Acer convened media and tech aficionados from around the globe in New York City for the unveiling of their 2015 product line. The press conference, which marked the release of over 40 new products, showcased them all on the 68th floor of 4 World Trade Center amid 360 degree views of the city. In his opening remarks, Acer CEO, Jason Chen outlined the company’s 2015 strategy as a three-pronged process to build upon its strengths, accelerate smartphone growth and expand business boundaries. Will they hit their mark? Is the company poised to meet those goals with its newest arsenal of tech gadgets? Only time – and consumers – will tell but let’s take a look at my most promising picks from the launch.
The Aspire Switch 10 E is one of Acer’s newest 2-in-1 notebooks. It features an HD 1280 x 800 resolution display, dual 2MP cameras (front and rear) and a second generation Acer Snap Hinge 2 with a guiding plane design for smoother switching between modes; just line up the hinges and snap. It also has a keyboard dock that can be elevated up to 5 degrees for easier and more comfortable typing. Outfitted with a powerful 30Wh battery, the Switch 10 E provides up to 12 hours of battery life on just one charge. To suit your personal style, the new Switch 10 E will be available in six eye-catching colors. It will also sport a sophisticated textile pattern on the top cover and underside that helps prevent scratches. Besides being practical and making the device more durable, the textured pattern makes this one good-looking piece of hardware.
The Acer Aspire Switch 10 E will be available in North America in mid-July with prices starting US$279, in EMEA in May with prices starting at €299, and in China in April with prices at Y2 499.
The Iconia Tab 10 was designed for the classroom environment and created to make education more engaging. The Android 5.0 powered tablet supports digital education in schools. The Acer Iconia Tab 10 has a 10-inch full HD Gorilla® Glass 4 display with Acer Precision Plus; improved software that uses touch sensors that are more densely placed than those with general touch panels, and enable students to write, draw and create with pencil or stylus in a finer tip at just 2mm. This extra precision also lets students pinpoint anything on the display with greater accuracy. The Iconia Tab 10 has NFC built in with setup and sharing capabilities. Teachers or IT administrations can set up a whole classroom of tablets in minutes simply by tapping them together. Sweet, right? Acer is also working with Google to join the Google Education ecosystem, particularly Google Play education apps and Google Management Console.
Iconia Tab 10 delivers up to 7.5 hours of battery life and is powered by an Intel® Atom quad core processor, which enables multi-tasking across multiple tabs and apps. The new tablet features 2GB of DDR3 RAM and 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of on-board storage. The tablet can be connected to share video and to other peripherals via USB 2.0, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. The SD card reader supports up to 64GB memory cards to access and transfer files. Once a product is in the classroom, it must withstand the abuse of daily use and let’s face it – the students. The tablet has a reinforced front frame to withstand bending and twisting, while minerals are added to the rear cover to increase toughness. Plus, the anti-slip textured finish is comfortable to hold and helps students keep a firm grip on the tablet.
The Acer Iconia Tab 10 will be available in North America in May with prices starting at US$299, and in selected countries in EMEA in May with prices starting at €299.
Acer is finally expanding its smartphone business into the US with the launch of Liquid M220. The smartphone features a compact 4.1 inch display, delivers clear 233 PPI resolution and comes Windows Phone 10 ready. The user interface on this device fully supports Microsoft applications and services such as OneDrive, Skype, Office and the Cortanadigital assistant. It’s intuitive and easy to customize. A 5MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash and an 89-degree wide-angle lens captures memorable moments instantly and in vivid color. In addition, the 2MP fixed-focus front camera can take fun photos and videos on the fly for sharing on social media and support videoconferencing.
The Liquid M220 is powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon® 200 processorwith dual-core CPUs at speeds of up to 1.2GHz, 1GB memory and a replaceable 1300mAh battery that provides up to 3 hours talk time and up to 200 hours in standby on a single charge. It has 8GB storage capacity that can be expanded with a Micro SD card, Bluetooth® 4.0 EDR and 802.11b/g/n, while a micro USB port enables connection to a digital camera, printer and/or external drive. The Liquid M220’s rear cover has an attractive Thai Silk pattern-inspired texture and is available in Mystic Black or Pure White. This smartphone is ideal for those entering the smartphone market, looking for a simple and affordable device to start with.
The Liquid M220 smartphone will be available at Microsoft Stores and Microsoftstore.com in the United States for $79.99 (MSRP) in June.
When evaluating a device for ‘entertainment factor’ you’d likely think about video streaming, graphics and audio. However, none of those elements factored into my choice for Best in the entertainment category. Don’t get me wrong. With an Intel Atom quad-core processor, HD graphics and an IPS display, the Iconia One 8 is made to entertain but, it was the Acer Precision Plus and my 3 year old that sold me on this device for this category. I think this is a great entertainment tablet for kids. They can use simple swipe gestures or draw and sketch on the device using a stylus or graphite pencil. I envision this being useful to keep them busy with their favorite educational apps and games as well as perhaps completing homework assignments. Can you imagine perfecting your handwriting digitally, as a toddler? Iconia One 8 also features a customizable reading mode, which minimizes blue-light and reduces eye fatigue. We’ve got to look out for the little ones.
The Acer Iconia One 8 comes in both an 8” and 10” models and includes a .3MP front camera and a 5MP rear camera; the rear camera also supports 88 degree wide angle captures, allowing more people and/or scenery to be included in shots. It will be available in North America in July with prices starting at US$149, and in EMEA in April with prices starting at €179.
Acer slipped in two nice surprises as well. First, the company is taking a leap – pun intended – into the wearables market with Liquid Leap and Liquid Leap Curve, the premium model. Acer’s approach to developing its first wearable was design, tracking, and health – in that order. Jason Chen had no qualms about admitting that before you tech it out, a wearable must be beautifully designed. Take a look at Liquid Leap below. What do you think? On other articles about business and trading Tap here to read more.
Acer also shared its initiative for the fast growing global gaming market by announcing its gaming strategy. On top of the Aspire V Nitro Series gaming notebooks, Acer unveiled its plan for the Predator family of devices designed for hardcore gamers across multiple form factors. The Predator line will feature a distinct design to capture the speed and excitement of PC gaming, and the upcoming range will complement the already available Predator desktop line with notebooks, monitors and get this…a tablet. Are you ready?