Remember Packard Bell? Back when computers had 8 gig hard-drives, the internet was but a pipe dream, and WordArt was about the best thing you could do on your PC? You do! I’m glad, me too.
Well, the Dutch based company is back as a part of Acer, and with a snazzy new logo and some interesting products to boot.
Most interesting of all is it’s iMax-Mini nettop, which is actually just a revamped Acer Revo. But what it means is you get an Atom processor on nVidia’s ION platform, giving the iMax-Mini significantly more punch than most other nettops.
And because it comes with a motion sensor game control Packard Bell are seeing it as, “a rival to the Wii”, however outlandish that might sound. It’ll be available in the UK with a 19 inch monitor on broadband deals.
Packard also unveiled their high-end EasyNote TR85, a snazzy-ass notebook, featuring an edge-to-edge display, multi-touch trackpad and slot loading optical drive. And at just £599 with a feature-set and styling to make your eyes water, the EasyNote might hit right note with buyers.
And finally, the obligatory netbook: The 10.1 inch dot s and 11.6in dot m wield multi-gesture touchpads, Dolby headphone, optional 3G and six-cell batteries and though they’re hitting a market already saturated market, the fact that they come with Photoshop Elements 4 pre-installed might shift a few units.
While the gentlemen from Acer were busy dropping the Windows 7 bomb, they were also launching a bunch of computers too. We were all quite excited by the prospect of getting out hands on the Revo and the bigger Acer Aspire One but, for me, they were all overshadowed by the Timeline series that had remained under wraps.
They may not have the colour of a bright happy Dell but there’s something in the matte finish on their aluminium grey chassis that gives them a proud sense of style in the flesh. Take a look.
Yes, you heard right. Each of the 13.3″, 14.1″ and 15.6″ sizes starts at £549 and finishes somewhere in the seven hundreds if I’m not mistaken. They’re all around an inch thick, nice and light and highly recommended. Do watch out though. The 13-incher doesn’t come with an optical drive whereas the others have DVD burners. I’d feel pretty good about having one of these myself, particularly as there’s plenty of room to add up to 8GB of DDR3 and the option of a dedicated GPU.
The Timelines come loaded with Vista but Acer did make brief mention oo a new product for launch around the end of Q3 that will come with the option of a free Windows 7 upgrade if you buy it before 23rd October. That will be their All-in-One touchscreen machine, which’ll be Atom powered and come in 18.5″-23″ sizes. More on that one in the coming months no doubt but, fingers crossed, there’ll be some NVIDIA Ion action on that one too.
They did show us a demo of that graphics platform at work on the Acer Aspire Revo with its Atom chip and plethora of USB ports quite happily running a fps game at low graphics. It was as smooth as we’d been led to believe.
Last up, I finally got my hands on the bigger second generation of the fantastic Acer Aspire One netbook. This time it’s blessed with 11.6 inches of screen and a full size keyboard but somehow it’s lost a little of that style.
They’re out as of today and still running XP. Even if they’re not as pretty, you’ll never suffer from finger cramp again, you’ll have doubled the battery life and you even get Dolby Pro Logic sound thrown in too. Can’t say fairer than that.