Acer puts finishing touches to notebooks

Acer will introduce two laptops before the end of this year, including an updated Tablet PC model and a widescreen notebook aimed...

Acer will introduce two laptops before the end of this year, including an updated Tablet PC model and a widescreen notebook aimed at home users.

The widescreen notebook, the Aspire 2000, is based on Intel's Centrino platform, which includes a Pentium M processor and a wireless Lanchipset, and offers a 39cm widescreen TFT liquid crystal display.

The Aspire 2000 offers two modes of operation. In normal PC mode, the computer runs Microsoft Windows XP. However, users can use the Aspire 2000's instant-on mode, which is based on Linux, to access the laptop's entertainment functions, including DVD playback, said Campbell Kan, chief officer of Acer's notebook product line.

Activating the Linux mode lets users access the Aspire 2000's entertainment functions in approximately 10 seconds, eliminating the requirement for users to boot the PC using Windows XP.

While users may get quicker access to DVD playback functions using the Aspire 2000's Linux mode, the notebook includes software, called ClearVision, which offers higher-quality DVD playback in Windows XP, Kan said.

Pricing for the Aspire 2000 has yet to be finalised, although the notebook will be available worldwide during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, TravelMate C300 tablet PC is based on Centrino and offers a convertible design that can switch from a notebook to a tablet by rotating the TFT LCD screen and folding it back flat against the keyboard.

The C300 has a 36.5cm screen, which can also be converted from a notebook into a tablet. Acer's other existing Tablet PC model, the 250PE, has a screen the same size but it can only be used in a notebook format.

The C300 also offers an internal CD-Rom or DVD-Rom drive, a feature which is not available with either the C100 or C110.

Pricing for the C300 has not been finalised.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service

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