Acer expands Aspire line with budget, multimedia notebooks

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Ever determined to supplant HP in the PC market, Acer unleashed a volley of Aspire notebooks today, ranging from budget to full-bore multimedia machines. Starting at $700, the 15.6-inch Aspire AS5745 and 17.3-inch AS7745 make use of Intel's Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, up to 16GB of RAM with all four slots populated, 250GB to 500GB of storage, and some carry Blu-ray drives.

The AS5745 can be had with Nvidia's GeForce GT 330M, while the AS7745's secondary drive bay can be occupied by another 500GB HDD, and it uses ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5650 for discrete graphics. Iterations with hardware such as i7 processors, dedicated graphics, secondary storage and Blu-ray drives run upward of a grand. A sub-model, the AS5745PG starts at $900 and features a multi-touch display.

If you're more the AMD type, Acer has also announced various value-based Aspire notebooks with the underdog's Phenom II, Athlon II, Turion II, and V series chips. Naturally, those processors are paired with ATI graphics solutions, including the Mobility Radeon HD 4250 IGP, as well as HD 5470 and 5650 discrete GPUs. The AMD-powered offerings are due to launch later this month and top out at $900.

In addition to expanding its mainstream Aspire line, the company is now shipping the 18.4-inch Aspire 8943G and the upgraded ultraportable TimelineX series to US customers.

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