Tag Archives | Acer

Are Two Screens Better Than One?

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Acer Iconia

Price: TBD

When I first saw this, I thought I was looking at the world’s biggest Nintendo DS. But Acer’s Iconia a true original.

It’s a notebook computer, based on the Intel Core i5 processor.  It has two LCD screens–one on the bottom and one on the top, offering you a ton of options for usage.

At the launch Acer said the Iconia offers the “versatility of a conventional 14” form factor with a unique dual-screen layout and highly intuitive all-point multi-touch functionality, which means you can use all the fingers of your hands.” You can browse the web or watch a video on the top screen while you’re composing a document or creating a spreadsheet on the bottom screen, for example. Or just browse the Web across two screens by laying the notebook flat.  Reading a large Web page is a total treat.

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Acer and Android Tablet News Fatigue

Lately, the more I hear about Android tablet plans, the less excited I get.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still quite interested in Android tablets in general. But when Acer announced that it’s launching 7- and 10-inch tablets next spring, it might as well have been Asus, LG or Motorola. In my mind, they’re all the same.

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Massive Dual-Touch Screen Acer Laptop is All Kinds of Wrong

Over the weekend, TechReviewSource scored some photos of what is allegedly an Acer laptop with dual touch screens.

I’m not familiar with the website, which doesn’t name its single source that provided the photos, so take these details with a grain of salt, but the 15-inch laptop reportedly packs a 2.67 GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Windows 7. The goal is to release the laptop in fall 2011 — it’s still slow and buggy right now, says the source.

A lot can change in a year — my gut says this is a prototype that will never see the light of day — but for now I’m wondering if any PC makers really think the dual-touch screen Windows laptop is a great idea to begin with.

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Yahoo Share to Likely Shrink in 2009

YahooDefinitely not good news for the world’s second biggest search provider. Yahoo is set to lose a chunk of market share over the next year or so, experts say.

This is due to the loss of two toolbar partners: HP, who signed up with Microsoft’s Live Search toolbar early last year; and Acer who silently switched its search provider to Google in October.

That failure could cost the search company about 15 percent of its market share, or about 3 percent in the overall rankings. While the company does admit that the termination of the deals will cause its share to shrink, it told the Wall Street Journal its own internal study showed less of a negative effect.

Losses wouldn’t be realized right away: instead, Yahoo’s share would likely shrink slowly as consumers replace their aging machines. The search provider could even be helped out by the deep recession in the meantime, which has slowed the replacement cycle even more.

Shrinking share could also have another effect: driving Yahoo’s search business into Microsoft’s open arms.  It’s becoming ever more clear that if Yahoo and Microsoft really want to compete with Google, they are going to have to join forces.


AT&T's Fifty-Buck Laptop

att_header_logoWhat do you do after everybody in the country has already signed up for a two-year contract to get a cheap cell phone? Looks like AT&T thinks that signing them up for a two-year contract to get a cheap netbook might be the next step. The company has announced that it’s experimenting in company-owned stores in Atlanta and Philadelphia with various package deals for mobile broadband and DSL service, some of which involve subsidized netbooks (or “mini laptops” in AT&Tspeak). Sign up for both mobile broadband and DSL for two years, and the cheapest of AT&T’s netbooks goes for $49.99.

The deal reduces the cost of the computer to half of what RadioShack charges for its discounted netbook. Of course, since AT&T’s offer requires both mobile and home data plans, the monthly cost is a lot higher.

The most interesting thing about AT&T’s test–other than the prospect of buying a computer for less than the price of a high-end steak–is that it’s not limited to one model from one company: It’s selling an Acer Aspire, two Dell Minis, and the LG Xenia, as well as Lenovo’s ThinkPad X200 (a full-sized ultraportable laptop). If it likes what it learns in Atlanta and Philly and rolls the offers out nationwide, your local AT&T store could end up devoting a meaningful amount of its floor space to computers. I’m still wary about committing to contracts to get cheap hardware–especially cheap hardware in categories that are evolving as rapidly as netbooks are–but I’ll be interested to see if these offers make sense to enough consumers to make them worth AT&T’s while.

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Mobile World Congress: One Day, Sixteen New Phones

cheatsheetPhones. More phones. Phones that look a lot like iPhones, except for the ones that don’t. Phones that may never show up in the good old US of A. Phones that are full of style, and ones that seem to be devoid of discernible personality. That, in short, was my Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where I spent the entire day bopping from press conference to press conference, learning about new handsets from most of the major manufacturers (as well as laptop titan Acer, which announced today that it’s getting into the phone biz).

I wrote about some of the day’s debutantes as I encountered them, but missed others. And while the show is teeming with journalists who are cranking out a surging sea of stories on all the announcements, I’m not sure if anyone’s trying to put as much as possible in one place.

So here’s a stab at a convenient, concise guide to nearly every new phone I encountered as of Monday evening (I left off a couple of far-off models which Acer mentioned only fleetingly and cryptically). Most of these phones have been announced only in GSM models, except for the two HTCs. Nobody revealed anything about American carriers today, although in some cases you might be able to make educated guesses.

The fact that a spec isn’t mentioned doesn’t indicate a phone doesn’t have it–in some cases, the manufacturers provided something less than full information, and I’m not trying to provide all the ones they did mention (all these phones have basic stuff like Bluetooth, and I stopped short of listing info like their dimensions and the media formats they support). If you know more about any of these models than I do, please speak up.

And one last note: Yes, I know that it’s increasingly tough to judge phones by their hardware specs. In the post-iPhone era, it’s the software that gives a handset much of its functionality and character. I didn’t get to touch most of these phones at all today, and certainly didn’t spend enough time with any of them to come to conclusions about the quality of their interfaces. But even today, specs and other basic facts mean something–and after the jump, I’ll give you plenty of ’em to chew on…

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Sacrilege! 16 Other Time-Honored Tech Industry Traditions We Should End Right Now


Forty-eight hours after the news broke, it’s still kind of stunning. One day, the Steve Jobs keynote at Macworld Expo is arguably the most famous ritual in all of technology. The next day, it’s gone–apparently just because Apple was ready to move on. For a number of reasons, I wish it wasn’t ending. But as Daring Fireball’s John Gruber notes, it’s hard not to stand in awe of Apple’s general willingness to break cleanly with the past rather than just keep doing things because it’s always done them that way.

Apple’s move has left me in the mood to question everything about the reality I thought I knew. So why don’t we reassess a bunch of other long-standing traditions in the world of tech–Apple and otherwise–whose expiration dates may have come and gone? Sixteen nominations after the jump; your contributions are welcome.

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