Acer, Lenovo Unveil Intel Haswell-Based Systems

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-07-10
 
 
 

Acer has upgraded its M5 Series family of notebooks with a system that is powered by Intel’s new “Haswell” chips, and it appears that Lenovo may not be far behind.

Acer officials on July 9 unveiled the Aspire M5-583P-6428, which includes Intel’s fourth-generation Core i5 processor and the chip maker’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology. In addition, the new notebook has an improved sound system.

For its part, Lenovo reportedly is preparing to release a new notebook, the ThinkPad T440s Ultrabook, which also will be powered by a Haswell chip. The company—the world’s second-largest PC maker, behind Hewlett-Packard—is building out a page on its Website featuring the T440s, and the partial page has been seen by such tech sites as Liliputing and Endgadget.

The site reportedly does not talk about a release date for the system, but Lenovo officials apparently are aiming the 14-inch Ultrabook at business users.

Intel officials had been talking about the company’s Haswell architecture for months, leading up to its launch at the Computex 2013 show in June. At the time, a range of system OEMs—including HP, Dell and Lenovo—said PCs and Ultrabooks with the new chips were on the way.

The 22-nanometer Haswell architecture promise greater performance and power efficiency than the current “Ivy Bridge” offerings, and significantly improved graphics capabilities. Intel officials targeted the first of the Haswell chips not only at traditional notebooks, but also emerging form factors, such as Ultrabooks as well as hybrids and convertibles, which can be used as either laptops or tablets.

Haswell is part of a larger planned rollout of products that Intel officials hope will give the company greater traction in the booming mobile device space, where most tablets and smartphones are powered by systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) designed by ARM and made by such partners as Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia.

Acer’s new laptop is designed to give customers a good package of features in a cost-effective form, according to Scott Ledterman, vice president of U.S. consumers sales for the company.

“It’s a compelling solution for those wanting the latest and greatest features without breaking the bank,” Ledterman said in a statement.

The Acer notebook is less than an inch thin, offers a new metal chassis with what company officials called “clean, modern lines,” and a “soft touch” finish on the bottom, which they said makes it easier to hold and carry. It includes a backlit keyboard to make it easier to type in dim lighting, and a high-definition, 15.6-inch touch-screen display.

It brings 8GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and a PowerSmart battery that offers up to 6.5 hours of battery life and can last up to four years. It runs Microsoft’s Windows 8, and Intel’s WiDi means it can connect wirelessly to other displays, such as a big-screen TV.

The Aspire M5-583P-6428 is available now at Best Buy stores in the United States, starting at $699.99.

Lenovo’s upcoming ThinkPad T440s, along with the new Intel chip, will feature either HD+ or full 1080 resolution, an updated spill-resistant keyboard, and durable housing of carbon fiber and magnesium. The Power Bridge battery can be swapped out without having to power up the notebook.

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