With the release of Windows 8 looming near, the ultrabook market is quickly becoming more saturated then ever. Although the Acer brand is synonymous with adequately powerful mobile machines which won't break the bank, their latest and most powerful laptop lineup to date looks to capitalize on the recently laden Windows 8 market.
Acer Aspire M5, The mid-range of the new Acer lineup, the Acer Aspire M5, finds balance between performance, functionality, portability and price, starting at only $799. The Acer Aspire M5 touts two different models, the 14" Aspire M5-481PT as well as the 15.6" Aspire M5-581T. Of the two Aspire M5s, the 14" Aspire M5-481PT is the only with a touchscreen.
Both models are powered through a 1.7 Ghz Intel Core i5 CPU as well as 4GB of DDR3 RAM. Though basic graphics are powered by an integrated Intel HD 4000, a switchable 1GB Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU powers the heavy graphics. Each model is equipped with dual hard drives, a standard 500GB 5400 RPM laptop HDD and a 20 GB solid state drive.
The Acer Aspire M5 was originally released with Windows 7 Home Premium, although both the M5-481PT and M5-581T will come pre-installed with Windows 8 64-bit. Other basic features include a DVD burner, HDMI port, USB 3.0, a VGA webcam, dual-band 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth and a multimedia card reader. The design is compact and sleek. The Acer Aspire A5 does have a bit of heftiness to it once picked up; a weight of 4.3 pounds is on the upper part of the ultrabook scale and the M5 is almost an inch thick. Another noticeable and nice feature is the backlit keyboard which really brings an elegance to the machine.
For well under a thousand bucks, the Acer Aspire M5 is a tempting purchase for both power users looking to enter the world of Windows 8 and consumers in the mid to low price range of ultrabooks. Acer Aspire A5, the base model of Acer's new lineup, the Acer Aspire A5, brings the world of Windows 8 to consumers for an affordable price. Though lacking the touchscreen functionality which defines the majority of the coming Windows 8 market contenders, the Acer Aspire A5 still retains a sleek, elegant design with no compromise to performance.
Once touted as the "thinnest laptop in the world", the Aspire A5 was originally released for Windows 7 with a hefty price tag right at a grand, but the new model of the Acer Aspire A5 will start at $499 and come pre-installed with Windows 8.
The slim design of the A5 is one of the key selling points. The Acer Aspire A5 weighs an infinitesimal 1.35 kilograms and is only 15mm thick. Though the base Aspire A5 comes with an 2.53Ghz Intel Core i3 dual-core CPU and 4GB of RAM, consumers can upgrade all the way to a Intel Core i7 quad-core CPU and 8GB of RAM. All models come with a 13.3 inch LCD monitor with graphics from a GeForce GT 250M.
If you are a consumer looking to enter the world of Windows 8 without paying a hefty price tag, this might be the option for you. Keep in mind it is an older Acer design and lacks the touchscreen which is the common thread between most Windows 8 launch machines. The new functionality and touchscreen of the Aspire M5 seems quite tempting for less than double the price of the older Aspire A5.