by CIO Staff

Computex: Acer to Launch HD-DVD Laptop in June

Jun 06, 20062 mins

Acer will launch a laptop computer with HD-DVD drive later this month, it said Tuesday at the Computex trade show in Taiwan.

HD-DVD is one of two new optical-disc formats vying to replace DVD for high-definition content. The discs are the same size as current DVDs but hold several times more information, so they can accommodate the larger high-definition files.

The laptop will be a new model in Acer’s high-end Aspire 9800 range and will feature an impressive 20.1-inch liquid crystal display screen. The screen is a monitor-class panel of a type not usually found on laptops, so it delivers an image equivalent to a desktop monitor, said Trisha Pan, a product marketing director at Acer.

The downside to using such a large panel is the computer’s overall weight. It’s close to 8 kilograms, which is several times that of a standard laptop. It additionally pushes up the size: The machine measures 48 by 35 by 6 centimeters.

“It’s definitely not for portable use,” said Pan.

The computer also features twin 120GB hard-disk drives, NVidia GeForce 7600 graphics, a TV tuner and support for various audio technologies including Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect.

A version of the Aspire 9800 without HD-DVD support has already gone on sale and costs around US$2,700, said Pan. Adding HD-DVD support will increase the price by between $200 and $300, she said.

To date, only a handful of laptop makers have announced models with HD-DVD. One of the first was Toshiba, which is a major backer of the format. Its machine went on sale in Japan in May. Fujitsu is planning to begin selling an HD-DVD laptop soon.

Acer said its support for the HD-DVD format isn’t exclusive. The company is planning to launch a laptop with a Blu-ray Disc drive but hasn’t yet decided on timing for the machine.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service

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