updated 08:45 am EST, Tue March 6, 2012
Acer Timeline Ultra M3 and V3 kick off CeBIT
Acer used Germany's CeBIT expo to unveil a pair of new notebooks to take its 2012 roster in new directions. The Timeline Ultra M3 stretches the definition of an ultrabook with a 15-inch screen and an optical drive, counting mostly on its 0.79-inch thickness as an edge. Its true rarity is the inclusion of dedicated graphics: it can afford to fit a GeForce GT 640M for video, making it useful for games.
Like truer ultrabooks, a solid-state drive always plays a part, although it depends on the configuration. Most will use a small SSD to improve overall responsiveness, getting it from boot to Internet access in 2.5 seconds, while relying on a conventional spinning drive for most storage. A pure SSD option will be available for those who want consistent speed no matter what content they use.
Most details are vague, including the inclusion of the "latest" Intel chip and whether that means current components or an Ivy Bridge design. An eight-hour battery The M3 variant will be available worldwide before the end of the month.
More conventional users get the V3 series. The 14-, 15.6-, and 17.3-inch systems will aim at the mainstream with a "classy," single-color design but conventional dimensions. They should have the "latest generation" of Core chips and at least sometimes carry NVIDIA's GeForce dedicated graphics. Most details are again inexact, although the 17.3-inch model will have a 1600x900 display, a Blu-ray drive, and Dolby Home Theater v4 audio.
Acer hasn't said exactly when the systems will be available, but they should have a subtler palette that includes black, gold, gray, and silver hues.