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June 23, 2010

Acer keeps rolling with hot new notebooks

Over the last 2 days, Acer launched a bunch of new notebooks. I don’t have these in-hand yet (working on it), but from what I’ve read and seen, they look pretty impressive.

Yesterday Acer announced two new offerings – the massive Acer Aspire AS8943G entertainment PC, and the super-slim TimelineX Series. The AS8943G is BIG – it has a whopping 18.4” 1080p screen that makes it awesome for watching movies, and is powered by a 500GB HDD, Core i7 processor and screaming-fast DirectX 11 capable ATI Mobility Radeon HD5850 GPU that should make playing even the most demanding games a breeze. You can get it with 4 or 8 GB of RAM, and can spec it up to a mind-boggling 16GB. It’s available as of yesterday for a reasonable $1549.99

Aspire 8943G open left above

The TimelineX series is one that I’ve been dying to get my hands on since I heard that it was making its way towards production. There are 4 models to choose from – the 11.6” 1830T, the 13” 3820T, the 14” 4820T, and the 15.6” 5820T.

The 5.5 pound, 15.6-inch Aspire 5820T and the 4.65 pound, 14-inch Aspire 4820T are the right choice if you’re looking for a full-size notebook. Both have an optical drive, come configured with a Core i3 or Core i5 processor, 320GB or 500GB hard drive and 4GB of memory. Like the Acer Timeline series I reviewed a few weeks back, the 15” model has a full keyboard with number pad, something I really liked about Acer’s hardware design. The starting price for both lines is $749.99.

Aspire 4820T left with graphic

I should also note that both models have integrated graphics; if you need discrete graphics, the 4830TG model comes packed with DirectX 11-ready ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 graphics. Graphics are switchable, so you can run on the integrated GPU to save battery when unplugged. This model starts at $799.99

If you’re looking for something smaller, the 13” 3820 or the 11.6” 1830T are worth a look. The larger of the two has similar specs as its big brothers and is available for $729, while the little guy rocks a Core i5 ULV processor, 4GD of RAM and a huge 500GB HDD for $699.99. A less spec’ed model with Core i3 ULV, 3GB of RAM and 320GB HDD is available for $599.99

Acer’s Gateway line finished things up with this morning’s announcement of the Gateway ID Series, a new line of value-priced ultrathins. ID laptops are available in the 14” ID49 and 15.6” ID59 (both of which sport 1366 x 768 resolution screens), and come with a wide range of specs – Core i3 or Core i5 processors, b/g/n wireless, multi-format card readers, half-terabyte HDDs, and Dolby Audio. Most impressively they feature NVIDIA’s new “Optimus” fast-switching graphics technology, which lets users seamlessly switch between integrated graphics and discrete NIVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics, without any blacking or flickering. If you haven’t seen Optimus in person, go check it out – it’s a cool feature. There’s also a little something different that I haven’t seen on a laptop before – a dedicated “social networking” button on the keyboard that gives you one-touch access to your social network via a Gateway widget that integrates Facebook, YouTube and Flickr. I’m interested to see how they implemented this, as I have a little bit of a Facebook problem! The ID series is available starting today at $79.99 for the 14” model, and $799.99 for the 15” model

That’s a lot of new gear to launch in 2 days! Keep it up, Acer!

Have a question about any of these PCs, or a PC buying question in general? Leave a comment, find me on Twitter, or submit a question to Ask Ben Anything.