Acer pulls the curtain on its Aspire one laptop

Hot on the heels of Asus and MSI, Acer unveiled its entry into the low-cost subnotebook market at Computex this morning. Dubbed Aspire one, the "Eee killer" from the world's third-biggest PC vendor closely follows what's becoming the standard formula for cheap subnotebooks.

The Aspire one packs an Intel Atom processor and an 8.9", LED-backlit display with the same 1024 x 600 resolution as the Eee PC 900/901 and the MSI Wind U100. Acer's new baby also includes either 512MB or 1GB of memory, 8GB solid-state and 80GB mechanical storage options, 802.11g Wi-Fi, a five-in-one card reader, and either a three- or six-cell battery. The three-cell battery can provide up to three hours of battery life, while the latter does up to six hours.

On the software front, the Aspire one mirrors Asus' offerings by letting users choose between Windows XP Home and Linux. Acer's distribution of choice here is the Fedora-based Linpus Linux Lite. As for the physical aspect, the Aspire one measures 9.8" x 6.7" x 1.14" (25 x 17 x 2.9 cm) and weighs in at just over 2 lbs (less than 1 kg), making it a tad lighter than the Eee PC 901. The machine's keyboard looks fairly large, and Acer opted to put buttons on either side of the touch pad, like the HP Mini-Note.

Acer says it plans to make the Aspire available in the early third quarter with prices starting at $379. Later this year, the company plans to release versions of the Aspire One with WiMAX and 3G wireless connectivity built in.

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