Acer introduced two new notebooks on Oct. 14 and updated several existing models to support Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7, which is said to feature integrated touch capabilities, is additionally on the two new models, which put touch front-and-center.
The Acer Aspire 5738PG notebook might more easily be referred to as Acer's first notebook with a multitouch screen. The 15.6-inch screen is an HD CineCrystal LED-backlit number with a wide-screen aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1366 by 768 - intended to be a hit with movie buffs and media gobblers - but it additionally allows users to launch an application with a finger tap, to swirl a finger to scroll through a list, or pinch or expand their fingers to resize an image, along with all the other fancy fingerwork that the technology has made popular.
"Customers will experience an incredible level of flexibility and control in the multi-touch screen interface, as it frees them to interact with their digital world in a way that is familiar yet also new and exciting," said Ray Sawall, senior manager of product marketing for Acer America, in a statement.
Sawall added that multitouch additionally takes advantage of the new capabilities of Windows 7, as well as the power of the ATI Radeon graphics (with 512MB of dedicated DDR3 VRAM) and the Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 processor (2.2GHz, 2MB of L2 cache and 800MHz FSB).
Back to those movie buffs, Dolby Home Theater Audio Enhancement, two built-in speakers and 5.1-channel surround sound output are also included. Though users can also support a TV or other PC via the Aspire's HDMI port.
There are four USB ports, a Crystal Eye webcam that can capture video or still images, and integrated 802.11a/b/g/Draft-N and gigabit Ethernet. Dedicated buttons let users, for example, quickly back-up critical files.
The Aspire AS5738PG-6306 is the first model in what will eventually be a line of notebooks. It weighs 6.16 pounds with a 6-cell battery, is Energy Star certified and will be available Oct. 22 for a starting price of $799.99.
Brand-new to the Acer Timeline series - which will now also include models with Windows 7 and Intel CULV dual-core processors - is the Aspire Timeline AS1810TZ. It's an 11.6-inch ultraportable that will run Windows 7 and retail for $549.99.
There's a full keyboard, the HD screen is LED-backlit and the touchpad is a Multi-Gesture Touchpad - enabling users to do on the touchpad what they basically can do on the screen on the Aspire model: pinch, flick and swirl their fingers.
Also noteworthy is the battery life, which Acer reports is eight hours. (Acer optimistically calls this "all-day computing," though the new Nokia Booklet 3G, with its 12 hours of battery life, is perhaps better reflective of a true work day.)
The new Timeline weighs 3.08 pounds with an 11.6-inch screen, though other options include a 13.3-inch display at 3.5 pounds, a 14-inch display at 4.4 pounds and a 15.6-inch display at 5.3 pounds. The one-touch backup button is also on board, as is the Crystal Eye webcam and connectivity options.
The Aspire Timeline AS1810T-8679 (quick, someone call marketing!) features a 1.3GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB of L2 cache and 800MHz FSB. There's a mobile Intel GS45 Express chipset, and an Intel 4500MHD Graphics Media Accelerator. There is 4096MB of DDR2 dual-channel 667MHz memory and a 5400RPM SATA hard drive with two doses of 320GB.
Also arriving Oct. 22, it will retail for a starting price of $599.99.