AT  LAST,  LONG-LASTING  COMPUTERS

[PHOTO AT LEFT - Acer based the new Aspire Timeline notebooks on a simple yet revolutionary idea: instead of making laptops with bulkier and heavier batteries to extend their power, it made a series of notebooks which are more energy-efficient, capable of reducing energy consumption to the minimum to pack in more power with no added weight. MANILA, Philippines]

MANILA, APRIL 21, 2009 (STAR) By Eden Estopace - Have you ever wondered why computer batteries do not last as long as you want them to? Go figure: if gadgets-on-the-go (a.k.a. notebooks and netbooks) cannot last that long on the road without plugging them to an electric socket, it severely limits the power of mobile computing.

Most mobile workers are out in the field for at least eight working hours and if the battery cannot last that long, you’ve got to complement it with devices that can last longer on the road such as smart handhelds, BlackBerrys and high-end mobile phones.

A tech solution, however, is at hand. In a grand simultaneous unveiling in Beijing, New York and Amsterdam recently, computer maker Acer introduced its new Aspire Timeline series of notebooks designed specifically for digital nomads working more and more on the road. Its claim: more than eight hours of battery life in an ultra-slim and ultra-thin body frame that is less than an inch thick.

Acer did some mighty tweaking here. JT Wang, Acer chairman and CEO, calls it an engineering feat and one that would take at least six months for competitors to catch up with. “We have the ability to create a difference,” he said.

Wang explained that technically speaking, if you want to add more power to your battery, you add more to its weight and size. But instead of adding, Acer reduced it further in size.

Acer based the new Aspire Timeline notebooks on a simple yet revolutionary idea: instead of making laptops with bulkier and heavier batteries to extend their power, it made a series of notebooks which are more energy-efficient, capable of reducing energy consumption to the minimum to pack in more power with no added weight.

The secret is the Acer Smart Power Key, which when pressed triggers power-saving capabilities that extend battery life enormously. Other innovative power-saving solutions are also thrown into the package: Intel core 2 duo ultralow voltage processors and Intel display power savings technology (Intel DPST) that reduces display backlight with minimum visual impact, generating savings of up to 33 percent energy. Acer says these boost battery life up to 40 percent.

To have an extended battery life of more than eight hours is one thing, to make it slimmer and lighter is another thing.

Acer claims that at its thinnest point, an Aspire Timeline notebook is just 24-mm thick and it’s a featherweight at 1.6 kg. This is for models with 13.3-inch LCD screens. Bigger models are available at 14" and 15.6" screens, weighing 1.9 kg. and 4.2 kg, respectively.

“The Acer Aspire Timeline series is designed for all-day computing and is easy enough to carry for children, students and senior citizens,” said Wang.

Complementing the power-saving and slim factors is a cooling technology called Laminar Wall Jet, developed in collaboration with Intel, which cools turbine blades. “Through the addition of louvers to the inlet vents, the cooling air flow is directed along the bottom side of the notebook chassis, putting fresh air precisely where it’s needed to better cool the skins,” Acer explained.

Acer believes that battery life is very important to the user but so is connectivity. The Acer Timeline series also comes with built-in Wi-Fi and WiMAX functionalities and other communication options.

More from Acer

“We are a company totally convinced that PC is a commodity,” said Wang in an address to vendors, retailers and the media at the Beijing launch. “Financial crisis or not, consumers will go to the store to buy a computer. A single brand cannot cover all market segments,” he said.

Wang disclosed that in the next quarter, Acer will unveil 20 to 30 models under its multi-brand strategy, all at regular and affordable prices. “We offer the best in design and value as defined by the consumer,” he added.

According to Wang, there are consumers who are price-sensitive. There are these who are brand-conscious, and there are the tech-savvy consumers who are particular about the specs. Whatever model a consumer prefers — advanced, contemporary, trendy, simply practical — the company has a full product line from four computer brands: Acer, Gateway, eMachines, and Packard Bell.

Why multi-brand? Acer said in a statement that these four brands have found affinity with user groups that look for devices they can identify with. Acer, as a “techno leader,” has captured “techno-rational” users that look for state-of-the-art gadgets that can “simplify life through technology.”

Gateway in the US and Packard Bell in EMEA, on the other hand, have found a niche with those looking for simple, easy-to-use devices. Meanwhile, eMachines has attracted users who are more focused on simplicity and value.

Acer’s segment focus is on consumers’ need for mobility and a fully functioning digital life. Its products include a full range of notebooks, all-in-one PCs and netbooks.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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