Acer launches 2 notebooks, tablet that emphasize touch

The Taiwanese computer maker showed off the Aspire R7 notebook, Aspire P3 Ultrabook, and Acer Iconia A1 tablet during an event in New York.

Shara Tibken
Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
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Acer President Jim Wong (from left), Acer CEO JT Wang, and another executive unveil the company's new touch-screen products Friday in New York. Sarah Tew /CNET

NEW YORK--Acer on Friday launched two new touch-screen notebooks and a tablet, hoping to attract buyers and stem its steep declines in the PC market.

One notebook, the Aspire R7, features a 15.6-inch touch screen and a hinge that allows users to rotate and flip the screen to convert it in tablet. The company moved the keyboard closer to the edge of the lower tray and shifted the trackpad closer to the screen, which it said should make it easier to use the touch screen. The $1,000 product will be in stores in mid-May, with an exclusive U.S. partnership with Best Buy.

Acer also unveiled the Acer Aspire P3 ultrabook that can be converted into a tablet, as well as a 7.9-inch Acer Iconia A1 Android tablet that will retail starting in June for $169. The P3 sells for $800 and is available now.

"Users will have the opportunity to enjoy a totally different experience through those devices," Acer CEO JT Wang said Friday.

The Taiwanese computer maker revealed the products during a press event, with the tag line "redefining the computing experience through touch," in Milk Studios in New York's Chelsea neighborhood.

The entire PC market is slowing, but Acer has suffered even more than most of its rivals. It lost its big bet on Netbooks, which has led to steep shipment declines in recent periods. Its first-quarter global PC shipments dropped 31 percent from the previous year, according to IDC. The company has been betting on new lower-priced, touch-based Windows 8 devices to boost its results, as well as tablets running other operating systems like Android.

Wang said Friday during the event that Acer expects second-quarter sales of Windows 8 touch notebooks to double from the first quarter.

Updated at 7:50 a.m. PT and 8:10 a.m. PT with more details.