Acer aims to entertain

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Acer is consolidating its recent success with the DeskNote, launching a new product category with a desktop it claims is the first true personal entertainment system.

Raymond Vardanega, marketing director for Acer in Australia and New Zealand, said the Aspire Entertainment Centre, with its usual desktop accoutrements of rectangular screen, keyboard, mouse, speakers and tower, offers design and functionality making it a unique 'convergence' of computer and home entertainment systems.

'We're very excited,' Vardanega said. 'The PC has really come from an industrial point-of-view to a commercial point-of-view, and now more recently into the home. The Aspire is the product that is combining the convergence of home entertainment with the flexibility of Internet connection to a PC.'

Vardanega said the Windows XP and Intel-based desktop could play DVDs, videos, TV, CDs, FM radio and could collate saved digital format photos, such as jpeg, in a PowerPoint-style slide show format.

'It's a most lust-worthy machine,' he said. 'It will also allow you to connect with cable TV via an SPDIS coaxial cable adapter.'

The Aspire Entertainment Centre will be available to all Acer resellers, but is expected to move mostly via mass-market retailers such as Harvey Norman and David Jones, Vardanega said.

Two different models have been launched. The RC900 has a full tower, while the RC500 will have a slim tower. Both models are available in three specifications, the company said.

The entry level machine, at RRP $2499, offers Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz processor, 800 MHz front-side bus, 256MB DDR333 SDRAM, 40GB 7200RPM, DVD/CDRW combo, 3.5" floppy disc drive, a wireless multimedia keyboard, optical mouse, Intel 865G chipset, Super Dial and remote control, TV/radio tuner, CyberLink PowerDirector Pro, PC and entertainment modes including My TV, My Video, My Music, My FM and My Pictures, 15" LCD Monitor, three stereo speaker set with subwoofer, 7-in-1 media reader.

The next model up, for RRP $2999, is the same but offers 512MB DDR333 SD RAM, 80GB 7200RPM, DVD+RW. Top of the range, for RRP $3499, has Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz processing, 1024MB DDR333 SDRAM and 120GB 7200RPM.


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