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RealTime IT News

Acer's Monster Multimedia Notebook

It's a PC notebook, it's a high definition entertainment system. You're both right, it's two, two, two systems in one.

Acer America announced today it's shipping its latest high-end, multimedia notebook, the Aspire 9800, in North America.

First introduced at the giant Computex Tapei trade show in June, the Aspire 9800 sports a 20.1 inch wide screen LCD display, the first of this size to support HD-DVD technology. The built-in HD-DVD-ROM  drive has a data transfer rate three times that of standard DVD drives.

The system has an improved screen response rate, brightness and audio. Fast image processing and demanding games can tap the notebook's fast eight millisecond gray-to-gray response time for multimedia content and maximum playback quality.

Acer said the Aspire 9800 supports the highest HDTV resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Dell's XPS M2010 notebook also has a 20.1 WSXGA+ display and other specs comparable to the Aspire 9800. Dell uses a 256 MB, ATI Mobility RADEON X1800 graphics card versus the Aspire's NVIDIA graphics. Both systems include an integrated 1.3 megapixel Web cam and microphone for videoconferencing.

But the Aspire beats Dell  significantly on price -- $2,799 versus $3,500.

"The Acer deal looks pretty good; that's an aggressive price point," Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Techologies Associates, told internetnews.com.

"A comparable desktop wouldn't be nearly as expensive as either notebook from Acer or Dell," Kay continued. "You're paying for stowability and portability. It's nice to be able to easily move a full-fledged system like this anywhere around the house, or simply put it away when you're not using it."

The Aspire 9800 also comes with Acer QuicCharge battery technology. QuicCharge is designed to recharge the notebook's Lithium-ion battery up to 80 percent within an hour.

Other features include Acer 3Dsonic stereo speakers, BasSonic subwoofer and Dolby Digital Live and DTS technology for a home theater type experience. The Acer Acade is designed to let users browse pictures, burn music, play DVDs and edit videos from a single interface.