Acer announces ultraportable 'Timeline' series, plus new Gateway 'EC' notebook

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Much more than a netbook but more portable than your average notebook, Acer’s Timeline series is set to go up against the likes of the MacBook Air, the Lenovo X301, and MSI’s X-Slim notebooks. There will be three models available; a 15.6-inch version, a 14-inch version, and a 13.3-inch version weighing in at 5.3, 4.2, and 3.5 pounds, respectively.

The Timeline machines will use Intel’s ultra low voltage (ULV) processors paired with six-cell batteries and LED displays; Acer claims the laptops will be capable of more than eight hours of battery life. They’ll be priced aggressively, in true Acer form, at $699 to $899.

Other features include multitouch trackpads, passive cooling systems, optical drives in the 14- and 15.6-inch versions, and HDMI out. Expected shipping date is this June.

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Full press release:

Acer Aspire Timeline Revolutionizes the IT World

Slim and Long-lasting, Beyond Your Dreams

2009-04-08 – New York Time is precious but elusive. We try to capture it, but it’s always fleeing. This has now come to an end. The new Acer Aspire Timeline series mark the beginning of a new era in mobile computing, an era when you have more time to get things done, stay connected and enjoy entertainment.

And what’s more, Acer achieved this extraordinary result not by adding but by reducing. In fact, Acer based the new Aspire Timeline notebooks on a simple yet revolutionary idea: instead of making laptops with bulkier and heavier batteries so that they could have more autonomy, they made a series of notebooks which are more efficient, and capable to reduce energy consumption to the minimum to give you all time you want and no added weight.

The result is more than eight hours battery life, so that you don’t have to worry about running out of power in the middle of something important, and you have more time to learn, have fun and be productive.

Acer designed the Aspire Timeline notebooks with the Acer Smart Power key, your gateway to power on-demand. The Acer Smart Power key extends battery life through advanced settings. Just press the Smart Power key to boost power saving capabilities and extend battery life, thus expanding your time of freedom even more than 8 hours.

Specifically designed for energy-efficient performance, the Aspire Timeline series features numerous innovative solutions, including: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo  ultra low voltage processors  and Intel® Display Power Savings Technology (Intel® DPST) that reduces display backlight with minimum visual impact, saving up to 33% energy compared to typical notebooks. As a result, the system efficiency is greatly increased, reducing power consumption and boosting battery life by up to 40%.

“Leadership companies are those who bring compelling and breakthrough technologies to consumers even in tough market conditions,” affirms Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel Corporation“ Today, Acer Group is demonstrating their technology leadership and Intel is proud our close collaboration with Acer has helped to deliver these innovative, market-changing ultra-thin products based on the latest Intel® Core™  2 Duo  ultra low voltage solutions.”
Designing the Aspire Timeline, Acer broke another barrier: creating the finest and lightest notebooks to provide all-day computing. At its thinnest point the Aspire Timeline is just 24 mm thick (less than one inch) and thanks to the aluminum cover it’s a featherweight, ranging from 1.6 kg (3.5 lb) for the 13.3” model up to just 2.4 kg (5.3 lb) for the 15.6”, making it both lighter and easier to carry around than anything else. The Aspire Timeline opens up a new dimension where lightness and more time meet and you have total freedom to get things done unhurriedly anywhere you want.

One of the main complaints people have about notebooks is that they produce heat and after a while using them on your lap becomes uncomfortable. Acer Aspire Timeline use a cooling technology designed to improve user experience. Developed in collaboration with Intel, Laminar Wall Jet exploits a technology that has been used successfully for cooling turbine blades. Through the addition of louvers to the inlet vents, the cooling air flow is redirected along the bottom side of the notebook chassis, putting fresh air precisely where it’s needed to better cool the skin.

“Acer has always focused on bringing leading-edge technology to its customers regardless of market conditions” statesGianfranco Lanci, President and CEO of Acer Inc. “As a result, our customers expect longer battery life, thin and light form factors and great processing technology at an affordable price.  With the Aspire Timeline series and our partnership with Intel and their ultra low voltage Intel Core 2 Duo solutions, we are confident we have exceeded our customers’ expectations once again”

The Aspire Timeline Series complies with the strictest Energy Star 5.0 prerequisites. This means that to earn an Energy Star label, the notebook must be more efficient also when using the power adapter. Acer Power Smart adapter does even more, as it consumes 66% less than required by Energy Star: this means that it saves 1,752 watt per year, the equivalent of a 15 watt bulb to be lit for 116 days. Plus, the Power Smart adapter enters adaptive charging mode automatically when the battery is fully charged this stops consuming energy and reduces the tear and wear on the battery.

With the Acer Timeline notebooks the limits of space and time become blurred taking you in a dimension where you are the master of your time.

Also announced was the Gateway EC, a 13.3-inch laptop that’s apparently less than an inch thick and will feature a solid state drive, dual graphics chipsets, and energy-saving power modes, according to CNET, who snapped the photo below. Not too many details about this one, though. Price and availability have yet to be announced.

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Acer Timeline series [Acer.com]

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