Acer's "Blue" Ace: Aspire Gemstone Blue Notebook

Today in New York, Acer's big surprise is the Aspire "Gemstone Blue" notebook, equipped with a Blu-ray drive, true high-def screen, and CineReal sound, a second generation of Dolby Surround. Sexy, and yes, blue, and it doesn't appear to suffer from port envy like some other notebooks, though it is slender. In size it's somewhere between HP's dv series and Dell's XPS M series. That's not just a size comparison, but a qualitative judgment call: this thing looks unambitiously nestled between the two other PC giants' designs. With such mystery and fanfare, we were hoping for a tad more of an exciting, iconoclastic design. It is, however, a decent product, so have a look:

It's got a cool touchdial on the left for some nice multimedia controls; it's called CineDash, and it's got volume, mute, hold, media transport and menu navi.

The largest of the two models has a 1920x1080 18.4" screen, and a 90% (ATSC?) color gamut. The smaller is 16" with same resolution and 60% of the color gamut. As you can guess from those screen resolutions, both can support full Blu-ray playback. (Another blue reference.) They're saying 3 hours playback on the 18.4", and 2.5 hours of movie playback on the 16" one. There will be an "SD" version with 720p playback of either DVD or Blu-ray.

They're shipping in a month. The starting price point is US$1,700, with a typical config around US$1,900.

Check out some additional specs:

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