Acer and Gateway Decoder Ring: Notebook Naming Demystified

With few exceptions, the way that notebook companies name their products can be highly confusing. What do all those letters and numbers mean? Look no further. We put together a cheat sheet to help you decipher the nomenclature vendors use so you’ll be able to know at a glance who it’s for, the size, and other features of any given system. You may even give the blue shirts a run for their money!

Fortunately for you, the consumer, Acer’s naming conventions are pretty straightforward. The first two letters represent the line, and the first number afterwards indicates the screen size.

Aspire: The Aspire line encompasses the bulk of Acer’s consumer notebooks, and is denoted with the letters AS. Aspires range from the 10-inch netbooks to 18.4-inch multimedia monsters.

Within the Aspire line, there are two subgroups: Aspire One is the company’s netbook line, and Aspire TimelineX refers to its series of slim notebooks with long battery life. The first number after AS refers to the screen size. For example, the Acer Aspire AS5742 has a 15.6-inch display.

The letter at the end of the first string of numbers also provides some more details as to the system’s components:
ASxxxxT: T stands for TimelineX series, all-day computing
ASxxxxG: G stands for discrete graphics/non-UMA graphics
ASxxxxZ: Z stands for Pentium dual-core
ASxxxx-BZxxx: BZ stands for AMD-Brazos based

TravelMate: TravelMate is Acer’s line of business notebooks, which have features such as fingerprint readers, Intel vPro, and optional mobile broadband connectivity. Like the Aspire line, the TravelMate series is distinguished by the first two letters, in this case TM.

Also like the Aspire line, the first digit after the letters usually indicates the screen size (4 for 14 inches and 5 for 15 inches). There are two exceptions: The 6 series (which has VPro enabled) and the 8 series (which has all-day endurance) start with either a 6 or an 8, and the second digit then indicates screen size. Example: a 14-inch TravelMate with VPro would be the TM6495.

Acer’s sub-brand, Gateway notebooks follow a similar naming convention.The first two letters indicate the particular line, and the first number indicates the screen size.

LT: Gateway’s netbook line. If LT is followed by a “2”, that means it’s a 10-inch netbook with an Intel Atom chip. If LT is followed by a “3,” then it’s an 11.6-inch AMD notebook.

NV: A mainstream line that balances performance and affordability. All have 15-inch displays, so the number following NV will always be a 5. The next series of numbers indicates the processor type:

NV50A: AMD Phenom
NV51B: AMD Fusion
NV53: AMD Athlon
NV54: Intel Pentium dual core
NV55C: Intel Pentium and Core i3 and Core i5
NV59: Core i3 and i5 w/ higher-end configs

ID: The ID series offers a thin-and-light design with a few premium features, such as long battery life and a glowing touchpad. As with other systems, the first number indicates screen size: ID49 is a 14-inch notebook, and the ID59 has a 15.6-inch display.

EC: Similar to the Acer Timeline series, Gateway EC series notebooks have a more basic design. Currently, the only model offered is the EC58, which has a 15.6-inch display.

LAPTOP Reviews Editor