Core i5-toting Aspire Timeline laptops on the way

Intel's Core i3 and i5 processors finally look primed to shake up the consumer ultraportable world. We recently wrote about MSI's attempt to bring forth the shakeup—the 13-inch X-Slim X360—and now, DigiTimes brings word that Acer will soon counterattack with a whole range of Timeline notebooks based on the new mobile chips.

DigiTimes' sources talk of a March 22 launch; officially, the site says Acer can only promise that the new Timeline laptops will be out "by the end of March," and that the Taiwanese launch is primed for March 30.

Hardware-wise, we can reportedly look forward to 13", 14", and 15" display sizes, nine-cell batteries with eight-hour run times, and thickness in the same league as that of existing, CULV-based Acer Timeline systems. Nevertheless, DigiTimes claims the new notebooks will be "slightly heavier due to the cooling modules."

The article doesn't go into pricing, but one would expect Core i3- and i5-powered consumer ultraportables to be priced at a premium over their Core 2-derived forebears. The only mobile, Nehalem-based processor with a sub-35W thermal envelope we can find on Intel's ARK product database is the Core i5-520UM, which has a $241 bulk price tag. By contrast, the dual-core Celeron SU2300 sells for just $134 in volume. (The SU2300 has a lower thermal envelope, too, although unlike the Core i5, it doesn't have integrated graphics and a memory controller on the CPU package.)

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