A trip to Athens reveals a stack of exciting new products from PC manufacturing's fastest growing company.
Moving to laptops, a recent phenomenon I have commented on in recent months is the apparent resurrection of the tablet notebook.
All the big players have been bringing new designs to the table and Acer was no different. In fact, that’s not entirely true, because while it did update its tablet range with the attractive Travelmate C310 (above) – which sports a 14.1in XGA display, Pentium M chipset, Sonoma architecture, 512MB RAM and 80GB HDD – it stole the show with the C200.
The C200 is Acer’s redesign of the classic tablet format and it cleverly does away with the traditional fold and swivel action by employing a sliding approach. Quite simply, you just push back the screen (which automatically increases its angle) and the keyboard is revealed. This method eliminates the weak point of the standard tablet, which is its hazardously narrow central pivot.
Acer was not revealing how much the C200 weighs, but in my hands and it couldn’t be more than 2Kg. For such a lightweight machine is felt tough as an armadillo and it also carries a nifty spec. There is a 12.1in XGA screen, Sonoma chipset with RAM scaleable to 2GB, HDDs of up to 100GB, 4-in-1 card reader, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, nVidia GeForce Go 6200 256MB graphics card option, and hot swappable drive bay that can be used to house either a dual layer DVD writer, second HDD or second battery. Pricing and availability hasn’t come out yet, but we await developments with baited breath.
The final products to catch my eye were three compact, yet powerful projectors. The PD100 (above), 120 and 125D each weigh little more than a kilo, but all manage to put out an incredible contrast ratio of 2000:1. The PD100 chucks out a highly respectable 1500 ANSI Lumens, with its bigger brothers managing 2000, and all three can operate at just 30bB. An SVGA native resolution is put out by the PD100, with the 120 and 125D capable of XGA.
An optional wireless dongle and customisable start up screen (useful for making an impression during presentations) were other notable features. All three models should hit the market at any minute, with pricing starting from 690 euros.
So Acer certainly has big plans, but with what I saw in Athens it is not hard to see why the company is setting its targets so high. Good show lads.