Acer has unveiled new products at its CES 2016 conference, including the Aspire Switch 12 S 2-in-1, a redesigned Chromebook 11 and the TravelMate P648, dubbed "the ultimate professional road warrior".
The Switch 12 S is perhaps the biggest surprise. The Acer Switch line is comprised largely of budget devices, but this is a premium 2-in-1 that includes a 4K/UHD, 12.5in IPS display, a rear-facing Intel RealSense 3D camera and a Thunderbolt 3-equipped USB-C port.
Other features include an anodised aluminium chassis, Skylake-era Intel Core M processors, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage, an HD front-facing camera, two USB 3.0 ports, one micro HDMI port, an SD card reader and Windows 10 Home. The tablet portion is 7.85mm thick and weighs 800g, rising to 17.3mm and 1.4kg with the keyboard dock attached.
UK prices have not been announced, but the Switch 12 S will launch throughout the EMEA region in February starting at €1,199. That's around twice as expensive as most previous Switch 12 models, although this new model does boast far higher specs.
The new Chromebook 11, meanwhile, offers a more affordable option at €329, although this has been upgraded with a new "nano-imprinted" chassis that helps to lower its weight and thickness to 1.1kg and 18.6mm, down from 1.2kg and 18.7mm on the old Chromebook 11. It also has new Intel Celeron quad-core processors, up to 4GB of RAM and up to 32GB of eMMC storage.
The Chrome OS-powered notebook includes one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0 and one HDMI port, as well as an SD card reader. The 11.6in display runs at a 1366x768 resolution and has received Acer's ComfyView anti-glare treatment to help it resist light reflections during its nine-hour battery life. Unlike the other devices Acer revealed, no estimated launch date for the Chromebook 11 has been made available.
Finally, the TravelMate P648 is a business notebook aimed at mobile enterprise users. It combines Windows 10 Pro with a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 vPro processors and support for 802.11ad WiGig, a rare WiFi standard that operates over the new 60GHz band.
It's also equipped with 2GB of VRAM via its Nvidia GeForce 940M graphics, and can have 512GB to 1TB of SSD storage. The 14in IPS display is FHD as standard, but can be upgraded to a full UHD resolution. Wired connectivity is handled by a USB-C port with Thunderbolt 3, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and an SD card reader.
A backlit keyboard and high-strength carbon and glass fibre construction add to the TravelMate P648's business travel credentials, although there are thinner and lighter ultrabooks; this one is 212mm thick and weighs 1.7kg.
Still, both these specs are well within acceptable parameters for lugging the laptop around, and it is hard to find an ultra-portable machine that can match the TravelMate P648's maximum 20GB of RAM. No prices have been announced ahead of its April launch.
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