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All posts tagged "acer"

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ultrabook Battle: Acer Aspire S3 vs. ASUS UX31E

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:00 PM

"When Intel initially put out the idea of the ultrabook as a new type of laptop, I admit harboring plenty of skepticism—isn’t the ultrabook just a gussied up rebranding of an ultraportable? Unfortunately, being a skeptic/cynic has served me well over the years, and so now here I sit in front of two ultrabooks trying to determine a couple of things: which ultrabook is the “best” right now, and are any of them actually worth buying."

A well-done review, that hints that buying a first-generation ultrabook means that some compromises are necessary. For example, both the S3 and the UX31E have decidedly mediocre LCDs, with the ASUS system being brighter, and with better contrast. The SSDs differ greatly in performance. Both have keyboards that are okay, but are not backlit. Performance is best with the ASUS, and it also has better battery life (but also a larger battery). The bottom line is that both of these system are trying to unseat the MacBook Air from the top of the heap, and while neither one really succeeds, the ASUS UX31E comes close. Samsung's S9 also is getting some good reviews, so if it has to be Windows, you'll probably want to look at (and try in-person) all three of these ultrabooks.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Acer ICONIA TAB A200 Now Available: Somewhere

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Iconia" @ 06:30 PM

"Acer has officially launched a their new 10.1 inch Android tablet the Acer ICONIA TAB A200 which will be running Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual core platform. Initially, the tablet will ship with Honeycomb but will quickly be upgraded in January to Android 4.0. According to the press release shipments of the tablet started in November to select countries and these tablets will be running Android 3.2."

Several component refreshes distinguish the latest tablet effort from Acer. Specs are good, especially for multimedia - hopefully potential buyers will be able to see (or even find) this tablet over the holidays. Featuring Acer's Ring interface, the A200 ships with Android 3.2 today, with V4.0 promised for January 2012. Acer promises a "very affordable price." Availability is yet-to-be-determined.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Acer Aspire Ultrabook S3: Hands-On

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 PM

"If you haven't heard, Acer's gone and (officially) jumped on the Ultrabook bandwagon, announcing the 13mm-thin Aspire S3. We're here live at IFA in Berlin and just got some much-anticipated hands-on time. At the press conference that just wrapped, we were treated to a raft of promises -- seven-hour battery life, 1.5 seconds to resume from sleep, two to connect to a wireless network and "no compromise" performance courtesy of ultra low voltage Core i3, i5 and i7 processors."

A bit of a Jekyll and Hyde ultraportable, with a solid magnesium-alloy unibody exterior, but a cheesy plastic-like keyboard, that, fortunately, performs better than it looks and feels. With the promise of great battery life (standby of 50 days - really?), quick response when returning from sleep, and two seconds to connect to a wireless network, hopefully the production models will live up to the hype. No word yet on availability in North America, but the European prices are said to start at €799.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Acer TimelineX AS5830: Thin, Inexpensive and Long Battery-Life

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 AM

"When Acer unveiled its first Timeline laptops in 2009, these slim numbers felt like a revelation. Imagine: thin notebooks rated to last hours and hours on a charge and priced well under a grand! Fast-forward two years and that proposition seems a bit quaint, doesn't it? Pretty much every PC maker has been working on slimming down their wares and extending battery life with -- shall we say? -- mixed results. Still, Acer has kept on keeping, and its latest TimelineX laptops carry the torch as thin, long-lasting and inexpensive."

With a battery-life of around 9-hours (6:25 in testing), the 15.6-inch, 5.6-pound AS5830 is defined by a somewhat industrial appearance: sharp corners and clean lines, making it seem bigger than it really is. With a plastic bottom, but aluminum lid and keyboard deck, the system "feels" light. Most shoppers will either love the design, or hate it.

Well-stocked with ports, including USB 3.0, the AS5830 also includes a DVD-burner in its 1-inch thick form factor. The keyboard is surprisingly good, but emits pinging noises at times, and suffers from several oddly sized keys. The 1366x768 display is extremely glossy, the webcam okay, and the Dolby audio is better than expected, but still somewhat tinny at higher volumes. System performance is middle-of-the-pack, but graphics performance is pretty good, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce GT 520M card with Optimus and 1GB of DDR3 video memory onboard.

Overall, for $800, pretty good, but, aside from the battery life, nothing really to make it stand above other systems in this class.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Acer Ethos Provides Movies In Your Pocket! Really Big Pocket!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 04:00 PM

"With a full HD display, Dolby speakers, and Blu-ray drive, the Ethos 8951G packs a veritable home theater into an 8.8-pound chassis. But with a price of $1,599, this system faces hefty competition for your hard-earned cash. Read on to find out if the Ethos is awesome or overkill."

When I see notebooks whose screen is 17 inches or bigger, I cringe. Maybe I am just reliving old memories. A few years back, I decided that a lovely 17" high resolution screen laptop was the answer to all my problems. It would be powerful, offer lots of screen real estate and have some graphics punch for when I wanted to have fun. Oh, and it would be portable. Cue laughter. My solution ended up becoming a heavy lead ball that, I swear, made me shorter by several inches as I carried it around the world. At 8.8lbs, the Acer Ethos is not that much lighter than my one time joy, but does offer a fair bit more. Desktop replacement laptops do have their place, and there is nothing like having a beast of machine with you at all times, but if I were to make one recommendation, is that if you do pick up one of these babies, make sure you invest in a really good laptop bag. That or a sherpa.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Acer TimelineX AS5830TG-6402: Big Performance Without a Big Price Tag

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 07:00 PM

"With great power comes great responsibility, and also – if you’re talking about Intel’s 2011 Sandy Bridge processor line-up, at least – generally sizable pricing. Acer is looking to change that with the new Aspire TimelineX AS5830TG-6402, a lengthy name for a 15.6-inch Core i5 notebook that ticks all the spec boxes for a high-speed desktop replacement only with a bargain $799.99 price tag."

Another laptop seemingly similar to many others in the marketplace, in the desktop replacement category. With a somewhat industrial design, it has USB 3.0, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, a good but glossy screen at 1366x768, a full-sized keyboard with numeric keypad, and a multitouch touchpad. With Windows 7 Premium 64-bit, Acer also includes a ton of apps and unfortunately a ton of bloatware pre-loaded on a slowish hard drive.

Performance is very good, with strong video performance and the ability to play some games well. Acer quotes a (6-cell) battery life of 9-hours, but the real numbers were 2-3 hours of normal usage, up to 6-hours of light web browsing.

Bottom line is that this is a good notebook with reasonable size, good performance, for a very good price. But, again, come on vendors, give us reasonable, simple product names that we can remember!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Android Tablets Face Off against the Asus Transformer

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 02:30 PM

"Two of the latest low-cost Honeycomb tablets to hit the shelves are the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer. The only trouble is, it's almost impossible to tell the two apart (beyond the $50 price difference). At first glance they are pretty similar. Both have a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen, run NVIDIA's 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. Each has 16GB or 32GB of internal storage along with a microSD card slot that can handle an additional 32GB. Connectivity includes WiFi b/g/n on both (the A500 adds in 802.11a support) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, together with a mini-HDMI port for outputting up to 1080p HD video. 3G versions of each tablet will follow later in the year."

The improvements keep coming in the tablet market. The Asus Transformer looks very impressive. Both the tablets have about the same specifications. The Asus has the biggest glaring standout about 16 hours of battery life with its docking station. To me that is just amazing, as the Asus tablet will last for a business day and still have battery life to spare. The question that comes to mind are both the tablets better than an Apple iPad. From the hardware, I would say yes. When it comes to the software, Android market is just starting for the tablets. Keep in mind this is new technology and it is not cheap. However, if you are looking for that extra battery life (Asus), ports, portability (1.5lbs), and Android O/S these tablets might fit the bill. One other thing is the new laptop are cheaper than these tablets. It is something to keep in mind.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Acer Iconia A500 Review: Better Alternatives Available

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Iconia" @ 10:30 AM

"Next in our series of Honeycomb tablet reviews is the Acer Iconia Tab A500. The A500 was the second Honeycomb tablet to go on sale, and is one of four on the market at present, all of which are very similar. They share basic specs—10.1” 1280x800 displays, NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 underhood, 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16-64GB onboard NAND, front and rear facing cameras with HD video capture, basic wireless connectivity options, and stock versions of Android 3.0/3.1 Honeycomb (albeit with different preloaded software packages)."

A telling comment is that the reviewer liked the A500 better when he read about it than when he actually had one in his hands to review. Cheaply designed and cheaply manufactured, the A500 is good for a bargain price of $379 (where it has sometimes sold at MacMall's eBay store), but the alternatives are better. His recommendation is to wait for the next generation of hardware to appear, or, if you can't wait, to look for an ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, if you can find one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Friday Comes Early, on The Cheap

Posted by John London in "Laptop Thoughts Articles & Resources" @ 07:00 PM

Most notebooks under $400 have specs so low-end that even the most basic users won’t be satisfied, but thanks to the latest cost effective AMD processors, consumers can pick up a new notebook from Best Buy or Staples that will deliver on all the standard needs of home users for just $350. Instead of the sub-par single core processors and lackluster specs, these new AMD Fusion E-350 powered notebooks are packing a dual core processor, capable graphics card, 3-4GB RAM, 320GB hard drive, built in webcam and Windows 7. These notebooks are available today from Best Buy and Staples for $350.”

For most users these new low-cost laptops are a great replacement. The new low-cost laptops are as good as they were just a few short years ago. It is amazing how fast the price is dropping on laptops. The new low-cost laptops are now in the price range of a netbook, but the hardware and performance they offer is significantly better. I find the new laptops appealing in that they are now very affordable and can handle probably most of my computing needs. In addition, with rapid development of technology improvements does it make sense to invest in higher cost laptops? Check out the article to find out if these new low-cost laptops are for you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chromebooks Available to Pre-Order Today - On Sale June 15th

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 11:00 PM

"Electronics retailers and Best Buy are now taking pre-orders for the first two Chromebooks, lightweight notebook computers running Google’s cloud-dependent Chrome OS. The units, announced last month at Google IO, are made by Acer and Samsung, and represent Google’s first effort in the desktop operating system market. The notebooks rely on Internet connectivity to connect to Web-based apps and storage, and Chrome OS is based on bringing a simplified, browser-based experience to users: there’s no real way to access the file system, and right now users are limited to only a handful of apps. But Google’s hope is that by providing streamlined, simplified access to cloud-based applications and services, Chromebooks will be a hit with consumers looking for an inexpensive computing option—and the ability to access their data anywhere they can get an Internet connection."

There are four models available from Samsung, and two from Acer. The Samsung models are a bit larger, and a bit more expensive. The big question right now is whether consumers will embrace the new technology, with somewhat limited functionality, when a netbook or laptop with much more capability can be had for about the same price. Funny, but there are already reviews (but mostly on the CR-48 pilot program) on Amazon, even though the product isn't released yet. The price range runs from about $380 to $500. All six Chromebooks can be pre-ordered at our LaptopThoughts Amazon Store.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Acer TimelineX: Thin, Powerful, and Under $1000

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 11:00 PM

"The Acer TimelineX employs a no frills—but hardly utilitarian—design that's simple and clean. Combined with a Core i5 Sandy Bridge processor, 13.3-inch display, Nvidia GT 540M graphics and Dolby audio, it's a solid, inch-thick package that only lightens bank accounts by $780."

At a little over 4-pounds, the 13.3-inch TimelineX is reasonably powerful, well-outfitted, and claims a battery lifecycle of up to 4-years. Oddly enough, a 14-inch and a 15.6-inch model are also available in the series, and both have a starting price lower than the 13.3-inch model, and, include a DVD-RW drive, lacking in the smallest model. Looks like a decent, if undistinguished system, with a lot of competition in this footprint.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Acer Aspire 7552G-6436: Desktop Replacement

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 09:30 PM

"The Acer Aspire 7552G-6436 is one of those systems that will impress the average computer buyer even if more advanced users will be disappointed with it. It has a big 17.3″ display and a full size keyboard making it really a good desktop replacement. You won't be satisfied if you want a lightweight, portable system or want a world-class keyboard. But for people who just want a decent computer to put on a desk and then occasionally take with you, the 7552G is a good option."

Designed to be used (mostly) as a desktop replacement, the Acer Aspire 7552G-6436 has some decent specs, an above average but annoyingly glossy screen, with a resolution of 1600x900, and is said to be great for watching movies, making videos, editing photos, and some light gaming. At just over a sturdy 7-pounds, it is transportable, and, as the author says, it doesn't feel "dainty." The keyboard is comfortable, but reportedly a bit mushy, and the touchpad is simply too small for the available space. Use a mouse! Processor performance is slightly above average. Speakers are "nothing special." Battery life during testing was under 2-hours, so this is not a system to buy to be used untethered, and, if you do (or must) try it, it has a huge power brick to drag around. A huge plus: list price on Amazon is currently $669.99. Not a top-of-the-line desktop replacement, but a good value for the price. My biggest concern with this system would be Acer's reliability and service.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Acer Iconia Tab A500: Okay, if You Must Have a Honeycomb Tablet Today

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 10:00 PM

"Last month, the Motorola Xoom was the only officially sanctioned Android 3.0 tablet available in the United States. Now there are four -- the T-Mobile G-Slate arrived last week, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 this week, and the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer is on sale today, assuming you can find one. All have the same basic silicon inside, but oh-so-slightly different approaches to shape, such that price might honestly be the deciding factor these days. That's where we thought this WiFi-only Acer Iconia Tab had an edge, launching at $450, but now that ASUS has shaken the money tree with a $400 figure for the Eee Pad Transformer, we doubt other price tags will stick."

Some pluses, some minuses, for this new Honeycomb tablet, but, overall, Engadget's opinion is that it's got a good LCD and speakers, a speedy processor (faster than the Xoom in most tests), and has functional USB for attaching a keyboard (mouse not working yet). Minuses are very mediocre battery life, cameras are very average at best, and very little additional software is available over and above what is offered by Acer, and very little is superior to the native Android apps. Also build quality seems a bit suspect, with exposed (hair-pulling) seams, and too much plastic. Bottom line is that there is not much here to make it a must-have. Price is a bit lower than the iPad 2, but, even so, this doesn't look like a serious competitor, at least in this first iteration.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Acer Laptop to be Slim and Trim

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 12:30 PM

"A newfangled LG display, dubbed Shuriken, is apparently being recruited in Acer's fight against irrelevance. The Taiwanese company will reputedly use it in an upcoming 14.1-inch laptop, but here's the kicker: the physical size of the laptop will be no bigger than that of a 13.3-inch model."

Slim is in! Thinner and thinner displays are becoming available and some feature thinner bezels. Forget a frame for your display. You will soon be able to see things almost to the very edge. Smaller is good, and with less of a bezel, the computing experience should be a little less distracting, especially for watcihng movies. I do wonder and worry that a smaller bezel will make the display more sensitive to flex. While I treat my electronic gadgets with care, sometimes you just forget that your notebook is on the couch, or maybe you have fallen asleep computing and rolled over. Going back, does anyone remember the days when laptop displays were so heavy that if you tilted them back too far ,the whole laptop fell over?

Acer Offers its Own Tablet Love with the Iconia Tab 500

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 10:00 AM

"Priced at $449--$50 lower than the iPad 2--this slickly designed 10.1-inch Honeycomb slate features a brushed-metal design and a full-size USB port, plus Nvidia's powerful Tegra 2 processor. But can this tablet stand out in a field that's already crowded with devices bearing the same OS and specs?"

Hooray for tablets! If you will recall, a few years ago, everyone and their brother was offering netbooks. Over the past year, we have seen many different tablets spring up, but only recently has the main OS for them, Android (Yes, iOS is THE tablet OS right now, but Apple does not license its OS to other manufacturers) come out with a version that is tuned to the needs of a tablet user. With all these choices, what is the best one? It looks like it will come down to personal preference. Just like how the notebook market is saturated right now, the Android tablet market is going to have dozens of choices, most with similar capabilities, and all you have to do is figure out which one feels nicer to you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

First Impressions: Acer Iconia Tab A500

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 09:30 PM

"Acer’s Honeycomb Android tablet, the Iconia Tab A500, just blew into our labs and we’re already putting it through (sic) it’s paces for the full review. However, we thought we’d offer some first impressions of the design and features."

A quick peek at another Honeycomb tablet, this time from Acer, who have had some success at small netbook computers and laptops. But does this success translate to tablets? At first glance I'd say yes. Well constructed, the Iconia has a full complement of ports, including USB, and the Honeycomb software performs well on the included apps. Even the speakers sound good on the video, and getting content to the tablet seems pretty easy using I wasn't impressed with their "cubby holes" metaphor to group apps, but this could be comfortable for new users. Acer has done a little UI customization, so the system is a little less "bare bones" than the Motorola Xoom. Information of pricing and availability wasn't provided. If you have a choice between a Xoom and an Iconia, what would you buy?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Acer Iconia 6120: Dual Screen Delight

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 10:00 AM

"The Acer Iconia 6120 isn't the first dual-screen Windows 7 tablet on the block. The Toshiba Libretto W105 had two 7-inch displays and was about the size and weight of a paperback, but its short battery life and lackluster software doomed that device to collectible status. The Iconia is different. It's more like a coffee table book, a book that features two large 14-inch displays and innovative touch-enabled software, plus a Core i5 processor. But does this $1,199 tablet-book represent the future of laptops, or is it just a pricey experiment destined to appeal only to early adopters?"

A bit heavy at around 6-pounds, the Iconia 6120 is an interesting experiment. Metal on the outside, gorilla glass on the inside. No physical keyboard at all. Upgrades are a no-brainer, as opening the bottom is simple, and the entire insides are exposed. The huge virtual keyboard looks easy to use, and even has a click sound available to simulate physical virtual key presses. Battery life is short, as one would expect with two screens, the processor is quick, and heat is tolerable, if on the warm side. Consensus is that the Iconia 6120 is innovative, with decent touch software, but it could be lighter, with better battery life.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Acer And CherryPal Think This Tablet Fad Just Might Stick Around

Posted by Jason Lee in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 02:00 PM

This week we began to hear news of still more Android tablets set to enter the market this year. Acer has announced plans to launch 7 and 10-inch tablets by mid year. Both devices will run on Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors and Google's Android operating system. The big surprise here is that Acer planes to phase out netbooks and move firmly into the tablet market. This is quite the shock coming from the king of netbooks.

In related news CherryPal, makers of one of last years sub $200 Android tablets has seriously stepped up their game. The current buzz is that CherryPal will be launching a new 7-inch Android tablet with a 1 GHz CPU, high resolution capacitive screen, HDMI port, and WiFi/GSM radios for connectivity. Along with GPS, Bluetooth and front/rear cameras this device might be worth your bucks this round.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acer Slates Coming in Windows and Android Flavours

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"It looks like the tablet gold rush has another big prospector coming into town. At its global press event today in New York, Acer announced that it is launching three new consumer slates in 2011. Two of the slates, a 7-inch and a 10-inch will have the next version Android and arrive in April 2011, but are dependent on the release of Google’s next major update to its OS. Another 10-incher will have Windows 7 and arrive in February 2011."

With all these companies releasing tablets, you would think that they are a hot commodity. Truthfully, I am surprised that a lot of these announcements are coming out now and for release dates marked for next year. The holiday season is right upon us, and missing out on this critical time means that come February, a lot of people will already be brandishing their 10" silvery black toys and not be interested in whatever anyone else is offering, no matter how good, powerful or slick it might be. The Android versions will face even longer delays, most likely owing to the extra resolution these tablets offer.

Dual-screen Battle Royale: Acer Iconia vs. Toshiba Libretto

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Acer Laptops & Netbooks" @ 12:00 AM

"Here in New York at Acer's Global press event, the company's talking touch. Lots and lots of touch. It'll be introducing a veritable smorgasbord of equipment as the minutes roll on, but it's kicking things off with its Windows 7-based Iconia dual-screen laptop / tablet, a device we've seen before."

In the battle to remain relevant to perhaps more technically astute computer buyers (and perhaps to entice said buyers away from tablets), we have another laptop with two screens and a virtual multi-touch keyboard. Specifications are impressive, with Windows 64-bit Premium, Intel Core i5 processor, up to 4GB DDR3 RAM, two 14-inch LED-backlit multitouch LCD displays at 1366x768 protected by Gorilla®Glass, integrated Intel HD graphics, 320GB or larger hard drive, integrated 3G WWAN, one USB 3.0 port, and a 4-cell battery. Total weight is 6.18 pounds. This dual-screen concept is very interesting, and if the software can keep up with the hardware, this concept may prove to be very attractive. No details were provided on price or availability.

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