Acer to stop offering Intel's Thunderbolt on its computers

Acer to stop offering Intel's Thunderbolt on its computers

Summary: After being an early supporter of the high-speed interface, the PC maker is throwing its weight behind USB 3.0.

TOPICS: Laptops, Hardware, Intel, PCs

Acer was one of the first companies (after Apple) to support Intel's nascent Thunderbolt high-speed port in its systems back in 2012. Fast-forward a year, however, and the PC maker has determined that Thunderbolt is no longer part of its company's future plans.

An Acer spokesperson has told our sister site CNET that the company will no longer include Thunderbolt on its laptops and desktops, instead relying on USB 3.0 for high-speed data transfer between its systems and peripherals.

The move will come as a blow to Thunderbolt, which has been fully embraced on Mac computers but has only been used sporadically on Windows PCs -- usually higher-end models. Nonetheless, Intel told CNET that several companies like Asus, Dell, and Lenovo have added Thunderbolt support to their new Haswell-based systems, and that Thunderbolt is being promoted for higher-end machines.

For its part, Apple will be including Thunderbolt 2, which doubles throughput to 20Gbps, with its forthcoming revision of the MacPro desktop. That will keep well ahead of the USB standard, which won't reach 10Gbps until next year. Still, USB 3.0's throughput of 5Gbps appears to be more than enough for most computer buyers -- and manufacturers.

Is Thunderbolt support on your checklist for a new system? Let us know in the Talkback section below. 

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Intel, PCs

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  • Long ago

    Thunderbolt priced itself out of my care range with overpriced cables. I dont need data flying around that fast, so I am not going to burn money of cables overpriced by 500%.

    I cant think of many people that really need to move data that fast, unless for professional reasons.
    • Ugly USB has its hidden costs

      Add more wires, make the connector larger, make smaller plug always wobble in its socket, make the cable thick and stiff.

      Then equip the laptop with just one USB 3.0 connector, making it absolutely necessary to buy a $30+ hub with a power brick or a $100+ docking station (also with a power brick). Then buy more USB cables. Then buy another thick HDMI or Display Port cable. Then try to neatly arrange this black mess on your desk.

      A MacBook needs just one Thunderbolt cable to connect to an Apple monitor. The monitor has all the peripherals, so you save on docking station + HDMI or DP cable price and avoid the mess of additional cables and power bricks.
      • Huh?

        Or just have an HDMI port and hook up to a monitor, TV or projector. And who are these people always hooking up high speed devices to their computers anyways?
  • Numbers vs. real performance...

    IMO, USB 3.0 isn't being honestly marketed, since the best speeds from currently available USB 3.0 devices is ~ 1.5 Gb/sec — not even close to the quoted 5Gb max-out, and making matters worse for USB 3.0 throughput, laptops typically have only ONE USB 3.0 Bus, which gets shared by multiple ports; attaching just one 'legacy' USB 2.0 device to a computer can slow-down ALL the attached USB 3.0 devices to USB 2.0 speeds…
    • USB throughput numbers

      Have never added up. USB 2 numbers were never achievable , because they added the Tx, and the Rx. This number was misrepresented as bi-directional speed, Yet I personally never saw any more that 220 Mbs, on any system (Mac, or Windows PC) USB is a good replacement for serial ports, but I wouldn't recommend it as a High speed port.
      Troll Hunter J
  • Impossible to Kill Connectors

    Once a connector design gets to point of universal usage it will continue to haunt technology like an evil ghost even after it is obsolete. For external connections the USB connector is arguably the 3rd or maybe 4th most popular series. D connector shells and RG (telephone and Ethernet) are the 2 tops ones. Not sure which one leads. The big chunky USB has morphed to some mini versions. I think the only thing that will replace it is some kind of Fiber optic connector but have no idea what it will be. It might not even exist yet. We will continue to push USB long after it should be put to rest.
  • This is such a shame

    I was looking forward to more manufacturers adding Thunderbolt support to their laptops and tablets. Thunderbolt's ability to daisy-chain multiple monitors, HDD enclosures, etc. together and attach them all to a laptop via one cable is awesome.

    I'd MUCH rather use a single cable to attach my laptop/tablet to multiple large screens and storage boxes than have half a dozen cables snaking their way across my desk.

    USB3 is great for low-mid level peripherals, but I don't see it competing with Thunderbolt for display daisy-chaining anytime soon.
  • Can you say Firewire?

    How many people didn't see this coming?
    • Apparently Intel

      Apple will keep this going and keep shunning HDMI
      • Don't forget

        Apple also shuns BluRay as well...
    • Re: Can you say Firewire?

      Plenty professionals can, while glazing at their many dependable FireWire devices.

      Hobbyists and "me too" types are different market.
  • USB connector size big???

    You must be too young, (or senile), to remember the size of the DB9/DB25 connectors used for serial/parallel connections.

    There are USB connector/cables now which are quite small, both connector and cable size.