Timeline should be familiar to plenty of you as it was the name given to Acer's first line of ultra-low voltage, Intel CULV processor-based laptops. It's a range that's been well-received, the Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ in particular won our Best Portable Laptop award last year. Acer has added more 'X' to the range this year, which is bound to be a winning formula!
Like the Ethos, the TimelineX range is expected to fall towards the end of April, with models coming in 13.3, 14 and 15in sizes. An 11.6in model will follow in late Q2/early Q3 due to the success of the 1810TZ, which continues to sell well.
As before the main focus of the TimelineX series is battery life. Where the original Timelines had an eight hour headline figure, Acer is upping the ante to 12 hours for the TimelineX series. This, it seems, is actually a tad misleading as you must have a system with a nine-cell battery to achieve such heights and the nine-cell isn't the standard option until you spend upwards of £799. Anything below that and you get the standard six-cell, though seeing as it'll still net you a decent eight hours it's no great hardship.
In comparison to the Aspire Ethos, the Aspire TimelineX looks a little more conservative. That's in keeping with previous Timelines, though, which stuck to a simple gunmetal grey theme. Where the TimelineX primarily differs is in using brushed aluminium inside and out, with black for the lid and grey on the inside. It's a sleek, functional appearance that should win many fans among those loathed to the glossy plastic so prevalent elsewhere.
Aside from this material change, though, physically the chassis doesn't appear to have changed a great deal at all. As such the 13.3in model, the 3820T, still lacks an integrated optical drive and weighs around 1.8kg. That weight increases to 2.2kg for the 14in, which does include a drive, and 2.4kg for the 15.6in model.
This leaves hardware changes as the main talking points. Naturally this means a transition to Intel's Core 'i' family of processors, starting with the Core i3-330M and working its way up depending on price. While specifics were hard to come by, we'd wager that the Core i5-520UM will feature somewhere due to it being the only low-voltage part in the Core i family right now. Perhaps it'll be reserved for the 11.6in?
Dedicated graphics will also be available, presumably for the 14in 4820T and the 15.6in 5820T. These will be either an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 or 5470 depending on the spec and price.
Overall, assuming the pricing is competitive - a certainty where Acer is concerned - and the battery life lives up to its billing, the TimelineX looks likely to be a success.
Check out the following pages for official photography on all the new models.