Acer Unveils Aspire Laptops with Intel Core i7 and AMD APU Chips

Among Acer's newest notebooks are its highest-performing Aspire ever, with an Intel Core i7 processor and a 20 percent performance gain.

Acer, the world's second-largest PC maker, introduced four mobile PCs at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), covering a range of consumer tastes. At the highest end is the Aspire AS8950G-9839 - which may better stick in the memory as the highest performing model in Acer's flagship Aspire notebook line.

Also introduced Jan. 5 were the Aspire 4253 and 5253 - two notebooks for families, kids and students - and the Aspire One 522, a multimedia-friendly netbook.

Starting with topper, which has a good deal to boast about, the Aspire AS8950G-9839 runs the new Intel i7-2630QM processor, the latest ATI Mobility Radeon 6850 graphics processor with 2GB of dedicated video memory, and 8GB of DDR3 (double-data rate 3) dual-channel memory. To complement the processor, Intel's Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is included, as well as its Hyper-Threading Technology, for enabling the processor core to handle two tasks at once.

The considerable display - a glass back-lit LED with a high-definition (1080p) resolution- is 18.4 inches edge to edge and paired with a dual-mode touchpad that works in multi-gesture or a media console mode. Below the touchpad, there's also a scrolling wheel for controlling the device's volume.

Also included is a 750GB SATA hard drive and dual hard drive support for up to 1.5TB of possible storage. There's a 1.3-megapixel Webcam, a fingerprint reader and, on the entertainment side, a Blu-ray drive and Dolby Home Theater v4 with Acer's CineSurround surround sound technology.

Preeta Anil, senior manager of consumer notebook product marketing at Acer, in a statement called this fancy Aspire the "ultimate portable entertainment center. The new 2nd generation Intel Core i7 processor delivers approximately a 20 percent overall performance gain, while its graphics subsystem delivers performance comparable to an entry-level discrete graphics card."

The Acer Aspire AS8050G-9839 will arrive Jan. 9-hopefully with a nickname-and start at $1,600.

Also up for a bit of entertaining are the Aspire 4253 and 5253, both part of the Aspire x253 series. Both laptops are powered by Advanced Micro Devices' APU (accelerated processing unit) and Vision Engine, which together offer enough power for "stutter-free" HD movie-watching, streaming HD video and Microsoft's DirectX 11 graphics.

The 4253 features a 14-inch display and the 5253 a 15.6-inch, both with a 16:9 aspect ratio and CineCrystal backlit displays. The touchpads feature multi-gesture technology, the FineTip keyboards are said to make for more accurate typing, and a textured finish is meant protect against fingerprints and scratches. The x253 series additioanlly comes with, Acer's new cross-platform system for sharing media. Out of the box, it's said to detect other devices and to allow their digital content to be seamlessly shared via the interface. Further, the newest HDMI standard incorporates a dedicated channel that lets users consolidate video, audio and data streams into a single cable, for making better use of IP-enabled devices. Finally, for its newest netbook, Acer again partnered with AMD, equipping the Aspire One 522 with the new AMD C-50 APU, said to deliver "rich, sharp and lifelike HD Internet entertainment." The APU is paired with AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics, again for sharp HD video support, as well as DirectX 11 graphics and HDMI video output. On the front end, as it were, there's a 10.1-inch CrystalBrite LED backlit display with a 1280 by 720 resolution and 16:9 aspect radio. The touchpad features multitouch technology, there's an Acer Crystal Eye Webcam and digital microphone for video calling, and connections can be made over WiFi, LAN, 3G or Bluetooth. The One 522 will come in a choice of black or green, though-as with the 5253 and 4253-Acer didn't make clear exactly when that will be.