At the next@acer global press conference in Berlin this week, Acer unveiled a refreshed all-in-one desktop, “the world’s thinnest and lightest notebooks,” and an advanced virtual reality headset.
“The theme for today’s event is to minimize the user’s effort and maximize the value and the experience,” said Jason Chen, Chief Executive Officer of Acer.
Chen began his presentation with the introduction of the “world’s most advanced virtual reality headset with integrated eye tracking.” The device, StarVR One, is developed by StarVR, a joint venture between Acer and Starbreeze.
Launched at SIGGRAPH 2018, StarVR One is a VR head mounted display that provides nearly 100-percent human viewing angle. StarVR One features advanced optics, VR-optimized displays, integrated eye tracking, and vendor-agnostic tracking architecture, to support the most demanding use cases for both commercial and enterprise sectors.
“StarVR continues its legacy of innovation that pushes past the barriers standing in the way of enterprise-grade VR experiences,” said Emmanuel Marquez, CTO of StarVR Corporation. “StarVR is blazing new trails to deliver break-through technology for a new world of realism to support real business decisioning and value creation. With our StarVR One headset we are conquering the VR final frontier – the enterprise.”
Two product variants are available with two different integrated tracking systems. The StarVR One is out-of-the-box ready for the SteamVR 2.0 tracking solution. Alternatively, the StarVR One XT is embedded with active optical markers for compatibility with optical tracking systems for the most demanding use cases. It is further enhanced with ready-to-use plugins for a variety of tracking systems and provides the additional tools for customization.
Windows Mixed Reality Headset
Chen also revealed the Acer OJO 500, a Windows Mixed Reality headset and Virtual Reality headset to feature a detachable design, patented built-in sound pipe technology, and software-assisted interpupillary distance (IPD) adjustment technology.
In a first for VR headsets, the integrated audio system uses a patented sound pipe design that directs sound from the built-in speakers toward the wearer’s ears. The unique design means users can hear audio without wearing earphones, enabling them to remain aware of the surroundings while still enjoying an immersive experience. This is ideal for use in public spaces where users may not want to be totally cut off from their surroundings. The integrated audio system consists of embedded speakers, a patented sound pipe, and a built-in mic array. Customers that require more privacy and deeper immersion can use the built-in earphones that come with the hard head strap, or an earphone of their own choice with the soft head strap.
Featuring inside-out tracking, the camera is on the headset so there is no need to drill holes in a wall or set up extraneous hardware. As soon as the headset connects to a Windows Mixed Reality-ready PC, it installs the required software. Setup is quick and easy taking about 10 minutes. The 6 degrees of freedom positional tracking includes forward/back, up/down, and left/right as well as pitch, yaw and roll. The headset comes with a 4 meter (13 feet) cable allowing a wide range of movement, and connects to a PC via HDMI 2.0, while a USB 3.0 connector downloads data.
A refreshed all-in-one desktop
Moving on, Chen unveiled the Acer Aspire Z 24, an all-in-one home PC for families and designed for connectivity and casual applications such as web browsing, social media, watching movies and casual gaming.
The desktop is extremely thin at just 11 mm (0.4 inches), with a beautifully shaped rear cover and an ultra-narrow bezel for maximum screen real-estate. It’s supported by a glossy V-shaped metal stand that gives it a sleek and timeless style. The Aspire Z 24 is equipped with a far-field microphone array made up of four digital microphones so customers can use their voice service of choice, such as Amazon Alexa or Cortana, to get weather reports, play music and manage everyday tasks from up to 4 meters away (13.12 ft). It also features Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby Audio Premium technology to deliver clear and crisp audio through dual front stereo speakers.
The Aspire Z 24 is powered by the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7+ desktop processors, with support for up to 32GB of Intel Optane memory and NVIDIA GeForce MX150 graphics, allowing it to power through complex tasks. The 23.8 inch Full HD IPS screen can be viewed comfortably at up to 178 degrees and menus can be navigated with ease using the 10-point touch display. Vibrant images with crisp, true-to-life colors come alive in Full HD 1080p resolution with wide-viewing angle capability, while Acer BlueLightShield and Flickerless technologies allow adjusting of the screen’s blue-light emission over extended periods of use.
The Acer Aspire 7
Chen also announced an enhanced Aspire 7 notebook.
Aimed at prosumers, designers, content creators, or those who want a PC with more bite, the Acer Aspire 7 features a full metal chassis with extra-light magnesium-lithium bottom cover and slim-line look, but also packs a powerful punch. It has a 15.6 inch IPS display with a narrow bezel design with resolutions of up to Ultra HD (3840×2160), weighs 1.5 kg and measures 358 x 247.5 x 16.9 mm. At its heart lies a powerful 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8705G or i5-8305G processor with Radeon RX Vega M GL Graphics and 4 GB HMB2 Graphics Memory—all in a single processor package. It has up to 16 GB DDR4 memory, up to 512 GB of PCIe NVMe RAID 0 SSD storage, and a backlit keyboard to give users an added boost in productivity.
Featuring a 4K display with Acer ColorBlast technology and Acer Color Intelligence, and speakers featuring Dolby Atmos sound and Acer TrueHarmony technology, the Aspire 7 speeds through rich content creation, video and photo editing, or viewing 4K content, while also offering an incredible, high-powered multimedia experience.
Ideal for families and users who need a powerful, function-rich notebook for media consumption, the Acer Aspire 5 offers both looks and mobility. The hairline brushed pattern provides an exquisite, tactile finish accenting the premium aluminum cover so users can travel with ease and look great doing it. The narrow, 7.82 mm bezel design offers more real estate for amazing images and video. With a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display and Acer Color Intelligence, crisp, true-to-life colors come alive.
Users can adjust gamma and saturation in real-time, optimizing screen color and brightness without clipping. It features up to the new 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with integrated Gigabit Wi-Fi for blazing fast connectivity, support for multiple personal assistants and voice services, and up to an NVIDIA GeForce MX150 GPU, delivering excellent performance. On top of computing performance, Acer TrueHarmony Audio brings sounds to life.
The Aspire Z 24 all-in-one PC and Aspire 7 notebook powered by 8th Gen Intel Core processors will feature Amazon Alexa built-in, joining Acer’s growing portfolio of Alexa for PC devices. More owners of compatible notebooks and desktops can get more done by asking Alexa to check their calendar, create lists and answer questions; be entertained by asking Alexa to play their favorite music, podcasts or audiobooks; manage smart home devices including lights, thermostats and home appliances; and access tens of thousands of skills built by third-party developers.
The world’s lightest 15-inch notebook
Acer also announced the pricing and availability of the Swift 5 (SF515-51T) notebook, the world’s lightest notebook PC with a 15-inch display. Designed for discerning customers who want an envy-inducing PC, the Swift 5 delivers exceptional performance in an elegant chassis that weighs less than one kilogram (990 g/2.2 pounds).
The Swift 5 (SF515-51T) is powered by the latest 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U and Core i5-8265U processors to deliver responsive performance and up to 10 hours of battery life for day-to-night productivity. Running Windows 10, the new Swift 5 is a large-screen productivity powerhouse.
Complementing the fast Intel Core processors, the Acer Swift 5 boasts up to 16 GB of DDR4 SDRAM and up to a 1 TB NVMe PCIe SSD for speedy boot times and file access. Customers can make the most of the system’s performance and long battery life even into evening hours with the LED backlit keyboard.
The Swift 5’s Full HD 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen features ultra-narrow bezels measuring just 5.87 mm (0.23 inches), giving it an incredible 87.6% screen-to-body ratio to create an immersive viewing experience. The wide viewing angles make it easy to enjoy streaming video with friends and colleagues. Acer BluelightShield reduces blue-light emissions for nighttime viewing, while Acer Color Intelligence technology dynamically adjusts gamma and saturation in real-time for optimum screen-color and brightness. Plus, Acer TrueHarmony technology and optimized Dolby Audio deliver high-quality sound via the dual stereo speakers.
Customers have a fast and reliable WiFi connection with 2×2 802.11ac wireless Gigabit performance. Also, ports are plentiful. The Swift 5 features a USB 3.1 Type-C Gen-2 port delivering high-speed 10 Gbps data transfers and supporting power delivery and display output, plus two USB 3.1 Type-A ports (one with power-off charging functionality), and an HDMI port.
‘The thinnest laptop in the world’
Chen also announced the Swift 7, describing it as the “thinnest laptop in the world.” The Swift 7 weighs less than 1kg in weight and is less than 10mm thin. It is powered by an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor and has an ultra narrow bezel with a 92% screen-to-body ratio.