Acer and Vizio prepare for Windows 8 with touchscreens and enhanced touchpads
By Chris Wood
October 12, 2012
Acer and Vizio have announced a number of laptops and desktop PCs designed specifically for use with Windows 8. The new systems detailed here will feature a variety of touch-based improvements that are designed to make navigating the new touch-centric UI simpler and more intuitive.
Vizio's 24- and 25-inch All-in-One Touch PCs will feature 1080p capacitive touchscreen displays, as well as the option of NVIDIA's new Kepler-based discrete graphics cards. The system is based on Intel Ivy Bridge chips and will start at US$998 for the 24-inch model. The company's Ultrabook and laptop ranges are also set to receive upgrades in the form of “enhanced multi-gesture touchpads."
These are designed to closely mimic touchscreen functionality by providing support for swipe, tap and pinch gestures. The upgraded Thin and Light Ultrabook range will start at $849 while the 15.6-inch Notebook will be priced at $1,129 and up. All the systems are available for pre-order and we can expect to see them arrive in time for the late October hardware crush.
Meanwhile, Acer has been preparing for the launch of Redmond's latest OS, by upgrading two of its popular laptop lines with full capacitive touchscreens. The 14-inch version of the company's M5 Ultrabook will be offered with a 1366 x 768 capacitive touch panel, as well as the standard Core i5 CPU, 500 GB hard drive and 6 GB RAM. The system also features an optical drive, and is rated to provide a full eight hours of battery life. It starts at $800.
The 14-inch V5 will also receive an upgraded touch-enabled panel. The system is more wallet-friendly than the M5, while offering some impressive specs, including a Core i5 chip and 8 GB RAM. Like the M5, the display comes in at 1366 x 768 and prices start at $750 for the touch-enabled model.
These aren’t the only options if you're looking for a high-end, touch-enabled Windows 8 notebook, with many companies preparing for the operating system's new touch-centric UI through major hardware releases. Perhaps the most notable of these are the Ultrabook/tablet hybrids such as the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro. These devices provide a similar mix of touchscreen and keyboard/mouse input as the devices seen here, but can also be used as standalone tablets.