Acer In Spades

A trip to Athens reveals a stack of exciting new products from PC manufacturing's fastest growing company.

Acer is a company on the move. Growth across Europe in the last 12 months has been in excess of 60 per cent and it looks set to finally crack a previously resistant US market. So understandably the grins on the faces of its head honchos were large when it jetted in journos from across Europe to let them in on upcoming developments. The location was Athens, so – showing little to no self regard for my own happiness – I ”forced” myself to go…


There was sun, sea and speeches and in those speeches there were multitudinous references to revenue and profit, projections and reseller channel loyalty, but thankfully there were also lashings of tasty new kit. My eagerness to snatch and fondle was overwhelming (hello, “Sexy Receptionist Lady”), but I was forced to stay put and listen to the phrase “empowering technology” over and over. It seemed to carry manta like properties because the more the marketing men repeated the phrase, the happier they seemed to become and I had to work incredibly hard to erase the meaningless spiel from my brain. I’m glad I did though, because the ensuing products were well worth it.


In recent years at the top of any Acer product list is something branded with a Ferrari logo and this event was no exception. Sat alongside the sumptuous Ferrari 4000 Notebook was the company’s latest fashionable must have: Ferrari LCDs. Beautifully styled in black and scarlet, the displays are a visual delight. They come in 17, 19 and 20in widescreen form factors with the first two supporting resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 and the big fella taking things to 1680 x 1050.

Screen quality looked superb (though sadly given the uneven lighting in the room I couldn’t get a clear photo without the screens being switched off) and even strong contrast ratios of up to 800:1 don’t tell the whole story. The reason for this is Acer has employed its own CrystalBright technology in the screens and this, like similar techniques seen from Sony and Samsung, minimises colour distortion and increases fidelity.


Sadly there were no pricing details for the series (cutely dubbed F-17, F-19 and F-20) yet, but we do know they will come with a generous three year carry in warranty. Race lovers, start your engines.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Ferrari LCDs were not the fastest panels Acer had on display. Sure, they are no slouches at 8ms (and many will tell you that it is impossible to tell the difference on anything below this), but for the hardcore gamer the newly unveiled 3ms range will have the mouth watering…

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