57 Express Chipset and the latter a Q57 Express Chipset. All systems feature integrated high definition 3D graphics, can support up to 16Gb DDR3 RAM and up to 1TB SATA HDD with RAID support and benefit from upgrading and maintenance ease thanks to a modular, tool-less approach.
With the Veriton M275 desktop PC, Acer has opted for a choice of Intel Core2 processors on Intel G41 Express Chipset with integrated high definition 3D graphics and audio. This machine can also dual boot, offering users a choice of operating systems. Rounding off the desktop solutions is the Veriton N270G, a mini-PC powered by an Intel Atom D510 at 1.66GHz on Intel's NM10 Express Chipset and capable of supporting up to 4Gb RAM.
Let the games begin
In case it's not obvious from the design, the liquid-cooled Aspire Predator G7750 is a gaming PC. Gamers place high demands on their computers and Acer has responded to the call by shoving in an Intel Core i7 Extreme processor featuring TurboBoost system acceleration technology and processing enhancing Hyper-Threading. Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility promises to make overclocking a relatively simple affair and Acer's Easy-swap means that users can add or remove a drive from any one of the four SATA bays even when the machine is powered on.
As well as a rewritable DVD and optional Blu-ray drive, the G7750 also features dual LAN technology which permits two connections to work at the same time for network redundancy and Creative THX TruStudio PC technology that works with the Creative's Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium sound card with EAX 5.0 to deliver vivid surround sound on up to eight speakers.
On the move
Acer's TravelMate series is joined by the 15.6" 5740 and the 17.3" 7740 with Intel Core i3 or i5 processors on a Mobile Intel HM55 Express Chipset featuring integrated high definition 3D graphics and audio, some models are available with ATI Radeon HD5470 or HD5670 graphic solutions. Acer boasts up to five hours battery life on both models which also support up to 8Gb DDR3 RAM and up to 640Gb HDD. Naturally both wired and wireless internet connectivity options are included and on some models 3G is available. There's also a 1.3 megapixel webcam and optional Bluetooth 2.0.
The 15.6in TravelMate 6594 notebook weighs in with a choice of Intel Core i7 or i5 processors on a Mobile Intel QM57 Express Chipset with anti-theft technology and either ATI Radeon HD5670 or integrated graphics. The media bay on this baby can also be used to load in additional storage or extra battery power and opting for a 9-cell battery doubles the claimed battery life to ten hours.
Acer offers Intel Core i7, i5 or i3 processors in 13.3in, 14in or 15.6in flavors for its TravelMate 8x72 Timeline notebook series which handle 768p high definition resolution playback, are only about an inch thick, can support up to 640Gb HDD or 160Gb SSD and boast around eight hours battery life.
Aspiring to perform
The Aspire range hasn't been left out in the street, with an 18.4in 1080p full high definition frameless display model being unveiled in the shape of the 8942 and a 15.6in 768p high definition frameless display model in the 5942. Each beauty supports dual storage of up to 640Gb in each slot, has a multi-gesture touchpad and optional Blu-ray optical drive, digital TV-tuner and Bluetooth 2.1.
Last, but by no means least, is the Intel Celeron 743 ULV processor-powered Aspire One 752. An extremely portable three pounds in weight and measuring less than an inch thick, the unit features an 11.6" 768p high definition 3D display, multi-gesture touchpad, WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth 2.1 as well as Gigabit LAN and can go up to 4Gb DDR2 RAM and up to 320Gb HDD.
Keep an eye on Acer's website for release dates and pricing information.