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Acer intros a new gaming desktop, and updates one of our fave budget laptops

Intel's new CPUs come to a multimedia tower and a budget touchscreen laptop.


PC maker Acer has a couple of new systems coming just in time for back-to-school shoppers, including an new version of one of our favorite budget laptops, now updated with a just-released Intel Haswell processor.

Acer Predator AG3 series
This is a rare entry in the desktop gaming space, and from a brand not normally associated with that category. The new Predator AG3-605 desktop is a traditional tower desktop, built with games and multimedia in mind, and includes Creative Technology's EAX audio, with 5.1 surround sound, and a headset cradle built right into the side of the chassis.

While the AG3 starts at $999, Acer is touting the features of upgraded versions, including up to Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 graphics, up to 32GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to a new fourth-generation Intel Core i7 CPU. Storage maxes out at 3TB 7,200rpm HDD/120GB SSD. We'll have to wait and see how much a high-end configuration like that will cost, and exactly what you get in the starting $999 version. This system was briefly mentioned during Computex, but without any US-specific details.


Acer Aspire M5
A couple of our favorite early Windows 8 laptops were the Acer Aspire M5 and V5 -- both were midsize touch screen laptops that could be found for under $600 (after some retailer discounts), making them easy go-to picks for budget shoppers.

Now the M5 has been updated with Intel's latest fourth-generation Core i5 processor, making it the first budget laptop we've seen to do so. The aluminum body is less than one inch thick, and features a backlit keyboard, 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. Our only real knock, and it's a serious one, is the 1,366x768-pixel screen resolution.

The new Haswell-powered M5, model number M5-583P-6428, is available exclusively at Best Buy for $699.