IFA 2012: Acer pulls back curtain on Windows 8 tablets

Acer has unveiled its Windows 8 line-up at IFA 2012, which includes two ultrabooks, a tablet/PC hybrid, and a standalone tablet with its own docking cradle.

The company's offerings, which will debut with the October release of Windows 8, include the Iconia W5 hybrid laptop/PC, the Iconia W7 tablet, the Aspire S7 and Aspire M ultrabooks, the Aspire V5 notebook, and the Aspire U all-in-one.

Acer joins Dell and Asus in unveiling a laptop with a detachable screen that doubles as a tablet. The Acer Iconia W5 features a 10.1in touch screen that can be removed from its keyboard. The tablet portion can also swivel and rest on the keyboard for presentations. The 3G-capable W5 includes microHDMI and microSD ports, which can be used to expand memory up to 32GB. Acer promised up to 18 hours of battery life and six weeks of standby.

The Iconia W7 meanwhile, is a standalone tablet, but it comes with a cradle that can add connectivity options like USB 3.0 or can be propped up for display or viewing purposes. The W7 has an 11.6in 1,920 x 1,080 display, 10-point touch, eight hours of battery life, and a 5-megapixel camera. An optional keyboard accessory is available.

On the ultrabook front, Acer will have the Aspire S7 and Aspire M. The S7 comes equipped with a 13.3in screen and is just 12mm thick. The ultrabook features an auto light-sensing keyboard and will provide up to 12 hours of battery life. The Aspire M comes in 14- and 15.6in flavours, with edge-to-edge touch screens and a backlit keyboard option. Both ultrabooks run Intel Core processors, but the Aspire M includes a muscular discrete graphics option from Nvidia.

For those who want to stick with a traditional notebook, the touch-capable Aspire V5 also comes in 14- and 15.6in models, both of which include optical drives. The device also runs Intel Core chips and includes Nvidia GeForce GT Series graphics. With Acer Instant Access, the V5 will remember most-visited sites for Internet access in just 2.5 seconds.

Finally, the Aspire U is a 27in all-in-one with a 35 mm profile and a Full HD edge-to-edge 1,920 x 1,080 display. Power cords are hidden in a rear panel, creating a floating effect, Acer said. The Aspire U can be tilted from 30 - 80 degrees with one hand, and the device is available with a swivel stand that tilts to zero degrees.

With the L stand, the Aspire U supports 10 points of multi touch, while the swivel stand allows for up to 65 touch points. The webcam, meanwhile, supports hand gestures.

The Aspire U includes a Blu-ray drive, multi-in-one card reader, a TV tuner, and HDMI-in and out. It will run a third-generation Intel Core processor.