Acer adds new, touch-enabled ultrabooks for Win8

A couple of days ago, we learned about Acer’s Windows 8-toting Iconia W510 tablet. Now, the PC maker has unveiled a pair of ultrabooks primed for Microsoft’s new operating system—and one of them has a touch screen. Ooh!

Okay, so the Aspire M5-481PT might not be as slim ans sexy as, say, that Yoga tablet we wrote about yesterday. Its touch screen measures 14 inches diagonally, and the system weighs in at a rather hefty 4.6 lbs. Still, Acer has housed the M5-481PT in a silver-colored aluminum alloy chassis, which gives it a somewhat distinguished air:

The other ultrabook Acer is introducing today, the magnesium-clad M5-581T, is even larger and heavier. It has a 15.6" screen (sans touch capabilities) and weighs "about 5 pounds." At least it costs a little less: $699.99, down from $799.99 for the M5-481PT.

Size differences aside, the two systems apparently have similar guts. Acer talks of Ivy Bridge processors, 20GB solid-state drives backed by 500GB of mechanical storage, USB 3.0 connectivity, Dolby Home Theater v4-certified speakers, backlit keyboards, and eight-hour batteries. Speaking of which, the Aspire M5 series purportedly has more durable batteries than usual. Their PowerSmart battery packs can withstand "up to three times" more cycles before needing to be replaced, Acer claims.

Now, these look like fine systems, but I’m still a little surprised that fairly hefty 14" and 15" machines qualify as ultrabooks. I thought the whole point was to ape Apple’s MacBook Air lineup, which maxes out at 13" and just under three pounds. Acer says the M5 series will be available exclusively at Best Buy in the U.S., though, so perhaps it’s meant to cater to shoppers who prize large, colorful displays more than portability.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    I would like to play with this when it comes out, just to see how much wobble the screen has when i poke it.

    sony recently revealed a touch laptop with beefed up hinges.

    but if acer added stronger hinges anchored into a plastic base, that thing is going to tear apart under the stress of the hinge.

    • cynan
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]and one of them has a touch screen. Ooh![/quote<] Just like the [url=https://techreport.com/news/23666/new-acer-ultrabooks-sport-1080p-ips-panels-high-prices<]ones you covered[/url<] a few days ago... 😉 As to whether or not touchscreen use will be practical due to shaky hinges, I suppose that depends on whether or not they have the new "dual torque" hinges from the premium Acer ultrabooks linked above (and how well those hinges work at keeping the panel steady). Personally, I still don't get why you'd want a touch screen on a laptop. But I suppose someone has to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon..

    • grantmeaname
    • 7 years ago

    If a laptop weighing 5 lbs with a 15.6″ diagonal screen and a hard drive is an ultrabook, the term has officially lost all meaning.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      It’s hard to classify any Acer as a laptop, they usually run so hot that you’ll not want them on top of your lap.

      I’m not sure at what point I started classified Acer notebooks as testicle-roasters, but almost every review of them I read seems to back this trend.

      • Voldenuit
      • 7 years ago

      It never had any to begin with, since every aspect of what made an “ultrabook” other than the SSD requirement ended up making for a very mediocre computing experience.

    • ludi
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]20GB solid-state drives backed by 500GB of mechanical storage[/quote<] ??!! For that sort of compromise, go big or go home -- the backup drive ought to be a 1TB. Otherwise, spec the 256GB SSD and trade the needless weight and complexity for extra USB3 ports.

    • DPete27
    • 7 years ago

    My brother bought his [url=http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834215402<]M5-581T[/url<] at the end of August. (I think he paid about $650 for it on sale) How is that any different form the 581T they purporedly introduced today besides that they include Win8?

    • hoboGeek
    • 7 years ago

    I found one thing interesting: the price (we have) to pay for touch screen.
    I can only guess that the difference in price is for the touch, because otherwise, the two systems are almost identical (14-15 inch screen is almost the same price).
    If this is only to test the waters, Acer might be forgiven. But if they believe that it’s fine to force on us the extra option of touching something that we can control with the build in mouse pad (and thus making sure we don’t smudge our precious screen) for “only” 100 more dollars, I will say “Thanks, but No, thanks”. Can I opt this out?
    Acer, do you feel lucky? Well, do you, punk? (thank you Clint)

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      One thing I find interesting is how ridiculously expensive good stand-alone touchscreens continue to be when they are coming in devices as low as $200 (or less for the cheaper Chinese devices.)

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    What’s really interesting is that the expensive model is $799… exactly the same price as the ARM based Yogurt* tablet.

    * Yogurt! I hate Yogurt! Even with strawberries!

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Touchscreen on a laptop?
    Anyone who has ever used one of this knows never to buy one or use one ever again.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      With gorilla glass, I don’t see it being a big problem. The biggest aggravation is cleaning the oils off the surface — with modern mobile devices it’s not a big deal because just about any sort of soft cloth or even a facial tissue will do it.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Nothing to do with the glass. It’s poking the screen with Acer’s flimsy wobble-o-mattic hinges. It’s a horrible experience that [i<]just doesn't work[/i<]. I may be in an anti-Acer mood this afternoon but I would be mocking this aspect of it no matter who made the damn thing! 🙂

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    1. Acer
    2. Best Buy
    3. Windows 8

    Aaand, you’re out!

    All kidding aside, the touchscreen inclusion is…interesting. At least with a laptop you’re sitting close in the first place anyway.

      • Sunburn74
      • 7 years ago

      What exactly is the advantage of putting a touch screen on a laptop?

        • cynan
        • 7 years ago

        So you can fully take advantage Windows 8’s awesome new interface of course!

          • Sunburn74
          • 7 years ago

          I realize you are being sarcastic, but seriously why would anyone want to touch a laptops screen? It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

            • oldog
            • 7 years ago

            Are you going to say the same thing when Apple includes touch on MBPs in say one or two years from now?

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        Does the touchpad in your laptop work that well?

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