Acer really wants you to head back to school with its products in your bag.
At an unveiling in New York, today, the hardware, software and services company showed off more than 40 new products across multiple categories including laptops and hybrids, tablets, smartphones, wearables and a mobile home theater projector.
Acer Corporate President and CEO Jason Chen said the company's strategy for 2015 is to build on its strengths in design and being not just fast to market, but first to market with new technologies. With the launch of Windows 10 around the corner, it has planned a full family of devices running Microsoft's latest OS. Acer also has plans to expand into smart home and connected car tech and accelerate its smartphone and phablet business. (Note that the following prices and details are for the US only; final UK and Australian prices are likely to differ from the conversions.)
Acer getting its game on
Part of its growth into new areas includes a gaming strategy and it doesn't involve watching walkthroughs on YouTube or endlessly farming Arreat Crater.
What it does involve are products like the new Acer XR341CK, a $1,299 (roughly £865 or AU$1,670) 34-inch curved monitor available in September featuring, which helps eliminate screen tearing and stutter, and improves input lag. This joins the that were announced at CES 2015.
Building on the success it's had with thegaming laptop, Acer has developed the new Predator line of gaming products. In the lineup is a 35-inch curved display with Nvidia G-Sync; 15- and 17-inch notebooks built for performance with massive cooling systems, user-upgradeable storage and memory and gaming-centric touches like programmable keys; and a Predator tablet with four speakers and haptic feedback so you can feel the gaming experience. The tablet is scheduled to arrive in Q3 2015 with the laptops following in Q4.
Laptops and hybrids
While there aren't any flashy showpieces, Acer is rolling out some nice updates and additions to its Aspire laptops and Switch 2-in-1s.
The highlights in the laptop department include the new Aspire R11, an 11.6-inch ultraportable that starts at $249 (about £165 and AU$325). Like its larger linemate,, the R11 is a convertible laptop with a screen that flips around so you can use it as a tablet.
Joining the R11 are two new 10.1-inch hybrids, the Switch 10 E SW3-013 and SW5-015. Like, the Switch combines a tablet with a removable keyboard, but its magnetic hinge design has been refined for smoother switching between positions. Both models are running on Intel Atom quad-core processors backed by 2GB of memory, have IPS display panels and are built tough, reinforced with Gorilla Glass to withstand student use.
The SW3-013 promises improved keyboard ergonomics, 1,280x800-resolution display, six color options and up to 12 hours of battery life -- all for a low starting price of $279 (about £185 and AU$360) when it arrives in July. The SW5-015 will start at $349 (about £230 and AU$450) and gets you a 1,920x1,200 display and a body with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the lid, similar to. Look for it in August.
New Switch 11 and Switch 12 models were also announced, but full details won't be available until Q3 2015.
In the world of traditional clamshell designs, Acer tuned up its entry-level E and ES series laptops with prices starting at $379 and $279 (about £250 and AU$490, and £185 and AU$360), respectively, as well as the higher-end Aspire V15 thin-and-light with prices starting at $599 (around £400 or AU$770). The E and ES series arrive in July with the V15 following in August.
Rounding things out is a new, the CB3-531. Acer said Chromebooks were its fastest growing segment in 2014, and we should expect the category to grow. The CB3-531 features a 15.6-inch 1,366x768-resolution display, 16GB of eMMC and an Intel Celeron N2830 dual-core processor. It starts at $200 (£135 or AU$235) with Acer claiming an 11.5-hour battery life. It will be available in July.
Tablets, smartphones and wearables
Acer has several tablets in its lineup -- Android and Windows 8.1 -- but it only announced updates for two today. The 10-inch Iconia Tab 10 features a Gorilla Glass 4 display with a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution. Targeted at the education market, this Android 5.0 tablet goes on sale in May starting at $299 (£200 or AU$385).
Another Android 5.0 tablet, the Iconia One 8 B1-820, will sell for only $149 when it lands in July and features an 8-inch IPS display that, according to Acer, will deliver a highly accurate touch experience.
Acer also announced that its smartphones will be coming to the US, starting with the Windows 8.1-powered. It'll be available at Microsoft Stores in May for $80 (£55 or AU$100).
Also on deck is the newly announced Liquid X2. Designed for business travelers, the X2 is an Android phone with a 5.5-inch screen, a 13-megapixel f1.8 camera, a 64-bit octa-core CPU, a powerful 4,000mAh battery, tri-SIM support and a "Quick Touch Flip" cover, from which you can launch apps and play games.
Acer entered the wearable space last year with theand it's growing the line out this year to include the Liquid Leap Fit. It has a 1-inch touchscreen, a heart-rate sensor that automatically does 150 scans a day to track you all day long, a stress sensor with gold-plated sensor pads, interchangeable bands and waterproofing. The slim and stylish Leap Curve will join the Fit. It has a long curved touchscreen, targeting those who want something that looks a bit more like jewelry than a fitness tracker.
Lastly, Acer announced the K138ST portable LED home theater projector. Acer claims it's the world's first with an intelligent ambient light sensor. Look for it in June for $999 (about £665 or AU$1,290).