Acer unveils its first wave of Windows 10 devices

The Taiwanese tech company has shown off three new Windows 10 devices -- a convertible tablet, an all-in-one laptop and a 5.5-inch smartphone.

Matthew Fulco
Matthew Fulco is a freelance journalist based in Taipei, where he covers business with a focus on the technology sector. Matthew previously worked as a senior editor in China Daily's Shanghai bureau for four years. He made the move across the Taiwan Strait to increase his exposure to clean air, bright sunlight, blue skies and the ocean.
Matthew Fulco
3 min read

Acer's newly announced Aspire 14 convertible notebook. Acer

Last week, Microsoft led the Windows 10 charge, announcing a range of hardware that takes advantage of its newly refined operating system.

Acer followed suit on Monday, announcing two new computers powered by Windows 10 at a press conference in Taipei: the Aspire R 14 convertible notebook and the Aspire Z3-700 portable all-in-one PC.

"We worked closely with Acer to help ensure their devices would make the most of Windows 10," said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft's Windows and Devices group.

The devices are optimised to take advantage of the Redmond tech giant's latest operating software and its new functions, including the Cortana virtual assistant, Continuum, which enables Windows phones to act as PCs when connected to a larger display, and Microsoft's Edge Internet browser.

Both of the new PCs also feature special touches from the Taiwanese hardware company. These include enhanced digital signal processing for the device's dual microphones, which eliminates background noise and boosts speech accuracy, and Acer BluelightShield, a technology that reduces strain on the eyes by curbing the screen's blue-light emission.

Windows 10 was released back in late July, but these devices from Acer are the latest in the first wave of computers that were built for the new OS from the ground up. As can be expected, American electronics juggernaut Microsoft is leading the charge, last week announcing the promising Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book PCs.

The Aspire R14 notebook boasts a 14-inch screen, a hairline-brush metallic finish, diamond-cut edge design, and a 360-degree dual torque hinge that allows users to alternate among four different usage modes (tablet, display, tent and laptop). Windows 10's Continuum function makes switching between PC and tablet mode easier than ever, Acer said.

Weighing 1.9 kg -- slightly more than 2015's 1.58kg, 13-inch MacBook Pro -- the convertible device is equipped with a 6th-generation Intel Core processor, up to 8GB DDR3L system memory, and SSD storage. Available from the end of the month, the range will start at $699 (converting to around £455) in North America and €799 (roughly £590) in Europe. UK pricing is yet to be announced. In Australia, it'll start at AU$1,199 and is available from mid-November.

Meanwhile, the 17.3-inch Aspire Z3 700 all-in-one PC will be released in Europe by the year's end, beginning at €599 (about $680, AU$930 or £445). It has a battery life of up to 5 hours, and kickstands that allow it to be propped up for more notebook-like use.

The Aspire Z3 will be powered by processors from Intel Pentium and Celeron, will feature up to 8GB of RAM, and come in SSD or HDD storage options. The display comes with a full-HD, 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and features a 10-point capacitive touchscreen that supports input via a dedicated stylus, similar to Microsoft's own Surface Pro range.

PCs weren't the only devices showcased by the Taiwanese company at the event, with Acer displaying its Liquid Jade Primo smartphone -- a 5.5-inch device powered by the mobile version of Windows 10.

"With Windows 10, we can now deliver a unique and consistent experience across our comprehensive product portfolio, be it notebooks, desktops, tablets or smartphones," said Jason Chen, Acer's corporate president and chief executive officer.