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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Acer Refreshes PC Line

The computer maker launches 20 products targeting three areas of the market: netbooks, laptops, and all-in-one PCs.

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Acer's Ion-based AspireRevo
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Acer has refreshed its entire PC product line, targeting three areas of the market: netbooks, laptops, and all-in-one PCs.

At a New York launch, the Taiwanese company introduced 20 products, which are expected to be available over the next couple of months. Pricing was not disclosed, and not all the PCs will be available in the United States.

The products will be under several brands, including Acer, Gateway, Packard Bell, and eMachines, all the result of acquisitions Acer has made over the years. Among the more significant products is the Acer AspireRevo, a mini-desktop that will be powered by an Intel Atom processor and Nvidia's Ion graphics platform.

When it hits retailers' shelves, the AspireRevo is expected to be the first PC to use Nvidia's mini-PC platform, which the company says provides the horsepower necessary for processing high-definition video in the Blu-ray format, something Atom can't do on its own. In addition, Ion in combination with Atom can drive mainstream video games and run Windows Vista. The system has up to 4 GB of memory, up to a 250-GB hard drive, and measures 7.1 by 7.1 by 1.2 inches.

Another significant announcement was three thin and light Acer Aspire Timeline laptops, including 13.3-, 14-, and 15.6-inch models. Acer claims the systems can get more than eight hours of battery life and feature an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. They are roughly an inch thick, with the smallest model weighing 3.5 pounds and the largest 5.3 pounds.

Acer's all-in-one PCs include the Acer Aspire Z5600, which sports a 24-inch touch screen. The system is built for storing video and pictures with up to 2 TB of hard disk drive capacity. The computer also includes a TV tuner and Blu-ray disk player and writer.

In the third quarter of last year, Acer surpassed Asustek as the top maker of netbooks, which the industry generally defines as a mini-laptop with a display 10 inches or less; a full operating system, typically Windows XP or Linux; and costing less than $500. Computer makers, however, have been selling systems with displays more than 11 inches that the vendors call netbooks. In general, the systems are lightweight and used primarily for e-mail and Web browsing.

Because of the systems' low cost, they are the fastest-growing segment of the PC market, which is expected to see an overall sales decline this year as a result of the economic recession. Netbook sales last year soared more than 2,000% from 2007, which marked their introduction. This year, sales of the mini-laptops are expected to increase 68.5%, according iSuppli.

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