Acer Announces New Lineup of Colorful Tablets, Laptops

Today at its Worldwide Global Press conference, Acer CEO Jason Chen rolled out a series of new tablets and laptops with an emphasis on colorful designs and bright, colorful screens. The company also briefly showed the first Chromebook to be powered by an Intel Core i3 processor.

First, the company unveiled its Switch 10 system, a hybrid 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 PC with a special magnetic hinge that allows its screen to detach and snap into place quickly and securely. The system can operate in 4 modes: laptop mode, tablet mode, display mode (facing out the back) and tent mode. The system also has an attractive aluminum design and two powerful front-facing speakers.

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Chen also took the wraps off of two 7-inch Android tablets. The Acer Iconia One 7 (shown above) features a dual-core, 1.6-GHz Intel Atom Z2560 processor, a 1280 x 800 display, Android 4.2 OS and comes in 10 colors, including a bright blue they showed on stage. At .35 inches thick and .73 pounds, the Iconia One 7 is the same thickness and about .1-pound heavier than the Nexus 7.  It will ship in June for $129 U.S.

The .66-pound Acer Iconia Tab 7 has a silver-colored finish, runs on a quad-core MediaTek processor, has an IPS display with zero air gap, Android 4.4 and has 3G connectivity for calls and data transfer. Both tablets have front-facing .3-MP cameras, but the Iconia Tab 7 has a 5-MP rear lens while the Iconia One 7 has only a 3-MP sensor on its backside. It will ship to Europe and Asia for the 149 Euros in June. There's no word about whether it is coming to the U.S.

Users who want something a lot bigger than a 7-inch tablet will be intrigued by the new Aspire U5-620, a 23-inch all-in-one desktop that lays flat for table-top computing. The Aspire U5 features a 1080p screen, a full HD webcam with wide viewing agles and dual microphones. The U5-620 will come with a 4th-generation Intel Core Series proessor and optional Nvidia graphics. It will ship in June for a starting price of $999.

Acer also showed off its new line of E Series Laptops. The 15-inch Acer Aspire E15 and 14-inch Aspire E14, both of which come with a choice of Intel or AMD processors, touch or non-touch screens and low resolution or full HD resolutions. Both systems promise up to 7 hours of battery life and come with a "precision" touchpad that promises greater accuracy for multitouch gestures. The E15 will come in 5 different colors and the AE14 will be available in 6 different shades, includin silver and bright green. Both systems will ship in June for a starting price of $299.

The $269 Acer Aspire E11 is a 2.84-pound, 11-inch Windows notebook which stays thin by using a fanless design. It has a "flowcurve" aesthetic that gives it a nicely rounded shape and comes in 11 different colors. The identical Acer Aspire V11 adds a touch screen for a starting price of $369 and weighs a heftier 3.06 pounds. Both devices have 1366 x 768 resolution displays, Pentium or Celeron CPUs and up to 1TB of storage.  Acer says the Aspire E11 will have up to 5 hours of battery life while the V11 will last up to 7 hours. They will both ship in the May / June timeframe.

The company also briefly showed an upcoming, unnamed Chromebook which will sport an Intel Core i3 CPU. Previous Chromebooks have been powered by Intel Celeron or ARM-based CPUs so this could be the fastest Chromebook ever.

There was no immediate word on pricing or availability for the new systems Acer announced. 

Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master's degree in English from NYU.