Acer unveiled a suite of new products at its Global Press Conference held in New York City. CEO, Jason Chen, kicked things off by noting that Acer is celebrating 40 years in the computer business. “I joined two years ago to turn the company around and today, Acer has [been] transformed”. The brand holds fast to what they do well but continue to push boundaries and the 2016 product lineup includes improved flagships as well a few surprises. Here’s the rundown….
Six months ago Acer acquired Xplova, which produced Xplova X5, the world’s first cycling computer with video recording capability. It’s equipped with a wide-angle camera to record moments on the road. Intelligent algorithms let cyclists automatically capture three-second video clips of the scenery based on pre-determined parameters like speed, heart rate, GPS coordinates and even unique points of interest. Recording can also be triggered manually, and users can select and compile up to eight clips into a sharable video. The videos are recorded at 720p resolution and a transflective color screen enables glare-free viewing in direct sunlight.
Xplova X5 features Smart Sign Guidance which syncs and stores riders’ favorite routes directly on Xplova.com. Advanced cyclists will enjoy using Smart Sign Guidance to plan workout routes and tough hill climbs for truly dynamic training sessions. Smart Sign Guidance also works with the Xplova Moment App, and users can also download routes from around the world shared by other members of the Xplova community. Xplova Moment App offers four functions which include Find Me, Remember Me, Lead Me and Challenge Me. Xplova X5 acts a live dashboard that shows performance data in real time via built-in 3G data communication.
Acer collaborated with GrandPad to produce a novel, new product for seniors. It’s a simple and secure tablet that effortlessly connects them to their friends and family with a touch of a button. With GrandPad, seniors can make phones and video calls, send voice emails, check the weather, play games, view family photos, and more without worrying with functions they don’t use. The purpose of the device is to help seniors overcome “social isolation” and no – it’s not a joke. The product was tried and tested by a 114 year old woman, who happens to be the seventh oldest person alive. Technology isn’t just for the young and Acer is helping grandparents stay digitally connected.
Switch Alpha 12
The Switch Alpha 12 takes Acer’s popular 2-in-1 series to a new level of innovation with the company’s proprietary liquid cooling technology which allows for silent and reliable operation in an ultra-slim design. In an unprecedented move, Acer removed the fan and instead relies on technology called LiquidLoop to keep the device cool. It works by leveraging the heat generated by the laptop as energy required to circulate liquid coolant throughout the device. Switch Alpha 12 is powered by the 6th generation Intel Core I processor. It’s cool, quiet and very green with a winning combination of quality and price.
Equipped with a versatile kickstand, attachable keyboard, and an optional Acer Active Pen, the Switch Alpha 12 utilizes Continuum to be enjoyed as a Windows 10 notebook and as a tablet with full PC functionality. The stable U-shaped kickstand has an anti-slip design to hold the display upright when customers touch or write on the display. It can be adjusted to any angle up to 165 degrees, making the Switch Alpha 12 comfortable to use on a desk, airplane, or lap.
Users can also enjoy 10-point touch controls on the display and use the optional Acer Active Pen for a more intuitive writing and drawing experience. The Acer Active Pen features a high report rate which minimizes delay for a fluid and precise experience, palm rejection, and 256 levels of pressure sensitivity. The Acer Active Pen will enable people to better take advantage of Windows Ink which will come in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer.
The Switch Alpha 12 has a vibrant 12-inch touch display with IPS technology, an impressive 2160 x 1440 resolution and support from Intel HD Graphics 520. The webcam provides 1080p Full HD audio and video recording. Plus, the Acer TrueHarmony high performance sound system features dual front-facing speakers. It also has all the connections business users need, including DisplayPort, HDMI, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and three USB Type-A ports, as well as audio input for microphone and audio output for speakers.
The Switch Alpha 12 provides ample storage with a 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD and can access additional files on the MicroSDXC slot. The device will be offered with 4GB or 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM. It features a thin and reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port for fast data transfers of up to 5Gbps from connected peripherals, to share video and also to power other devices. The Switch Alpha 12 also connects to peripherals via Bluetooth 4.0.
The Acer Switch Alpha 12 will be available in North America in June starting at $599; in EMEA in May starting at €699; and in China in May starting at ¥5,999.
New to Acer’s powerful Predator gaming line include the Predator 17 X notebook and Predator G1 desktop. Acer has partnered with Nvidia to make these gaming PCs ready for virtual reality (VR) devices from four major vendors which include Oculus, HTC Vive, OSVR and StarVR. Jason Paul, General Manager of Virtual Reality for Nvidia took the stage to announce some exciting VR experiences that are lined up. Mars 2030 – named for the effort to put humans on Mars by 2030 – is a collaboration with Fusion VR where they took satellite imagery from NASA to build a realistic VR model of Mars. Paul noted that 1 out of every 1 billion people will ever make it to Mars so the other 999 million can experience it via Virtually Reality. Everest VR was created using 300,000 images of the world’s highest peak to create a virtual experience. I was actually able to try it using HTC Vive and it certainly felt real. I experienced fear of heights and accelerated heart rate as I walked stealthily across the floor to maintain my balance on the mountain. It’s definitely a VR experience worth trying.
The Predator G1 gaming desktop has a compact 16-liter body and is designed for gaming at home or on-the-go. This highly transportable gaming beast easily fits under an arm or in an optional carrying case, making it the ultimate war machine for serious gamers and LAN parties and Acer is giving away a FREE G1 suitcase with padding to the first 1000 customers who purchase the machine. The Predator G1 supports full size NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics (up to Titan X), 6th Generation Intel Core processors and up to 64GB DDR4 memory for smooth gameplay.
The Predator 17 X notebooks will be available at leading retailers in North America in June with prices starting at $2,799; in Europe in June with prices starting at €2,499; and in China in May with prices starting at ¥39,999. The Predator G1 desktops will be available at leading retailers in North America in July with prices starting at $2,299.99; in Europe in June with prices starting at €1,199; and in China in July with prices starting at ¥10,999.
Aspire R 15
The Acer Aspire R features a metal top cover with a hairline-brushed finish, and the bottom cover is made of 40% glass fiber and silver particles, which improves durability while maintaining a thin profile. Diamond-cut edges complement the 360-degree versatility of the Aspire R 15, which can lay perfectly flat at 180-degrees, and with Acer’s patented soft-closing hinge design, converting between laptop, tablet, display and tent modes is easier than ever.
The Aspire R 15 features 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors, up to 12GB DDR4 memory with fast speed and low power consumption, up to NVIDIA® GeForce® 940MX graphics and a reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port. Acer ExoAmp Antenna technology allows for improved connectivity – with an optimized antenna position, it avoids system noise and provides a faster, smooth, and stable wireless experience through its metal cover. Users also benefit from rapid connectivity with 2×2 MU-MIMO wireless and extended battery life of up to 9 hours.
The Aspire R 15 boasts striking visual effects with its IPS display and new Acer Color Intelligence technology. Audio-wise, Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby® Audio™ provide a truly immersive experience, while automatically reversing audio channels according to the orientation and mode of the device. The Acer Aspire R 15 will be available in North America in May with prices starting at $699; and in EMEA in May with prices starting at €799.
The new Chromebook is compliant with Google’s Chrome for Work initiative, providing business-class security, manageability and durability to enterprise, government, institutional and small businesses customers. The Acer Chromebook 14 for Work is easy to deploy and manage over a wide range of employees and offices. Also, IT administrators will find it easy to make updates, configure apps, utilize extensions and more. Plus, Chromebooks protect company employee and company data with the latest security protocols and auto-updates. Chromebook is also compliant with stringent U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD 810G) testing which ensures extreme reliability and durability for commercial customers. With incredibly tough and damage-resistant Vibrant Corning Gorilla Glass, corporate customers can design the top covers of their Chromebook 14 for Work across the organization with vibrant and photorealistic images, at a resolution equivalent to high quality prints on paper, for a unique and consistent look across the organization.
Several models in the Acer Chromebook 14 for Work line (CP5-471) will be available in May through Acer authorized resellers starting at $349 in the United States and €249 in EMEA.