updated 08:35 am EDT, Tue September 5, 2006
Acer 3290 and 9520
Acer is targeting both business and entertainment at once with its introduction of new laptops using Core 2 Duo processors. On the conservative side is the TravelMate 3290, a 14-inch system oriented towards business users who need a portable but still flexible computer for the road. A DVD writer, 5-in-1 card reader, and a 128MB Mobility Radeon X1600 make the 3290 one of the more full-featured systems of its size. More interesting is the media-focused Aspire 9520, a 17-inch desktop replacement clearly intended as a media hub. Beyond faster GeForce Go 7600 or 7900 GS graphics that make it suitable for gaming, the new Aspire model (pictured) adds a hybrid analog/digital TV tuner for watching video locally and an HDMI output for relaying sound and video to a nearby flat-panel TV. Both the Aspire and TravelMate share some unique Acer technologies: QuicCharge can get as much as 80% of the battery charge back in one hour, while SignalUp can boost the WiFi signal to reach hotspots at the edge of normal wireless range. Each model should be available soon, though no official pricing has been set.