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8/26/2008
04:25 PM
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Acer Drops Mini-Notebook Prices

The Windows or Linux-based PCs include 1.6 GHz Atom processors, built-in Webcams and Wi-Fi support, and a three-cell rechargeable battery.




Acer's Aspire One comes in colors like sapphire blue and coral pink.
(click for image gallery)

In preparation for the back-to-school crowd, Acer has slashed $50 off the price of its low-cost mini-notebook.

The Aspire One with Windows XP Home edition is now available for $349 at retail stores, while the model running Linpus Linux Lite is priced at $329, a spokeswoman said Tuesday. The prices are permanent.

The notebooks, which weigh slightly more than 2 pounds and sport 8.9-inch screens, are marketed as entry-level, first PCs for students, and as secondary computing devices for enthusiasts and business professionals looking for a lightweight device for checking e-mail and Web browsing.

Both models include 1.6 GHz Atom processors, built-in Webcams and Wi-Fi support, and a three-cell rechargeable battery. The Windows-based AOA150-1570 also has 1 GB of memory and a 120 GB internal hard drive. The Linux-based AOA110-1722 includes 512 MB of memory and an 8 GB solid-state drive.

Acer competes in the mini-notebook market with Hewlett-Packard, Asustek Computer, Micro-Star International, and Lenovo. Acer's price cuts come at the beginning of the back-to-school season in the U.S.

"By increasing the value of our mobile Internet device lineup, Acer is opening the Aspire One experience to a whole new base of users," Kristin Markworth, senior manager of notebook product marketing for Acer, said in a statement.

Mini-notebooks in general are defined as weighing less than three pounds and having screens of less than 10 inches. The keyboards are considered too small for heavy use as a word processor, but adequate for e-mail, spreadsheets and Web browsing.

Worldwide mini-notebook shipments are on pace to reach 5.2 million units this year and 8 million units next year, according to market researcher Gartner. Manufacturers could ship as many as 50 million of the devices in 2012.

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