Up until now, touchscreen laptops have been one of two things — either low-resolution and lacking the horsepower to perform heavy tasks, or just too expensive. With the upcoming Aspire 5738PG, a multi-touch screen notebook sporting Windows 7 and some respectable specs priced at less than US$800, Acer is looking to bring a quality touchscreen experience within the budget of a wider range of users. On the same day, the PC giant also announced an update to its Timeline series with the addition of a 11.6-inch notebook and the transition to Intel dual-core processors on all existing models.

The 5738PG is Acer's first notebook to harness the new capabilities of Windows 7 with a multi-touch display that users can touch with one or two fingers to click and drag items, zoom and rotate pictures, and even handwrite notes with great precision thanks to its 15.6", 1366x768 resolution LED-backlit display.

Also included in the package are an Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor and 4GB of DDR2 RAM that, together with a 512MB ATI Radeon HD 4570 graphics card, a 320GB hard drive and built-in speakers with 5.1-channel Dolby surround sound, make this notebook a good choice for viewing media and run graphics-intensive applications.

Multi-touch technology is also embedded in the laptop's touchpad and allows users to access media and files using the same one- and two-finger gestures supported by Windows's upcoming operating system. The touchpad can be locked to prevent accidental inputs.

Two buttons at the top of the keyboard give users quick access to the Acer Backup manager for easy data backup and to the PowerSmart function for maximizing battery life when there is no need for heavy number crunching.

Acer has also updated the Timeline series with the new AS1810TZ, a 11.6" high-end netbook with Intel Core 2 Duo processor, an impressive 4GB RAM, a 320GB hard drive and 3 USB 2.0 ports. Due to the transition to the lower voltage Intel Core 2 Duo processors, the 6-cell Li-ion battery now achieves as long as eight hour of battery life.

The new models will hit the markets starting October 22, the 5738PG for a suggested retail price of US$799.99 and the AS1210TZ for US$599.99.

Technical specifications

    Aspire 5738PG
  • 15.6" LED-backlit multi-touch display (16:9 aspect ratio, 1366x768 pixels)
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor (2.2GHz, 2MB L2 cache, 800MHz FSB)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4570 graphics with 512MB dedicated DDR3 VRAM
  • 4GB DDR2 667MHz Dual Channel RAM
  • 320GB SATA hard drive
  • 8X DVD-Super multi double-layer drive
  • Wireless WiFi Link 5100 (802.11a/b/g/Draft-N)
  • HDMI port, 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • Weight: 6.16 lbs including 6-cell battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Suggested retail price: US$799.99
    • Aspire Timeline AS1810TZ
  • Intel Core Duo processor SU7300 (1.3GHz, 3MB L2 cache)
  • 11.6" widescreen, LED-backlit TFT LCD display (16:9 aspect ratio, 1366x768 pixels)
  • 4GB DDR2 Dual-Channel 667MHz RAM
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD
  • 320GB(2) 5400RPM SATA hard drive
  • HDMI port, 3 USB 2.0 ports
  • Multi-gesture touchpad
  • Weight: 3.08 lbs including a 6-cell battery
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
  • Suggested retail price: US$599.99