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Acer notebook drops to $1,200

Acer cuts portables as much as 20 percent because parts are cheaper, and debuts four new models.

Acer America announced notebook price cuts ranging to 20 percent, citing lower manufacturing costs brought on by the currency crisis in Asia.

The American subsidiary of Taiwan-based Acer Group also expanded its Extensia business notebook line, adding four models based around Intel's Pentium MMX processor.

Acer said it's passing along price cuts made possible the devalued Asian currencies, which has reduced the cost of such components as memory and screens. Acer's low-end model now starts at $1,199, down $300.

"[The economic situation in Asia] has allowed Acer to manufacture a lot of the core components at a lower cost," said Acer spokesman Chris McKie. "Because of these lower costs associated with the devaluation movements on [Asian] currencies, Acer can leverage those and in turn manufacture a less-expensive computer."

Acer manufactures an array of computer components such as integrated circuits, memory chips, and motherboards.

Acer's high-end TravelMate 7164TE was reduced from $4,299 to $3,999. The model features a 266-MHz Pentium MMX processor, 32MB of memory, a 4.1GB hard drive, and a 13.3 inch screen.

The price of mid-range offering was slashed 14 percent from $3,499 to $2,999. The TravelMate 712OT includes a 200-MHz Pentium MMX with 32MB of memory, a 3.2GB hard drive, and a 12.1-inch screen.

The low-end Extensia 391C, equipped with a 133-MHz Pentium MMX, 16MB of memory, a 1.6GB hard disk, and a 12.1-inch screen, fell from $1,499 to $1,199.

Acer also announced today it is expanding its Extensia notebook line, aimed at business users.

The high-end Extensia 395T, priced at $2,699, features a 233-MHz Pentium with MMX technology and 3.2 GB of memory. The low-end Extensia 393C which a 166-MHz Pentium MMX and a 2.1 GB hard drive, goes for $1,499.

All the new Extensias models include a 20X CD-ROM, a 12.1-inch screen, and multimedia functions such as a graphics accelerator and sound card.