Acer bundles 'build-your-own-cloud' with new tablets, phones, wearables

Acer CEO called its new product lineup a "critical moment" in its turnaround effort, after years of decline. Cloud, smartphones, tablets and laptops. And a wearable for good measure.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
#2014-04-29 10.23.46-2
Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive

NEW YORK — Will Acer's latest touch-based product lineup be enough to turn around its months of stagnant growth and declining share?

Acer chief executive Jason Chen at an event in New York City on Tuesday said the company is starting a new trend that aims to shift its way to the cloud market, rather than the traditional PC market, in a two-fold strategy. 

Not only will Acer dish out a range of devices, now and later in the year, including highly customizable laptops, tablets, and for the first time a wearable device — the company also wants to tie these devices together with its own cloud model.

Chen said most people store their data on their local storage and not in the cloud. "We want users to 'build-your-own-cloud'," he said. "We have a technology platform [where] you can access your data, documents, and photos, in your local hard drive to devices you carry with you, like smartphones and tablets," he added.

Using your Acer device as a "datacenter," Chen said, you can hook up other platforms, from Android, iOS, and Windows, and non-Acer devices, to keep data within your private circles.

Chen said Acer took a "reality check" over the past few months, working on finding its strengths and listening to its customers for, on occasion, some rather painful-to-hear feedback.

"We are at a critical moment in our turnaround," Chen said, just four months after moving into the company's top job. "We're focused on two things," he said: "Finding and utilizing our strengths, and opportunities." 

Also announced:

  • Acer Aspire Switch 10: four-position two-in-one laptop with a detachable hinge design. It has a 10.1-inch display and runs Windows 8.1.
  • Acer Iconia One 7: Thin tablet running Windows 8.1, with ten color backing. It has an Intel dual-core processor and lands with a rear-camera.
  • Acer Iconia Tab 7: A 3G-connected tablet with front and back cameras, sporting a quad-core processor. It comes with Bluetooth so users can hook-up wireless headsets.
  • Aspire U 5 all-in-one: A 23-inch all-in-one touch-screen PC with a full-mode high-definition display, and dual-digital microphones and a wide-viewing high-definition camera for video calling.
  • Acer Aspire E15: "Choice" was the keyword, with Intel or AMD chips, depending on user needs, and touch or non-touch. Lands with a 15-inch display.
  • Acer Aspire E14: As above, with more than 10 colors. Lands with a smaller 14-inch display with glare or no glare.
  • Acer Aspire E11: Comes with four colors with a 11-inch display.
  • Acer Chromebook: The new Chrome OS-based laptop will land with Intel Core i3. Acer calls it the "fastest Chromebook in the industry."

Chen said more products will be announced later in the year, including the Acer Liquid Jade, a new 5-inch display smartphone running Android that has "no flat surface." It will launch at the end of July or early August.

Breaking into the wearables market for the first time, Chen also revealed 17-millimeter band that will support activity and lifestyle tracking, and supports "easy messaging." It will launch in limited regions with its upcoming Liquid Jade launch, and will likely ship in conjunction with the smartphone. 

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