So far, Berlin (IFA 2012) has become a battle ground for manufacturers to fight it out with their Windows 8 devices. Most have interesting form factors, but none of them we haven't seen before. However in a somewhat surprising move, Acer -- who isn't a stranger with experimenting with hybrid form factors -- has decided to sit this one out.
Instead of announcing some kind of tablet, notebook hydrid device, they've chosen to reveal were the Acer Aspire M3 Touch, and Acer Aspire V5 Touch. These notebooks were basically just the Acer Aspire M3 and the Acer Aspire V5, but with touchscreens. But of course, this may not be a bad thing. The convertible devices we've seen so far, have screen sizes that max out at 12.5-inch, while the newly announced touch devices from Acer go up to 15.6-inches.
Acer Aspire M3 Touch
We reviewed the Acer Aspire M3 a few months back, and found that it's one of those machines that offer a pretty good balance of affordability, components and quality. The only thing holding it back was the dismal 1366 x 768 pixel resolution screen. According to Acer, the new 15.6-inch Acer Aspire M3 Touch looks and feels exactly the same as the Aspire M3 (no mention of an increased resolution).
The only difference is a slight increase in weight (23mm) and thickness (2.3kg), most likely due to the addition of touch technology. It still retains the aluminum lid (and plastic body), the same Ivy Bridge processor and NVIDIA Geforce GT640M GPU.
Acer Aspire V5 Touch
And like the M3, the Acer Aspire V5 also received the same touchscreen treatment. That means nothing much has changed, save for the touch-enabled display. The only physical changes are the slight increases in weight (again, due to the addition of a touchscreen) and thickness. Like the original V5 notebooks, the new Aspire V5 Touch notebooks will come with 14-inch and 15-inch options.
The 11-inch option has been left out, which seems strange because a touch enabled 11-inch notebook could be quite comfortable. Unless of course, Acer has an 11-inch Windows 8 touchscreen device somewhere in the pipeline which it doesn't want to cannibalize on. According to Acer, the slightly lower-end V5 notebooks will feature Intel processors and discrete NVIDIA GPUs, but did not elaborate on the exact models.
Pricing and Availability
Acer didn't advise on when the two touchscreen notebooks will be available to the public. But it should be around the same time Microsoft launches their new Windows 8 operating system. Pricing wasn't revealed either, but the devices should be fairly affordable if the market positioning of the non-touch versions are any indication.