Acer joins dual-screen notebook party with Iconia 14-incher


— 12:37 PM on November 23, 2010

Remember the dual-screen Libretto Toshiba rolled out earlier this year? Produced in limited quantities, the system features a pair of 7" multitouch screens, one of which replaces a traditional keyboard. The Libretto was supposed to sell for $1,100, but its price has already soared to $1,700 online, which is quite high considering the small screens and relatively anemic 1.2GHz Pentium CPU that lives under the hood.

Fortunately, Toshiba isn't the only one playing with dual-screen designs. At a press event held earlier today, Acer unveiled its own take on the concept: the Iconia. As Engadget reports, the Iconia takes a rather different approach than the ultraportable Libretto. Rather than low-res 7" screens, the Iconia sports dual 14" panels with 1366x768 display resolutions. You're stuck with Intel integrated graphics, but the system will be available with a selection of powerful Core i5 CPUs. Other perks include 802.11n Wi-Fi, USB 3.0 connectivity, Gigabit Ethernet, an S/PDIF audio output, and a built-in 3G card.

With a weight of 6.2 lbs and just four cells worth of battery power, the Iconia hasn't been designed for road warriors. However, the larger touchscreens should be far more useful than what you get on the 7" Libretto, especially when it comes time to type on the virtual keyboard. The Iconia's virtual keyboard comes with a number pad, which is a nice touch. Acer has also gone through the trouble of designing its own multi-touch interface for the device.

Although Acer's press release calls the Iconia a "device concept," Engadget has details on system configurations and even warranty coverage, so this looks more like an actual product than a one-off to woo the press. There's no word on how much the Inconia might cost or when it'll hit store shelves, though.

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