Acer releases low-cost mobile workstation

Acer has unveiled a notebook which claims to offer the performance of a workstation at a fraction of the cost of other...

Acer has unveiled a notebook which claims to offer the performance of a workstation at a fraction of the cost of other notebooks.

The Acer Aspire 1710 is priced at $1,499 and includes a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 processor from Intel, a 17in widescreen display, 512Mbytes of memory, an 80Gbyte hard drive, a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, a GeForce FX Go5700 graphics card from Nvidia with 64Mbytes of video memory, and built-in 802.11g wireless Lan technology.

Acer will release other configurations of the Aspire 1710 with the Prescott processors. The base configuration of the notebook comes with the older Pentium 4 processor based on the Northwood core.

Dell also offers a low-end configuration of Precision Mobile Workstation M60 for $2,446, but it features Intel's Pentium M mobile processor, more memory, and a higher-end graphics card.

Hewlett-Packard's nw8000 Mobile Workstation also comes with the Pentium M processor and more memory than the Acer system, but is priced at $2,699 in a low-end configuration.

The Pentium M is more power sensitive than the desktop Pentium 4, preserving battery life in mobile systems. Intel's latest Prescott Pentium 4 processors are especially power hungry, compared with older versions of the Pentium 4.

The power consumption of the Pentium M also allows the notebook manufacturers to make lightweight systems. Desktop replacement notebooks with desktop processors need more elaborate cooling technology and heavier heat shields to protect the system against the heat given off by the processor.

The Aspire 1710 weighs 15.7lbs, much more than the Dell or HP systems. Dell's Precision M60 weighs 7lbs while HP's nw8000 weighs about 6.5lbs.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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