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Acer Invests in 3D, Multi-Touch & Convertible Laptops

Andy Vandervell


Acer Invests in 3D, Multi-Touch & Convertible Laptops

I'm at Acer's Global Press Conference in London today, currently enjoying a thrilling presentation about how Acer is now closer to overtaking Dell as the No.2 PC vendor and HP as the No.1 laptop manufacturer, how it has a full-range of mobility products and how it's making great strides in innovation. "Innovation is no longer a fantasy," it says "but in the interaction between the individual and the machine". What does this mean? It means 3D and Multi-Touch enabled laptops, duh!

Both are in fact based on the same basic chassis, the 15.6in Aspire 5738, with the 3D version being the 5738DG and Multi-Touch version the 5738PG. If you've read any recent reviews of Acer's laptops you will be familiar with this design, since it looks little different from the company's current 15.6in laptop. While details on hardware are thin on the ground, a 1,366 x 768 resolution display and Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs are givens, with other details likely to vary from model to model.

Starting with the 3D enabled 5738DG, it doesn't - as I'd assumed when I heard Acer was launching a 3D laptop - use nVidia's 3D Vision technology. Instead it's a three pillar system that relies upon a 3D film coating on the display, polarising glasses and bespoke software to display videos, games and photos in 3D. While my opportunity to try out this 3D tech was admittedly brief, on this evidence it seems implausible anyone will be rushing out to buy a 3D laptop. On such a small screen the benefits are arguable and the ideal viewing position is even more restricted than usual, while the quality of 3D effects aren't especially immersing, either.

As for the multi-touch enabled 5738PG, it utilises a newly developed TouchPortal to give you access to all the usual photos, videos, music, DVD and the Windows 7 touch applications. It takes a slightly awkward widget like approach, with applications displayed in a virtual living room to be dragged onto a screen. Acer is hardly alone in announcing multi-touch laptops, but right now "because we can" is coming before "because we should" - a fact easily applied to the 3D laptop as well.

Finally we have arguably the most interesting/useful addition to Acer's laptop range, the convertible Aspire 1820P {below}. A part of its Timeline series of CULV laptops, this 11.6in tablet will come with a dual-core processor and all the usual networking options (802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Gigabit Ethernet) but no optical drive. They'll be a non-tablet version, too, though Acer hasn't been forthcoming with pricing or availability for either.


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