Acer launches multimedia Aspire laptops

Acer has launched a new range of multimedia laptops, featuring a design the company is calling Aspire Gemstone blue.

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Acer has launched a new range of multimedia laptops, featuring a design the company is calling Aspire Gemstone blue.

The Aspire 8920 and 6920 series laptops, which come in both 18.4in and 16in versions, include a Blu-ray Disc drive, full high-definition (HD) LCD screens and support for the Dolby Pro Logic 2.0 surround-sound audio system.

Senior corporate vice president Jim Wong said the new design is aimed at bringing a "true multimedia innovation" to the laptop.

The laptops are based on Intel Core 2 Duo processors and run either Windows Vista Ultimate or the Windows Vista Home Premium OS because of the multimedia functionality those OSes can deliver. However, Wong said Acer would consider running a different OS – presumably Linux – on machines that don't require rich multimedia capability.

The launch was held in New York an was a US coming-out party of sorts for the Taiwanese computer-maker. Acer is eager to woo US consumers now that it is offering not only its own laptops, but also eMachine computers from Packard Bell and PCs from US computer-maker Gateway, which Acer bought last August.

Acer President Gianfranco Lanci clarified said products from all three companies will remain in the US and European markets under their own names, although Gateway computers – including the eMachines brand – will be sold in "some countries only". However, Acer does want to broaden its reach in the US while reducing the amount of business that comes from Europe, Lanci added.

The new Aspire Gemstone "blue" design unveiled this week will only be used for Acer notebooks. Details of the European release of the Aspire 8920 and 6920 were not immediately available.

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