Acer has introduced the Aspire Ethos 5943G and 8943G laptops, and with them a new take on touch screens.
The Ethos laptops, unveiled March 31, include a second touch screen-a smaller one replacing the touchpad-that displays icons for easier navigation of multimedia apps.
"The media console is now combined with the touchpad, providing a set of commands all managed by a single key and a completely new approach to entertainment control," Acer said in a statement.
The laptops feature Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processors, an Advanced Micro Devices ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5000 series graphics card, a Mobile Intel Express HM55 chipset, up to 1.28TB of storage via two 640GB hard drives, and WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 wireless connectivity.
Each additionally offers a choice of Microsoft Windows 7 operating systems.
According to specs given by Italian tech site Notebook Italia, the 15.6-inch 5943G offers up to 4GB of DDR3 (double data rate 3) memory, an Acer CineCrystal LED display with a resolution of 1,366 by 769 pixels, three USB ports, eSATA, HDMI with HDCP, audio and Ethernet ports, and a 4X Blu-ray Disc/DVD-Super drive.
The 18.4-inch Ethos 8943G features a high-definition, 1,920 by 1,080 CineCrystal LED display, a Blu-ray drive and Acer's CineSurround sound system with five speakers, a subwoofer and third-generation Dolby Home Theater with Dolby Digital Live technology.
The Ethos is compatible with MultiMedia Cards and memory sticks, and both models offer security options such as Acer's Bio-Protection fingerprint reader, Password Bank software and a Kensington lock slot.
The Ethos 5943G measures 15 by 10.6 by 0.9 inches at its thinnest point and weighs in at 7.3 pounds, while the 8943G measures 17.3 by 11.6 by 1.2 inches and weighs just over 10 pounds.
According to the UK site Electricpig, these new Acer notebooks will debut in June for about $1,665.
While Hewlett-Packard leads in worldwide PC shipments, Acer has vied for the No. 2 position with Dell. According to a January report from IDC, Acer bested Dell during the fourth quarter of 2009 but came in third place worldwide for the year, with Dell shipping 38.41 million units to Acer's 37.37 million units.
In its efforts to become the No. 1 PC maker by 2013, Acer has introduced new notebooks and netbooks, while also working on an e-reader scheduled to arrive in June and continuing to expand into the smartphone space, with models running the Windows Mobile and Android operating systems.