Intent on dominating the entire spectrum of screen sizes, from a 100" projector to the 1" wearable Leap, Acer CEO Jonathan Chan led his audience through the company's impressive 2014 holiday lineup. He announced a total of 11 new devices, ranging from performance laptops, to convertible tablet/laptop hybrids, and finally ending with smartphones.
Acer's most powerful new offering is the Aspire Nitro V Black Edition Notebook. Though sleek and professional-looking on the outside, internally the Nitro V is a beast. Clearly designed with gamers and power users in mind, the Nitro features the latest 5th Generation Intel CPU and NVidia GeForce GPUs (up to GTX860M), guaranteeing that most of your Steam library will be playable on "Ultra" settings at reasonable frame rates.
To cool all that raw power, Acer equipped the Nitro V with a novel reversing fan, which Acer promises will prevent dust buildup. In addition, users can overclock the fan using the CoolBoost feature to lower processor temps and avoid toasty fingertips.
The Nitro V will be released soon in select countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Sorry, U.S. gamers: no word on a Stateside release date.
If you're not looking for something with that much power, Acer also announced two new notebooks in its R series. Though similarly named, the new Acer Aspire R13 and R14 differ significantly, in one big way: the screen hinge.
The R14 features a 14" screen attached to its body via a 360 degree dual-torque hinge, which allows the user to fold the R14 into anything between a regular old laptop to a tablet.
The R13 features the more flexible "Ezel" Aero Hinge which allows for some additional screen modes by rotating the screen on its central axis into any position. When completely inverted and closed, the R13 can also double as a tablet.
The R13 will feature WQHD (2560 x 1440) or full-HD (1920 x 1080) resolution screens with Zero Air Gap technology to minimize reflectivity and heighten contrast. The R14 will only have HD (1366 x 768) resolution, though it does offerthe same Zero Gap technology.
Internally, users will get to choose between Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors, and have the option to add more RAM than is probably necessary. Even discrete GPUs are not off the table—the R14 will be available with NVidia GeForce 820M dedicated graphics.
Both the R13 and R14 will be coming to the U.S. in October, and they'll start at $899.99 and $599.99 respectively.
Can't decide between a tablet and notebook? Don't fret, you won't have to. Acer is extending its convertible Switch line with the Switch 11 and Switch 12.
Despite its tablet form factor, the new Switch 11 is an UltraBook at heart. With a 4th Generation i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, up to 128GB of storage, and the full Windows 8.1 OS, the Switch 11 could comfortably replace the average notebook and desktop for most everyday tasks.
For those cases where a keyboard and touchpad is required, the Switch 11 can easily be converted into a typical UltraBook by attaching the included chicklet-style keyboard. The conversion is simple thanks to the magnetic latch-free docking mechanism.
Acer also teased the Switch 12, a tablet-style UltraBook that hides away a bluetooth keyboard in a secret compartment, but was mum on the specs.
But Acer hasn't abandoned traditional tablets. Take the Iconia Tab 8 W: It's an 8-inch tablet running full Windows 8.1 with Bing, and it comes with a free year of Microsoft Office 365. Acer is pitching it as a productivity tablet. In our opinion, the screen is a bit too small to get serious work done, but different strokes for different folks.
The Iconia Tab 8 W will become available in the States in November, at the very reasonable price of $149.99.
Along with its Windows tab, Acer outed the Iconia One 8—an Android tablet that's basically the Tab 8 W's less ambitious cousin. While it sacrifices productivity options, it does come in 10(!) different colors ranging from Essential White to Fragrant Pink. There's bound to be a color that speaks to everyone, unless you hate fun.
No U.S. launch date was provided. Maybe Americans just aren't ready for this much fun just yet.
The second new Android tablet offering, Acer Iconia Tab 10, features a full-HD IPS (1920 x 1080) screen and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. Acer's pitching it as a perfect entertainment device. Bolstering that claim is the latest Gorilla Glass and an olephobic coating that should prevent your kids' grubby fingers from making a mess of your shiny tablet.
The Iconia Tab 10 will hit stores this month at $199.99.
You might not be able to tell here in the U.S., but Acer is actually a pretty big player in the smartphone world.
Today, the company claimed it has produced the lightest, thinnest 5" Android phone to date in the form of the brand new Acer Liquid Jade. It's a sleek-looking device, fully clad in shiny plastic that comes in three colors (white, black, and pink). For the more elegant user, Acer offers the Liquid Z500 smartphone. It is similarly thin and light, but features a full metal body and comes in a couple more colors (black silver, and Aquamarine green).
Neither of these phones is coming to the U.S. at this time.
Putting It All Together
The most interesting thing about Acer's announcement is that it didn't focus on the sheer diversity of its new lineup. While there were 10 new products shown off, what each presenter emphasized was that these devices all can be interconnected.
The main theme was "A Touch More Connected"—an ideal best demonstrated by the Acer Extend feature. In an effort to break down the barriers between devices, Acer's software allows users who own both Acer laptops and phones to seamlessly move from one to the other.
Say you're working on your computer and want to send a text. Thanks to Acer Extend you don't need to reach into your pocket, pull out your phone, and unlock it. Instead, you can simply mirror your phone screen on your laptop and access all the phone functions from the laptop. It's a nifty trick, and one that could certainly sell a few phones.
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