Acer is breaking the netbook mold with a 720p capable display, combined with a dedicated multimedia processor and a strange new optical drive.
Netbooks have been
coming in thick and fast, and are taking up an increasingly large market share,
but innovation in the marketplace has been sparse to say the least.
The website Macles has uncovered details of a yet to be announced netbook which bucks the trend. The Acer Aspire One
571 (not to be confused with the 751) has what you expect to see in
netbooks of any flavour; Intel's N280 Atom processor, a compact
design, and a 10.1” LCD screen.
However, it also boasts
a 720p resolution in a 16:9 aspect ratio (1280x720), a multimedia
hardware processor, and a Vmedia optical drive.
The Quartrics QV1721 multimedia processor
allows the 571 to encode and decode H.264 content (or any HD content
for that matter), as well as adding hardware scaling and filtering.
Having this on board could prove to be a master stroke, particularly
once we begin seeing TV tuners shipping with netbooks.
Anyone who's tried to
run high definition multimedia content on their netbook will realise
how useful a separate multimedia processor could prove to be.
To the left of the
touchpad is the Vmedia optical drive, which houses Blu-ray like
discs encased in a plastic housing. Unlike their larger brothers, the
Vmedia discs are only 32mm (versus 120mm) and thus only 1GB in
We're all for
innovation, but Vmedia rather forebodingly looks, sounds, and feels
like Sony's infamous UMD format. With a capacity of only 1GB, it's
difficult to see this being useful in any practical sense, particularly with high definition content.
No word on pricing or
availability just yet.
What do you think of
the innovations Acer are trying to make with the Aspire One 571?
Would you consider paying a premium for a multimedia processor and an