Tag Archive | "Acer aspire"

Acer updates Aspire Switch 10 range for 2015.

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Acer have just launched updated Aspire Switch 10 dockable tablets with  one starting at just $279. The high-end version has a full HD screen, digitizer pen support and gets a Gorilla Glass lid.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

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New Acer S7 Ultrabook Ad Features Megan Fox, Dolphins

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Maybe there’s just something I don’t quite get concerning Megan Fox and dolphins… but assuming I’m not so far out of the loop to understand what Acer is going for with their new Acer S7 commercial, I’ll just go ahead and say it: I’m lost.

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Acer Aspire S7 Ultrabook Now Available Starting at $1350

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One of the most exciting recent Ultrabooks, the Acer Aspire S7, was somewhat lost amid the huge number of Windows 8 Ultrabooks launched in the last few weeks. Now that the dust has settled, the 13″ version of the Acer S7 is available starting at $1350 and some early reviews have hit the web. If you’re looking for a premium touchscreen Ultrabook, you should certainly be checking out the S7!

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Acer M3 Touch Ultrabook Coming with Windows 8

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Acer is preparing to launch the Aspite M3 Touch with Windows 8. the design is based on a previous iteration of an Acer Ultrabook — the Acer M3. The M3 Touch is a 15.6″ touchscreen Ultrabook which competes with other big Ultrabooks like the Asus S56 and Vizio Thin and Light CT15 (indirectly however, as the latter two lack a touchscreen). Notebook Italia tracked down the M3 Touch for a brief hands-on and also uncovered European pricing.

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Acer Aspire S5 Reviewed, Reveals Blazing Fast SSD Speeds

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Our pal Avram Piltch of LaptopMag got his hands on Acer’s new Aspire S5 Ultrabook and has an in-depth review available for your perusal. Does the S5 stand up to the competition? LaptopMag rated it 3 stars out of 5, but certainly not because of its record breaking SSD array.

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Acer US Launching Aspire Timeline Ultra M5 Ultrabook With Discrete Graphics and Optical Drives

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Acer America has just announced two new Ultrabooks as part of a new ‘Timeline Ultra’ series. On offer is a 14″ and 15.6″ display, the latter of which has a full numpad on the keyboard. The bezels appear to be nice and thin but the resolution leaves much to be desired. Discrete graphics from Nvidia are included as well as optical drives. Both come in at rather affordable prices, but we’re unsure that the inclusion of the optical drive is such a great idea.

Acer Aspire Timeline M5 details in our database

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Acer Aspire One 522 Live Review Videos and Results

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There’s one thing that was clear from last nights live testing of the Aspire One 522 – I’m the worst person in the world to demonstrate 3D games. Interestingly though, that’s because I never have devices that can play games. In the last 5 years we’ve seen just a handful of mobile devices that can play games and the fact that I was thrown into Half-Life 2 and Unreal Tournament demos shows that the Acer Aspire One 522 is quite unique – and an indicator of where netbooks are going next. We tried hard to find showstoppers and major issues, design problems, heat and noise or anything that would confirm that this is a cheap device but no, after 3 hours, it was clear that the Aspire One 522 is a real bargain and a true upgrade option for those with first or even second generation netbooks.

 

Aspire One 522 (12)

Highlights and Lowlights

  • 1080p playback via local or YouTube works flawlessly on-screen (1280×720) or via HDMI
  • In normal use, this is a 6 hour working device with a 3-hour gaming capability, 5 hours or more video playback and up to 10 hours with radios-off in low-power use as a text-entry device.
  • No heat or noise to speak of although the fan is constantly spinning and can sometimes be heard or felt through the chassis.
  • The Hard Disk seems to be a bottleneck in some situations
  • Mono speaker just about does its job
  • The glossy screen appears to be a little washed out compared to high-end displays
  • Wifi reception is better than average
  • No USB 3.0 or charging USB port
  • Plastics very thin
  • Access to memory and HDD is easy. Upgrade to 4GB is possible (Only 2GB available in Windows 7 Starter)
  • Gaming needs more testing but viewers on the live session seemed very excited!
  • Battery life / weight ratio is very good

A word of warning though, in terms of CPU processing power, there’s not a lot of difference here between the Intel Pinetrail platform in single or dual-core variants. in a pure-CPU video rendering test we saw the Aspire One coming in at 15% faster than a Intel N450 CPU which puts it between the N450 and N550 in terms of processing power. Compared to first-gen netbooks, that’s a great improvement but its far from mainstream.

It’s the ‘balance’ of CPU, HD Video and 3D that works so well with the Acer Aspire One 522 (and, we suspect, other Fusion C-50 APU -based devices) and if Intel don’t one-up the C-50 with Cedar Trail in a significant way, they will lose a good percentage of netbook sales. At €299, there’s very little room for beating AMD on price.

So here are the three videos we made during the 2.5hrs online last night. As usual they are captures of the low-quality stream but I’m sure you’ll get a lot out of them. Thanks again to everyone that joined and helped-out in the live session. Spread the word – this is how reviews should be done!

 

Part 1 – Overview and first impressions.

 

 

Part 2 – Heat, battery life, video performance, browsing tests

 

 

Part 3 – Video testing, webcam, high and lowlights, Crystalmark test

 

Acer Aspire One 522 – AMD Fusion Netbook – Live Open Review Today

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Update. Live session finished –  Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

I’ve had the Acer Aspire One 522 for 24 hours now so it’s time to go live and open up the video cams and chat session to allow you to take a look, ask questions and work out if this is the netbook for you. It’s also the first time we’ve had the AMD Fusion C-50 APU for detailed testing so we’ll learn something about that too.

Aspire One 522 (1)Aspire One 522 (17)

The Acer Aspire One 522 specifications are available here along with links to the gallery, videos and articles.

The LIVE OPEN REVIEW of the Acer Aspire One 522 is planned for Tuesday 8th March at 2100 Berlin Time [Other timezones here].  Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live for video, chat and your chance to ask questions and watch everything happen live. Nothing is covered-up!

Agenda: (With Q&A from chatroom between each session)

  • Overview
  • First impressions
  • Testing – Synthetic tests. CPU, Disk, GPU.
  • Testing – Video playback. Local, YouTube, External video
  • Testing – Video encoding side-by-side with N270 CPU.
  • Testing – Games
  • Testing – Other

Agenda subject to change. Session duration planned – max 2hrs

Some sessions (not all) will be recorded.

Acer Aspire One 522 (AMD C-50 Netbook) Unboxing, Overview, First Tests – Video and Report

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Update: Live Open Review is planned for today. More information here.

Update: Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

Sometimes gadget purchases go from zero to ‘own’ in a very short time. That’s how it was today as I assessed devices for the Ultra Mobile Video Editing series and checked out the Acer Aspire One 522. It’s an AMD Fusion device running on the C-50 APU at 1Ghz. CPU performance, as we’ve already determined, is lower than the dual-core Atom N550 CPU but there’s a trick or two up its sleeve when it comes to video playback and 3D graphics performance because the processing platform includes a Radeon HD6250 GPU. The whole AMD Fusion package is also tuned for low power consumption making it compete in the netbook power envelope but with better capability.

IMG_6853

More images in our gallery.

I’m not convinced the Aspire One 522 will help me achieve my goal of 720p editing on a lightweight, low cost computer but at €299 and with a need to research what AMD are doing with Fusion it makes sense to buy it. When your local store has it in stock and there aren’t many reviews out there already, it adds up to a must-buy for this blogger! Update: Liliputing is also testing the 522 right now.

Acer aren’t regarded as a high-end product builder as they tend to build to a price. Quality does suffer and I’ve experienced it first hand. Others will report similar experiences but out of the box, the Acer Aspire One 522 appears to be an absolute bargain. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever had this much computing power in my hand for so little money and it looks good and feels good too. It even weighs under 1.2KG which, for a netbook with a 6-cell battery, is class-leading. 1080p playback? No problem (*1). A hi-res 720P screen (1280×720) is included too. Long battery life? You’ll clearly have trouble getting less than 5 hours out of this and I’m sitting here now with 43% battery left after 4 hours of on-and-off testing. 3D performance will blow any Intel-based netbook out of the water. Even the build quality seems better that you’d expect for this money.

As I write this, I’ve had no showstoppers so far. BUT – I’m only into the 7th hour of ownership here so beware, there could be issues. Don’t get over-excited about the CPU or GPU power too. It’s good for a netbook but nothing like a low-end notebook. A 3D Mark 2001SE score of 5959 is good for a netbook but I seem to remember that my 5-year old Ti4200 graphics card would pull in 12K on that test. For 300gm and 200 Euro more you can get something much, much more powerful.

A glossy screen with less than 768 pixels in the vertical (important for some software installs) a fan (barely audible) and a disk that, like other netbooks, seems to slow down applications load times are the only things I want to complain about so far. In reality, that’s not a bad hit-list and I’m feeling confident that when I put this through our live, open review, it will come out looking good.

LIVE OPEN REVIEW of the Acer Aspire One 522 is planned for Tuesday 8th March at 2100 Berlin Time [Other times here].  Join us at UMPCPortal.com/live for video, chat and your chance to ask questions and watch everything happen live. Nothing is covered-up!

Live Review report and recordings are now available here.

(*1) initial test with an H.264 file. 1080P at an average 13Mbps bitrate was perfect on the 720p screen.

Update: Out-of-the-box Crystalmark test result is here.

Ultra Mobile Video Editing Part2 – Refining PC Choices

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In Part 1 of this series I covered three strategies for ultra mobile video editing and decided that the traditional, PC-based solution was the only real choice for today. I also set out some parameters.

The solution comes in three parts.

1 – The Camera

2 – The PC

3 – The Editing Software

The parameters I’ve set for the project are:

  • PC and software to cost less than 600 Euros
  • PC to be less than 1.5KG with 12 inch screen or less.
  • Total camera + PC solution to weigh less than 2KG and cost less than 1000 Euro
  • Source video should be 720p
  • Video sent to YouTube should be 480p minimum
  • Editing solution must include watermarking, overlays, crossfades, and multiple audio tracks.

I have personal requirements for the camera that mean it also needs to be able to take photographs for the site. It should also include self-shooting (front or swivel viewfinder), built-in stereo microphone. 28mm wide-angle capability. Good low-light performance and long zoom range for close-up to press conference zoom-ins. An external mic input and hot-shoe would be an advantage.

It this stage I have two cameras in mind. The Canon SX20IS and the new (currently unavailable) Fujifilm HS20 EXR which is said to have some good, and very helpful, low-light options. It doesn’t have the self-shooting viewfinder though. I’m still looking at other solutions but for this post I want to refine the choice of PC down to a shortlist.

The current shortlist is shown below. Please feel free to propose alternatives.

  • 12 inch Intel Atom solution: Asus 1215N (Intel N550 + Ion2 with 16-core CUDA) 1.45KG
  • 12 inch AMD Fusion Solution: Asus 1215B (AMD E-350 APU) 1.4KG or HP DM1Z (AMD E-350)
  • Intel Core i3 solutions: Lenovo Edge 11 (Intel Core i3 – 1.5KG) or Acer Travelmate-8172T (Core i3 – 1.4KG)
  • Netbook solutions (*1): Samsung NC210 (N550 dual-core + 6-cells – 1.22Kg) or N350 (N550 + 3 cells – 1KG) or NF310 (N550 + 6 cells + 1366×768 screen – 1.3KG) or ASUS 1015PN (N550+Ion2 – 1.25KG)  or ASUS 1015B (AMD C-50) or Toshiba NB550D (AMD C-50) or Acer Aspire One 522 (with AMD C-50)

13 inch devices will remain out of scope because of size. I have to draw the line somewhere and I feel that 13 inch just goes beyond what is acceptable on a seat-back table, in one hand and in a small bag.

(*1) At this stage it seems fairly clear to me that a dual-core Intel Atom alone isn’t going to be enough on its own to process 720P video which means the pure netbook solutions fall away leaving only the Ion2-enhanced Asus 1215N where CUDA could help push the performance. The E-350 CPU performance isn’t a huge step forward from the N550 but with the 3D and HD decoding support, should help the editing experience and, possibly, a 720p-to-480p conversion stage that allows faster editing. Note that the ION2 in the Acer P1015PN doesn’t have the CUDA core required for enhanced video rendering performance. The AMD C-50 based solutions aren’t as powerful as Intel N550 for general purpose computing but do include video decoding support (not hardware encoding) which could help in a 720p to 480p pre-editing conversion process. Due to this, the NB550D and 1215B stay in the shortlist.

Interestingly, the new Intel Oaktrail platform includes 720p encoding and decoding in hardware. Unfortauntely this won’t help much in the video rendering process where almost everything is done in software. It could help with a 720p to 480p conversion process before editing but the CPU and GPU is then unlikely to be strong enough to support a smooth video editing experience.

Am I considering tablets like the Hanvon B10 and the EeePC Slate E121? No, because being lap-capable is critical and inputting text around a video is a requirement for almost everyone. Adding a USB or Bluetooth keyboard is considered a point-of-failure and would bring the weight up by 200gm.

In summary, we have an entry point of 11.1 inch screen and a minimum weight of 1.3KG. I’m surprised that I can’t find anything in the 1.0-1.2KG range. The only solutions available are all close to 1K Euro which puts them out of scope.

Prices of the items on the shortlist range from €300 to just over €600

Note: Why limit the price? I want to come up with a solution that as many people as possible can consider.

Where do we start?

A522 - 2

I will say now that I’m looking for someone that can supply these devices for testing because i’m not about to go out and buy 5 laptops so – Free series sponsorship to any reseller that can help us with this project – but I will put my own funds into the pot and start with the smallest, lightest, cheapest option. Later today I will be heading out to pick up the 299 Euro Acer Aspire One 522 with the AMD Fusion CPU and 720p screen. For that price, it would be stupid not to!

Update: Unboxing and first impressions article is now up.

Stay tuned because I’m likely to do a live session with it if I get it. (Follow @chippy on Twitter for  notifications.)

Acer D255 Dual-Core Atom Netbook – Hands-on. Initial Tests

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IMG_4962 My current laptop is a netbook. I’ve been using it as my portable computer for well over a year and I’m very happy with it. I’m using XP, it’s got a 2GB RAM upgrade and a fast SSD and a great built-in 3G module. The only issue with it is that any other netbook out there is a downgrade for me because switching to Windows 7 on a standard netbook is noticeably slower.

That all changed today when I took on the Acer D255 as a loaner for the Intel Developer Forum I’m attending this week. [Thanks to Intel – They paid for the trip over here] It’s truly the first netbook I’ve used that gives me a smooth and reliable Windows 7 experience and having already tested battery drain, 720p playback, Crystalmark and video rendering performance, I can say that it really does well, It’s light and Sascha (Netbooknews) tells me it only costs 350 Euros. That’s a stunning price for 6-8hrs of dual-core action.

Here’s a little look-round on the device. See below for some early benchmark results.

I’ve done three benchmarking tests on the device. The first is a battery drain test and I’m pleased to see that Acer appear to be getting the best possible out of the platform. With screen brightness at minimum and Wifi off I was able to get a figure of just 4W. With Wifi on, that went up to 4.6W. Average drain for web browsing is around the 7-8W mark which means that the 49Wh battery is going to give a good 6hrs of action. Rendering a video with all cores and at 100% i was 11W of drain. For a device that weighs 1250 grams thats pretty good. A better quality 6-cell battery could yield even better results.

Acer D255 Minimum drain

I terms of CrystalMark, I’m seeing results that will make anyone happy. 35K is not a figure we see often in the mobile computing world. The hard disk is impressive to.

crystalmark-acer

My final benchmark was a video rendering test. It looks like I’m going to save 25-30% in terms of time on rendering and that’s well worth the 50-euro premium that a dual-core Atom netbook is costing.

Weekly netbook roundup 3/16

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Welcome to this week’s netbook roundup. In this space every Monday I’ll highlight netbook news items that might not need their own individual posts but may still be interesting.

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Dell Latitude E7440
14.0" Intel Core i5-4200U
GPD Pocket 2
7.0" Intel Core m3-8100Y
GPD Win 2
6.0" Intel m3 7Y30
LG G8X THINQ Dual Screen
6.4" Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Lenovo Ideapad Flex 10
10.1" Intel Celeron N2806
Acer Aspire E11 ES1
11.6" Intel Celeron N2840
Viliv S5
4.8" Intel Atom (Silverthorne)
Acer Aspire Switch 10
10.1" Intel Atom Z3745
Medion Akoya Mini
10.2" Intel Atom (Diamondville)
Toshiba Portege Z930
13.3" Intel Core i5 3427U