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Christmas Gift Guide

Yesterday Acer announced a refresh on the industrial design of their Aspire and TravelMate notebook ranges. The new ID is more than just a style facelift, and they used the opportunity to announce their exclusive partnership with Dolby to provide customers with the world's first Dolby Home Theater and Dolby Digital Live virtual surround sound mobiles.

Expect a full review when we can get our sweaty little hands on one of the new models. Could true mobile entertainment finally be here? Here's hoping the soulless tinny speakers we've come to accept become a thing of the past.

Give the people what they want! Acer is calling it a 'light grey ceramic-like interior surface' - looks like beige is slowing becoming fashionable again!

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Top to bottom, Acer plans to include a webcam in all their new Aspire models, a feature many notebook manufacturers are adopting. Take photos and web conference wherever you are.

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The cover has a shiny black finish and uses the latest in 3D holographic projection. Why Acer puts so much work into showing off their logo, we don't know, but they reckon users will go bananas for it.

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With the exception of three 3.5mm audio jacks and an the IrDA sensor, the front panel is uncluttered, with the other ports and sockets banished to the sides of the machine.

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Acer plans to have a wide variety of specs across their new range, featuring everything from the top tier NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards to integrated parts on lower cost models.

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Two more USB ports, an S-video in, and RJ-11 socket for dial-up sit alongside the DVD optical drive and Kensington lock.

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Acer is making a very conscious effort to keep the I/O ports off the back of their notebooks, stopping the awkwardness of having to fumble around back there like a teenager and their date on school formal night.

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The bastard child of Fisher-Price toys and Apple's iBook design? Acer has managed to squeeze a full-sized keyboard and number pad in.

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The left hand side of the chassis features VGA, DVI and S-video outputs for connecting up to a desktop monitor or television. There are also two USB ports, a 4-pin FireWire socket and Ethernet.

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