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Acer debuts Ethos entertainment laptop

Acer has expanded its Aspire range of laptops with the Ethos, which sports a secondary touchscreen that can also be used as a touchpad to control a host of multimedia features.

Teh firm says the media "console is now combined with the touchpad, providing a set of commands all managed by a single key and a completely new approach to entertainment control".

Ethos comes with the Core i5 or the Core i7 and packs up to a hefty 16GB DDR3 memory, with up to 1.28TB of hard disk space, an ATI 5850 or 5650 graphics card, the choice of either a 15.6-inch or a 18.4-inch screen, both full HD with a very slim bezel and a Blu-ray combo drive.

The Taiwanese manufacturer also touts the full Dolby surround compatibility of the Ethos with a lower-cost version relying on three speakers and the upmarket one adding another three to provide a true 5.1 model.

The entry level model with a Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM and a 320GB hard disk drive will cost a whopping £1100 and the 16GB fully kitted model will likely cost around £4000 or more.

Acer also unveiled its new Timeline X laptops, which are available in 13.3-inch, 14-inch and 15.6-inch screen sizes. The laptops are just one inch thick and weigh in at 1.8Kg and 2.5Kg.

The company said an 11-inch version will also be available soon.

The cheapest model comes with an Intel Core i3 330M, while the top-end model is equipped with an Intel Core i7 670M.

The three models shown off have at least 3GB RAM and hard drive options ranging from 250GB to 640GB. The Timeline X machines will go on sales in May this year with prices starting at around £600.