updated 04:20 pm EDT, Sat August 22, 2009
Gateway EC1803h in Canada
Canadians have been receiving an early North American look at the first 11.6-inch Acer and Gateway notebooks to use Intel's CULV platform thanks to a model that has been spotted this week by an Electronista tipster at Future Shop stores in the country. Known as the Gateway EC1803h, the PC seems to be a rebranding and mild respecification of the Acer Timeline 1810T (Aspire 1410 in the US) that isn't yet on sale in North America and shares much of its design language with Gateway's own LT3100. The new model shares the Aspire/Timeline's 1.4GHz Core 2 Solo and GMA 4500 graphics, and in its single trim level comes with 3GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive as well as expected features like its 6-cell battery, HDMI output and 5-in-1 card reader.
In a hands-on, the system has been described as relatively speedy for the class; it can't support most Flash-based HD video smoothly but will handle standard-definition Flash video and some properly hardware-decoded HD properly. Windows Vista Home Premium is stock and runs well enough by itself.
Future Shop is selling the EC1803h for $600 Canadian ($555 US) in retail but doesn't list it on its website. It's not known if the system will sell in the US; its Acer sibling has been showing up for pre-order in the US for about $450, but the extra RAM is likely to tip the US price closer to $500 if it reaches US shops.