Acer Debuts New Notebooks and GPS

Sensible if not inspirational.

Acer had a UK product briefing today and though it only contained three pieces of kit we hadn’t seen previously they are still an engaging trio.


From the ‘Back to School’ range come a couple of new Aspire lappies: the 5100 (above) and 3100 series. Both are ‘Vista Capable’ and feature AMD processors. The 5100 is fitted with a Turion 64 X2 and the 3100 kitted up with a more budget orientated Sempron 3200. A generous gig of RAM makes it into both models as do 15.4in widescreen 1280 x 800 resolution displays and ATI Radeon Xpress 1100 integrated graphics.

High definition audio support, 100GB HDDs, 5-in-1 card readers, DVD rewriters and integrated webcams make the two new machines multimedia friendly while WiFi and Ethernet also make it across though Bluetooth is limited to the 5100. Battery life isn’t great on either model with the 5100 rated at 2.5 hours and the 3100 lasting a mere 1.5 hours though at 2.82Kg neither is particularly bulky.

Prices and dates have yet to be revealed but given the range’s title we can probably a semi intelligent guess that the two lappies will be reasonably priced and debut before August.


Also making its first appearance was the e310 Travel Companion, a PDA which specialises in GPS. The 130g, 103 x 58.4 x 17.5mm model uses the tried and trusted Sirf Star III LP engine and 2006 Navteq map material, has a large 2.8in 320 x 240 colour display and loud stereo speakers. An integrated digital audio player and photo viewer makes the e310 multimedia chummy too and it sports the Point of Interest (POI) feature normally only seen on high end devices.

You’ll get four hours battery life during navigation software use and eight when used as a dedicated music player but an in-car power adaptor comes bundled and a higher capacity battery is an optional extra. A two year warranty comes as standard and though pricing was again kept secret I’d expect this to be pretty decent value when it debuts in the next month.

So nothing groundbreaking but overall nice and that’s what people buy. It’s a world of Fords not Aston Martins my friends and I, for one, am off to cry about that…

Acer UK

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor