GEMSTONE Blue Acer

Acer  launched a radical overhaul of its Aspire notebook line targeted at the high-end notebook market normally occupied by companies such as Apple and Sony. Nicknamed the Gemstone Blue, the new design centers around a deluxe media console known as the CineDash: the touch-sensitive control lets users navigate music, videos, and menus without having to resort to the trackpad. Each system also sports a unique “weave” finish and an advanced speaker system that generates virtual Dolby 5.1-channel surround, including a 10-watt subwoofer. The two systems being released today are also the first notebooks anywhere to ship with a true 16:9 ratio display. Both the 16-inch Aspire 6920 and 18.4-inch Aspire 8920G can output at the same 1080p (1920×1080) resolution of Blu-ray or an HDTV tuner (options on both models) and are fast enough at 8ms to avoid the ghosting artifacts that surface on many notebook LCDs. Their color gamuts are also a full third richer than conventional notebooks, Acer claims. The Aspire 6920 has the option of a less costly 720p (1366×768 ) display.

Outside of screen differences, the systems are primarily separated by graphics and storage. The simpler 6920 is driven by NVIDIA’s next-generation GeForce 9500M GS, while the larger 8920G steps up to a GeForce 9650 GS. Storage runs up to 320GB on the 16-inch system but can be doubled to 640GB on the larger model courtesy of a second hard drive bay. Either system comes with HDMI video output as standard, though only the 8920G has a VoIP phone that allows it to more naturally place calls through Skype or other services.

Despite the high-profile launch, Acer has not said which Core 2 Duo processors it will use or when it expects the new Aspires to ship, though past comments by the company have priced the systems between $1,900 and $2,200 and would have both ship in the spring.

Specification common to 8920G and 6920G

  • Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo processor
  • Vista Ultimate or Home Premium
  • up to 4GB of DDR2 667MHz memory
  • integrated webcam
  • fingerprint reader
  • draft-N wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • CineDash media controller (see above photo)
  • Acer Arcade Deluxe software

6920G

  • 320GB hard drive
  • 1X Blu-ray Super Multi double-layer drive
  • 16-inch LCD screen at 1920×1080 or 1366×768
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9500M GS with 512MB video RAM that can also grab up to 768MB of system RAM
  • 7.7 pounds with the standard battery attached.

8920G

  • two hard drives of up to 320GB
  • 2X Blu-ray Super Multi double-layer drive
  • 18.4-inch LCD running at full HD (1920×1080)
  • GeForce 9500M GS graphics or 9650M
  • 9.0 pounds with the standard battery

Both will be available in by mid April at between $900 and $2000 depending on your options

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