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Acer unveils Windows 8-powered Aspire V5 and M5 Ultrabooks with all-day battery life

With Windows 8’s launch quickly approaching, Acer (2353) is not going to rest on its laurels and the company announced two new Windows 8 notebook series on Thursday. The first is the Aspire M5 Series Ultrabook line with third-generation Intel (INTC) Core i5 processors and Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, HD 14-inch or 15.6-inch screens, 500GB hard drive and 20GB SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, backlit keyboards and 8-hour battery life. The only difference between the 14-inch and 15.6-inch Acer M5s is that the former has a 10-point multi-touch touchscreen and its body is cut from aluminum alloy, whereas the latter doesn’t have a touchscreen and is built from magnesium alloy. The Aspire M5 Series Ultrabooks will be sold exclusively at Best Buy in the U.S. beginning October 26th, and they’ll start at $699.99 (15.6-inch) and $799.99 (14-inch).

On the thicker and heavier end of the notebook spectrum is the Aspire V5 Series notebook line. Acer’s Aspire V5 Series laptops come in four models: the V5-171 (11.6-inch), V5-471P (14-inch), V5-571 and V5-571P (15.6-inch), with the “P” on each model referring to a touchscreen with 10-point mult-touch support.

All Aspire V5 notebooks run Windows 8 and have Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, 500GB or 750GB hard drives, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and USB 3.0 ports. The 14-inch and 15-inch notebooks also have DVD drives. While they’re not exactly lightweight with each model weighing 3 pounds, 4.63 pounds and 5 pounds, respectively, they do offer a decent bang in performance for your buck.

The Acer Aspire V5 Series notebooks will hit U.S. and Canadian retailers on October 26th with pricing starting at $449.99 (11.6-inch), $749.99 (14-inch with touch), $499.99 (15-inch without touch) and $699.99 (15-inch with touch).

Acer’s press releases for both the M5 and V5 Series computers follow below.

Acer Debuts Aspire M5 Ultrabooks with Touch and All-Day Battery Life

New M5 Line Available Exclusively at Best Buy 

SAN JOSE, Calif., (Oct. 11, 2012) – Acer America today announced the Aspire M5 series of Ultrabooks, available exclusively at Best Buy stores in the United States. Featuring Windows® 8, the slim and stylish Aspire M5 series combines the portability of an Ultrabook with powerful performance, 8-hour battery life and outstanding value. Select models also include 10 point touch for easily navigating digital media and Windows 8 touch apps.

“Many consumers desire the mobility of an Ultrabook, but still require the larger displays, optical drives, all-day battery life and value offered in a more mainstream notebook PC,” said Scott Ledterman, vice president of retail sales, Acer America. “The Aspire M5 series delivers that perfect combination of portability and performance for mainstream consumers, and goes a step further with premium features like touch input. We are delighted that Best Buy will offer the M Series line exclusively to their customers this holiday season.”

Premium Touch Interaction

Offering consumers a premium Windows 8 touch experience in a traditional clamshell notebook design, the 14-inch Aspire M5-481PT’s features a 10 point multi-touch display, allowing users to efficiently open and close programs, browse online, and breeze through applications using nothing more than a simple touch. The Aspire M5-481PT features a vivid HD display with a frameless, edge-to-edge design, which provides a larger viewing area for the Ultrabook’s intelligent multi-touch interface.

The combination of a touch display and Windows 8 creates a faster and more fluid working environment. Users can quickly zoom in or out to customize their screen view, swipe in and out of applications and commands, or scroll, flick, pinch and rotate motions to accomplish tasks more quickly.

Robust yet Thin and Light

At less than one inch thin, the slender profile of the Aspire M5 Ultrabook series delivers a minimalist and modern look. The 14-inch Aspire M5-481PT comes dressed in an elegant silver cover made of aluminum alloy, while the 15.6-inch Aspire M5-581T non-touch configuration is housed in a dark gray magnesium alloy cover, both which add to the systems’ overall sturdiness. The Aspire M5-481PT is just 4.6 pounds, while the M5-581T is about 5 pounds, keeping the Ultrabooks light enough to tote all day.

These no-compromise Ultrabooks provide up to 8 hours of computing on a single charge via the PowerSmart long-life battery pack, which provides up to three times longer battery life cycles than traditional batteries (1,000 vs. 300 cycles)2. These batteries also maintain 80 percent capacity after the 1,000 cycle count, which means the battery will last longer, reducing the need to replace it. In addition, advanced thermal technology keeps users comfortable even when the Aspire M5 Ultrabook is placed on a lap.

Featuring the innovative “Acer Green Instant On” and “Acer Always Connect” technologies, users can manage their multimedia and data on all their Ultrabooks at anytime, anywhere.

 Acer Green Instant On resumes the Aspire M5’s computing session from sleep in less than 2 seconds and from deep sleep in 6 seconds3; the 20GB SSD drive returns to the PC’s state just as it was left. Turn the PC back on, and any websites, emails or documents that were left open are instantly restored and ready.

 Acer Always Connect connects to the web in 2.5 seconds4 by remembering previously used Wi-Fi spots. When they come within range again, the Aspire M5 instantly connects to the Internet, so consumers can immediately access instant messaging, Internet services and email after the system resumes.

AcerCloud technology gives users cloud storage with wireless access to manage photos, music, videos and documents, making it easy to manage and enjoy media from all their devices anywhere.

Ultra-Responsive Performance and Enhanced Features

The Aspire M5-481PT and M5-581T Ultrabooks are equipped with 3rd Generation Intel® CoreTM i5 processors with Turbo Boost Technology 2.0. A 500GB hard disk drive5 offers plenty of space for large files, while a 20GB integrated solid state drive enables instant-on capability.

Featuring two USB 3.0 ports, consumers can charge external devices when the Aspire M5 Ultrabook is in sleep, hibernation or even when it’s turned off. Transfer speeds will be up to 10 times faster than older generations of USB6.

Backlit keyboards make it easy to game or type in low light conditions, while the professionally-tuned Dolby® Home Theater® v4 and premium speakers deliver high volume, clear dialogue and crisp sound effects for games, music and movies.

While still maintaining a thin and light design, the Aspire M5 Series features a built-in optical drive, allowing consumers to burn file copies of their data for safekeeping, or pop in a disk to enjoy movies or music. An HDMI port allows for easy connection to a big screen TV or monitor.

All models in the Aspire M5 Series also include Acer AntiTheft, a free software based solution. When enabled, the Ultrabook recognizes the distance from a designated WiFi signal source, and if the system moves beyond 10 feet of the signal, a loud siren will sound from the Ultrabook’s speakers. This feature can easily be enabled and disabled, and will be especially useful when traveling.

Pricing and Availability

The Acer Aspire M5 Series of Ultrabooks will be available at Best Buy stores across the U.S. on Oct. 26. Prices for the Aspire M5-481PT featuring Windows 8 and touch support begin at $799.99, while the 15.6-inch Aspire M5-581T configurations begin at $699.99.

New Acer Aspire V5 Series Notebooks: 30 Percent Thinner, Touch and Windows 8 

SAN JOSE, Calif., (Oct. 11, 2012) Acer America today announced the Aspire V5 series, a popular range of thin and light notebooks will be available with Windows 8 beginning October 26 in North America. Ideal for consumers looking for impressive performance, style and full- featured mobility at an outstanding value, the Aspire V5 notebooks series has models suited for a wide range of consumers.

The Aspire V5 Series are 30 percent slimmer than previous value-based notebooks(2), making them extremely easy to handle on the go. Under one inch thin, the Aspire V5 series are available in three convenient display sizes – the 11.6-inch Aspire V5-171 is about 3 pounds, the 14-inch Aspire V5-471 is 4.63 pounds, and the 15.6-inch Aspire V5-571 version is just about 5 pounds. The notebook’s chassis has a smooth and silky surface, making it comfortable to carry, available either silver or black.

“Acer continues to deliver on its promise to bring innovative technology with a superb blend of quality, performance and portability to consumers,” said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing, Acer America. “With Windows 8, the new Aspire V5 notebook series with touch allows consumers a premium feature even at mainstream price points.”

Touch Experience Enhanced by Windows 8

Allowing users to go beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse, touch support is available on the 14-inch Aspire V5-471P and 15.6-inch Aspire V5-571P configurations. With Windows 8, the notebook’s HD display becomes a touchscreen for exciting hands-on navigation. Featuring a 10-point touch edge-to-edge display and a larger trackpad, the Aspire V5-471P and V5-571P are designed to enhance multi-gesture content consumption allowing users to efficiently open and close programs, browse online, and breeze through applications using nothing more than their fingers.

Mobile Performer for Productivity and Entertainment

Outfitted with the latest 3rd Generation Intel® CoreTM i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processors, the Aspire V5 notebooks deliver the performance that savvy consumers require for the most demanding tasks, whether running HD video, 3D multimedia or multitasking. On Core i5 and Core i7 versions of the Aspire V5, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 is built into the processor, improving the system’s performance and helping extend the battery life, providing users with a better experience for enjoying movies, gaming, and photo and video editing.

The 14- and 15.6-inch Aspire V5 notebooks also offer a built-in slim DVD drive for backing up data and burning music CDs along with a generous 500GB or 750GB(3) hard disk drive for plenty of storage space for large files and applications.

Perfect for enjoying all forms of entertainment, the Aspire V5 Series notebooks offer cinematic display quality with HD CineCrystalTM widescreen LED-backlit displays. Featuring a true 16:9 aspect ratio and integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000, the V5 notebooks deliver crystal-clear images and brilliant color for digital entertainment. In addition, high-definition audio support with Dolby® Advanced Audio® v2 delivers crisp and clear sound through the notebook’s two built-in speakers. HDMI® enables the notebook to connect to an external monitor, projector or TV for presentations and big-screen enjoyment.

The Aspire V5 notebooks make it easy for users to enjoy their existing media library utilizing Acer clear.fiTM, a simple digital entertainment solution to manage, store, share, and enjoy media among any DLNA enabled devices, in any room throughout the home.

The Aspire V5 notebooks feature an advanced 1.3 megapixel HD webcam perfect for video chats with friends and family. The built-in digital microphone supports the webcam to deliver excellent voice quality, while minimizing background noise and echoes.

Connectivity is “Instant” With the Aspire V5

Easy to use on the go, the Aspire V5 notebooks feature Acer Instant Connect, which automatically scans and registers most-visited Wi-Fi access points, letting users connect to the Internet in just 2.5 seconds(4), which is four times faster than conventional methods. Bluetooth® 4.0+ HS technology also lets users wirelessly connect their notebook to other Bluetooth-enabled devices such as phones, printers and speakers.

Featuring a USB 3.0 port, users can transfer files and movies with ease, including a 250GB movie in about 70 seconds. Users can charge external devices when the notebook is in sleep, hibernation or even when it’s turned off. Transfer speeds will be up to 10 to 400 times faster than older generations of USB.

AcerCloud — Enables Devices to Communicate and Simplifies Content Sharing

The Aspire V5 series also ships with AcerCloud. This feature provides users with remote access to the digital data residing on their notebook via their Android tablet or smartphone. Not only can users access the data, but they can download and share it among their other PCs and Android devices anytime, anywhere, even when the Aspire V5 is in sleep mode. AcerCloud also makes it easy to take photos on a smartphone and then view them on the Aspire V5 notebook at home or in the office, without the delay and complication of manually transferring files.

ENERGY STAR® certified, the Aspire V5 Series conserves power and is environmentally-friendly.

Pricing and Availability

The Acer Aspire V5 series notebooks will be available for sale on October 26 at leading U.S. and Canadian retailers.

U.S. pricing begins at $749.99 for the Aspire V5-471P with touch support and starts $499.99 for the Aspire V5-571 without touch.

Canadian pricing begins at $699.99 for the Aspire V5-571P with touch support and $449.99 for the Aspire V5-171 without touch.

Raymond Wong

Raymond Wong is a technology reporter with a passion for cutting-edge gadgets and clean design. His writing has appeared on DVICE, Ubergizmo, G4TV, Yahoo News, NBC blogs. You might even have seen his videos on Xbox LIVE.