With Windows 8 set to be released in a little over two weeks, there's been no shortage of newly announced systems that have been designed to take advantage of its new tiled interface. So far, they've all fallen into one of two categories: the so-called "convertible" designs that don't quite fit into the mold of any traditional form factors, and revamped versions of existing systems that have been jazzed up, usually with beefier specs or touch displays. Acer has announced a slew of new systems that fall into the latter category.
aFirst off are the Acer Aspire V5 Series notebooks, which are available in standard and touch-enabled configurations. Regardless of which style you purchase, the updated V5 Series notebooks will feature larger trackpads that support multi-gesture controls designed to facilitate navigating through Windows 8's tiled interface, which involves lots of swiping, pinching and flipping. Design-wise, the updated Aspire V5 Series notebooks will feature profiles that are 30 per cent thinner than their predecessors.
The new Aspire V5 Series notebooks will be available in several configurations that vary by size and touch capability. Either way, all can be configured with third-generation Intel Core i5, Core i5, or Core i7 processors and all will feature Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPUs.
The Aspire V5-171 features an 11.6in screen without touch capability. The Aspire V5-471P sports a 14in edge-to-edge display with 10-point touch capability, and is available in a non-touch configuration (Aspire V5-471P). Similarly, the Aspire V5-571P features a 15.6in screen and can be purchased with a 10-point edge-to-edge touch display or with a standard non-touch screen (Aspire V5-471). Both the touch and non-touch versions of the Aspire V5-471 and V5-571 will additionally feature a built-in slim DVD drive and either 500GB or 750GB of storage capacity.
The second half of Acer's announcement centred on two new Acer Aspire M5 ultrabooks, one of which features a 10-point multi-touch display. Both sport a slim 0.81in thin profile despite coming equipped with a built-in DVD burner.
The 14in Aspire M5-481PT features a 10-point multi-touch display with an edge-to-edge design. Its aluminium chassis is decked out in a silver finish and weighs 2kg. The non-touch Aspire M5, the 15in Aspire M5-581T, is constructed out of a magnesium alloy chassis that comes in a dark grey finish and weighs 2.27kg. Both feature a purported battery life of eight hours. Moreover, both are equipped with third-generation Intel Core i5 processors and a 500GB HDD with an integrated 20GB solid state drive (SSD). Both also feature two USB 3.0 ports and backlit keyboards.
UK pricing and availability have yet to be confirmed, but in the US, M5 ultrabooks will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores on 26 October. The Aspire M5-481PT will begin at $799.99 (£500), while the Aspire M5-581T will begin at $699.99 (£435).