The Apple MacBook Air is getting a little more Windows-based competition on the lower end of the $1,000 price equator. First, Asus announced the UX21 laptop at Computex last week, with the company promising a sub-$1,000 price point for a sleek portable that's just 0.67 inches thick and weighs 2.4 pounds. Now, Acer has just introduced new models in its Aspire TimelineX notebook family, including a 13.3-inch version that's a bit bulkier, but significantly cheaper, than the Air.
The TimelineX AS3830TG-6431 is a tad heavy at 4.12 pounds, though it is just 0.87 inches at its thinnest point. Like the other new TimelineXs, this model comes with a new Intel Sandy Bridge processor -- in this case, the Core i5-2410M -- and even includes discrete graphics (in the form of the Nvidia GeForce GT 540M) for a mere $779.99. It also includes 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive, but no optical drive.
For one of those, you'll need to grab a TimelineX with a bigger screen. The 14-inch AS4830T-6642 comes with the same CPU and amount of RAM, but loses the graphics card (sticking with Intel's HD 3000 integrated graphics), bumps the hard drive to 640GB, and adds a DVD drive. You also add more than a half-pound of extra weight, though you'll only pay $699.99 in exchange. Oddly enough, the 15.6-inch AS5830T-6862 is the cheapest of the new TimelineXs, costing just $599.99. The trade-off, however, is that you get the less-powerful Core i3-2310M processor.
To boost its multimedia specs, Acer now includes Dolby Home Theater v4 Audio with the latest TimelineXs. Connectivity includes HDMI output and a USB 3.0 port. The company also touts its PowerSmart Technology, claiming that it extends battery life to 8 hours for the model with discrete graphics and 9 hours for the systems with integrated graphics. Hands-on reviews will no doubt confirm just how accurate that claim is.