Didn't realize that Acer, the PC and tablet maker based out of Taiwan, actually makes smartphones? Chances are you're in the majority, but the manufacturer is very interested in changing that. We sat down with Acer's smartphone guru, ST Liew, to discuss the launch of the Liquid S2, the company's 6-inch Android flagship. This is the company's second major foray into this particular segment of the industry (the S1 being the first), so it certainly seems to be one of the most competitive arenas for smartphone consumers out there. Liew discusses the market need for such a device, though he admits that there are limits for a phone's physical size; "six inches is just about the threshold," he told us, though this may very well change as companies continue to innovate in design, trimming down handset size while the display gets bigger.
We dig into the company's desire to be the first in recording 4K video footage, Acer's product strategy for the US, Europe and Asia and the challenges Acer faces in becoming a major player in the mobile sphere, so tune in after the break for video of our full interview!
03/09/2013 - Acer Liquid S2 hands-on
Acer is known for its influence in the PC and tablet markets, but it actually have a pretty solid Android smartphone lineup too -- and the company is starting to focus more intensely on it. Take the Acer Liquid S2, for instance: it's a 6-inch Android smartphone with 4K recording capability, a Snapdragon 800 processor and a 13MP camera, and we had the opportunity to check it out here in Berlin ahead of IFA 2013.
The unit, which is hitting Europe in October for 549 euros, will come in both black and red hues. Reps indicated to that the units they had on hand are still pre-production, so both firmware and hardware are subject to change between now and the phone's launch. With that said, we didn't notice any bugs or issues with general performance, but let's face it: even when it's not fully optimized, a device packing Snapdragon 800 still feels incredibly fast. Head past the break for our first impressions.%Gallery-slideshow77217%
In addition to letting us get our hands on all its IFA announcements today, Acer pulled back the curtain on a concept device. The Acer Extend prototype works similarly to the ASUS Padfone, letting you connect your smartphone to a clamshell-style dock with a display, keyboard and a 6,000mAh battery to recharge your handset.
For the purposes of the demo, a modified version of Acer's Liquid E2 smartphone was connected to the Extend dock via an MHL cable, though company reps said a market-ready version could include a retractable cord. Even more compelling, though, would be a wireless, Bluetooth-based solution.
In addition to offering much more screen real estate than a phone, the dock solution nets you a full-size, tactile keyboard, and Acer's optimized this island-style layout to work with a smartphone's operating system. To that end, there are buttons for Mail, WiFi, Bluetooth and more -- more or less the options you'll find in and Android phone's Settings menu. Though the keyboard is tailored to a smartphone interface, the Extend lets you view apps such as Gmail in tablet format, meaning you'll reap the full benefits of the larger display. There's also a full-size touchpad on board.%Gallery-slideshow77226%
Compared to many other companies, Acer's taken a rather cautious approach to super-sized phones. Its first attempt was the 5.7-inch Liquid S1, a rather straightforward Android handset unveiled back in June at Computex. The second time around, though, the company's taking a more ambitious approach, announcing the 6-inch Liquid S2 with 4K recording capability, a full HD IPS display and a Snapdragon 800 processor.
Acer's touting the S2 as the first phone to offer this 4K functionality, though all signs point to Samsung's next Galaxy Note shipping with the same feature. The device sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED ring flash along with a 2MP front shooter capable of 1080p video. The company's also loaded up the S2 with several software enhancements on the camera side. For one, a "quick first shot" feature lets you snap a picture right from the phone's unlock screen, and you have the ability to adjust focus and exposure separately. There's also a "favorite mode," which lets you create up to five profiles with customized settings and effects.
Granted, it's not the most exciting of handset announcements, but if you can't face yet another day without a budget Android smartphone packing dual loudspeakers, Three's got the Acer Liquid E2 for ya. It's available now on PAYG for £150 (around $232), or on contracts starting at £17 ($26ish) per month if you sign up for a two-year plan. If the overwhelming power of the Liquid E2 makes you nervous, you could always hold off for the lower-end LG Optimus L1 II, which will be launching on the network "soon."
Via: Android Central
Gallery: Acer Liquid E2 Review
Historically, most of Acer's device lineup has been focused on Windows products -- it's the fourth-largest PC maker, after all -- but a less-than-pleasant second quarter seems to have given the company reason to switch its strategy up a bit. According to the Wall Street Journal, Acer is looking into expanding its Google-centric efforts; although it will continue a strong partnership with Microsoft, the Taiwanese manufacturer aims to offer more Chromebooks and Android products, while pushing fewer laptops or tablets sporting Win8. Chairman J.T. Wang told the Journal that smartphones, tablets and Chromebooks are expected to make up 10-12 percent of the company's revenue by the end of this year, while that number should bump up to 30 percent in 2014.
Source: Wall Street Journal
25/06/2013 - The Engadget Show 44: Education with Google, OLPC, Code.org, LeapFrog, SparkFun, Adafruit and more
It's time to rethink the way our children learn. It's all a bit overwhelming, attempting to restructure the age-old classroom model, particularly in a system as bogged down in bureaucratic red tape as education. This month, however, we packed up our things and toured the country to find out how educational institutions are adopting new models to help reinvent the learning process -- rather than sitting idly by, waiting for the system to change around them. Naturally, technology is playing a huge role in that shift, moving from models of teaching to models of learning, where students can explore, express themselves and learn at their own speed.
We kick things off in Chicago, where Jackie Moore, a former systems programmer, is teaching inner city students how to build robots in a shopping mall basement at LevelUP. Next up, we head Miami and California, to see how technologies like the iPad, Google Chromebook and One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop are being implemented in three schools, including interviews with educators, students, OLPC CEO Rodrigo Halaby and Google director of product management, Rajen Sheth. We'll also talk to component retailers SparkFun and Adafruit about the initiatives those companies have implemented to help kids learn electronics at an early age, and then we sit down with American Museum of Natural History president, Ellen Futter, to discuss the ways the New York City institution is redefining itself for the 21st century.
We've also got an interview with Ali Partovi, a serial entrepreneur, who is working to make computer science an essential part of the elementary-level STEM program, through Code.org. Richard Culatta, the acting director of the US Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology discusses how devices can help target the learning process for individual students and LeapFrog CEO John Barbour tells us how his company is rethinking the educational toy. All that plus prognostications from John Roderick and some really sweet moose dioramas can be yours to enjoy after the break.
Did you back out of an iPhone 5 because it didn't have a dual-LED flash? If this leaked image from MacRumors turns out to be real, that may not be a problem for much longer. Inside and out, these blurrycam snaps purport to show an iPhone 5S which is nearly identical to its predecessor -- the only obvious differences being a slightly larger 5.92 Whr battery and the aforementioned dual-LED flash. Given that the internal layout is consistent with the iPhone 5 (pictured, after the break) and we were expecting an incremental revision this year, we're marking this one down as "plausible."
It's been a long, long time since Acer launched a Windows Phone... and from all indications, we're going to keep waiting. The company's Allen Burnes tells Pocket-lint that Windows Phone 8 is good, but "not the right decision" for Acer in 2013. His firm is concerned with boosting sales volume, and the Liquid series of Android phones are currently better for that task, Burnes says. In his mind, Microsoft has to make a stronger case for Windows Phone -- Acer will come back to the OS once there's improved marketing and (hopefully) more demand. We aren't entirely surprised that Acer is holding off when it's already reluctant to back Windows RT, but the cautious attitude is still a disappointment for those who want a little more diversity in Microsoft's mobile ecosystem.
06/06/2013 - Computex 2013 wrap-up: Windows 8, tablets, Haswell, high-res displays, smartphones, earthquakes and more!
This year's Computex certainly didn't come and go quietly. From a 6.5-magnitude earthquake shortly after landing in Taipei to tons of tablets, smartphones, Haswell systems and more peripherals than you can shake a Taiwan dollar at, this has been one whirlwind week of hot and humid adventure. Unlike other shows abroad, this country's massive computer exhibition is only growing in importance, as more manufacturers from both East and West choose to announce products and services here in the Republic of China.
The week was filled with unveilings both revolutionary and evolutionary -- from quirky to crucial, there was a lot to take in. You'll find many of our show picks at our Computex 2013 event page; there are dozens upon dozens of articles, hands-on videos and photo galleries to sift through, so set aside some time over the weekend and dig on in. We've also rounded up links to each and every related post after the break -- click on through for all that and more.
Gallery: Computex 2013 wrap-up
03/06/2013 - Acer announces the Liquid S1: a 5.7-inch smartphone with a near-stock Android experience (hands-on)
Acer keeps the product announcements coming here at Computex, adding a new (and big) Android phone to its new Ultrabooks and Windows tablets. The Liquid S1 arrives with a 720p 5.7-inch display, matching ZTE's Grand Memo in screen size, and marking Acer's first contribution to the five-inches-and-over smartphone club. The phone is bound for Asia and Europe (no US release is planned for now), and it comes appropriately equipped with twin SIM-card slots. There is, however, no LTE radios, something that Acer admits will be arriving in its smaller Android devices first.
Other notable specs include a Mediatek quad-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of memory to aid Android 4.2. It's worth noting that the UI here, like we've seen from Acer in recent years, is largely a stock one, both in functionality (the two-finger drag-down menu for settings toggles is here, take that HTC One!) and looks, although there's some additions to the software that we'll outline later. We've managed to get some playtime with the device ahead of its big reveal at Acer's press event, so check out our (literally) earth-shaking first impressions and hands-on video after the break.
Gallery: Acer Liquid S1 hands-on
We haven't heard much from Acer on the smartphone front since it announced a pair of handsets at Mobile World Congress, but the company's now back with another that it hopes will improve its standing in markets outside North America: the Liquid E2. Expectedly, this one is an update to the E1, and includes a bump up from a dual-core to a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, and the addition of an optional dual-SIM card slot (availability of it will depend on the particular market). Otherwise, you'll get a 4.5-inch qHD IPS display, an 8 megapixel camera that promises "zero shutter delay," the same dual-speakers 'round back found on the E1, and stock Jelly Bean for an OS. There's no word yet of this one making its way over here, but you can look for it to hit the UK, France, Germany and a number of other countries in early-to-mid-May for €229, or just under $300.
24/03/2013 - Mobile Miscellany: week of March 18th, 2013
If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, a potential listing of T-Mobile's LTE launch markets was leaked, the FCC Chairman gave notice of upcoming spectrum auctions and Sprint issued a teaser for all you Windows Phone fans. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that's happening in the mobile world for this week of March 18th, 2013.
24/02/2013 - Acer Liquid E1 and Liquid Z2 smartphones hands-on
Last week, Acer got out in front of the Mobile World Congress madness by reintroducing its Liquid E1 smartphone and announcing the new Liquid Z2. Well, we're on the ground here in Barcelona and we just got to see them both in person. A quick recap for those who missed Acer's first Androids of 2013: the mid-range E1 runs Jelly Bean on a 4.5-inch 960 x 540 IPS display, has a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera and a 1,760mAh battery. The entry-level Z2 also runs Android 4.1, but has a 3.5-inch 480 x 320 screen, single-core 1GHz CPU, a 3-megapixel shooter and a 1,300 mAh cell. Both phones come in either black or white and can be had in single- or dual-SIM configurations. Peruse our galleries of photos below, won't you? Then join us after the break for a video and our full impressions. Gallery: Acer Liquid E1 hands-on Gallery: Acer Liquid Z2 hands-on
Gallery: Acer Liquid E1 hands-on
Gallery: Acer Liquid Z2 hands-on
Introducing the first two handsets of Acer's 2013 line-up: the Liquid E1 and the Liquid Z2. The company formally announced the Liquid E1 last month, but with Mobile World Congress around the corner, the mid-range phone just got official for the European market. The E1 packs a dual-core 1GHz processor and runs Jelly Bean on a 4.5-inch qHD display -- and, notably, it will be available in both dual- and single-SIM configurations. Acer is marketing the E1 as a multimedia-friendly handset, and accordingly it includes two speakers with DTS Sound, plus "Float" software that prevents notifications from popping up when you're watching videos.
The Liquid Z2, on the other hand, is an entry-level handset with a dual-core 1GHz CPU and a 3.5-inch HVGA screen. It runs Jelly Bean with an optional interface that mimics a feature phone's home screen. Like the E1, it's available with one or two SIM cards, and you have your choice of a 3-megapixel or 5-MP camera.
Pricing isn't set in stone, but Acer told us the Liquid E1 will be in the €199 to €229 range, while the Z2 should cost between €99 and €129. Both phones will first go on sale in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Ukraine, with availability in Italy, Russia and the UK coming later. We'll deliver the hands-on goods in Barcelona, but for now you can peruse the press info after the break.
Acer Hits Smartphone Market with Launch of Liquid E1 and Z2
BARCELONA, (Feb. 20, 2013) ---Acer will be showcasing the first two smartphones of its 2013 line-up targeted at feature phone upgraders, first-time and multimedia users at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Featuring a new industrial design in pearl white and carbon black and dual SIM cards(1) the Acer Liquid E1 and Z2 complements the company's mobile footprint and reinforces Acer's commitment to the smartphone market.
Acer Liquid E1: Cinema Experience with Dual Speakers
Targeted at multimedia users the Liquid E1 features a large 4.5-inch qHD display(2), powerful dual-core processor, optional dual SIM cards(1) and two speakers to smoothly handle multimedia and communication at the same time. The unique Float Caller notification ensures that users will not be interrupted by incoming calls or messages by taking over the full screen while using apps or watching videos. Instead, a Float Caller notification window pops up and lets users take calls or reply with quick messages.
Liquid E1 also features an impressive dual-speaker system and DTS Sound[TM] for enhanced audio with volume maximization, so users can freely enjoy music stored locally or streamed from their PC through AcerCloud. The integrated Moodagent creates music playlists based on an individual's mood or uses songs from the library to create playlists that not only matches a person's mood, but also a specific taste in music. The zero shutter delay camera captures images momentarily and snaps fast-action sequences with 4-, 8- and 16-burst shooting.
Liquid Z2: Your gateway to the world of Smartphones
The Liquid Z2 features a quick mode navigation tool and a fast 1 GHz processor offering first-time users and feature phone upgraders a fluid first time experience. The Android OS learns users' habits and has a very intuitive interface with large icons. It's easy to operate and makes Internet browsing, photography, and listening to music a breeze, especially with the support of AcerCloud. The versatile 3MP or 5MP camera launches in just 1 second, offers panoramic and multi-angle modes, plus continuous shooting (up to 99 shots) to capture precious moments. SRS Sound[TM] immerses users in excellent mobile audio with greater clarity and deeper bass. The enhanced sound is echoed by rhythmic design features including rippling lines along the smartphone's edges. The optional dual SIM cards(1) gives users all the convenience of having two mobiles in one and a great way of saving money by combining two different rate plans or services.
Easy to Share Files and Media
Acer smartphones also support AcerCloud, a file sharing and media management solution that lets users easily retrieve, enjoy and share their multimedia and data files using a variety of computing devices. AcerCloud simplifies management of digital assets across mobile devices, regardless of platform, and is free on new Acer products.
Price and Availability
The Liquid E1 and Z2 will be available to buy in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Ukraine followed by Russia, UK and Italy across selective, retail-, telco-, and online channels. Additional information is available at www.acer.com.
Visit Acer at Pepcom on February 24 and at MWC at Hybrid Hall - Hall 3, stand 3C154 from February 25 - 28.
Acer Liquid E1 features and specs:
Network: 3G 900/2100 MHz, 2G 850,900,1800, 1900 MHz
Display: 4.5" qHD (960 x 540) with IPS
Chipset: Dual Core 1GHz
OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Camera: 5MP AF with flash LED + 0.3MP front
Speakers: Dual speakers
Additional features: FM Radio, Float Caller, Mood Agent, DTS Sound[TM], Acer UI 5.0, AcerCloud,
Google Search, Google Gallery/Music, Gmail, Gtalk, Google
Play Store, YouTube,Polaris Office Editor, Swype text input
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+EDR, Dual SIM¹
Sensor: Accelerometer, e-compass, light, proximity
Memory: 4GB ROM(4) + 1GB RAM, micro-SD
Dimension: 132 x 68.5 x 9.9 mm, 130g
Battery: 1760 mAh
Acer Liquid Z2 features and specs:
Network: 3G 900/2100 MHz, 2G 850,900,1800, 1900 MHz
Display: 3.5" HVGA (480x320)
OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Camera: 3MP or 5MP
Additional features: FM Radio, Quick Mode, Google Search, Google Gallery/Music, Gmail, Gtalk, Google Play Store, Google maps, YouTube, SRS Sound[TM], Swype text input
Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+EDR, Dual SIM¹
Sensor: Accelerometer, light, proximity
Memory: 4GB ROM(4) + 512MB RAM, micro-SD
Dimension: 110 x 62.5 x 12.25 mm, 110g
Battery: 1300 mAh
Remember that unnamed Acer phone we caught skulking about Intel's CES event? It's been given a proper launch: meet the Liquid C1. True to form, the fully revealed device centers around a Lexington-based, 1.2GHz Atom Z2420 processor. The chip gives the C1 enough grunt to power an 8-megapixel camera with burst shooting while keeping the price in check, at about 9,990 baht ($335) off-contract for the inaugural Thailand release in February. Locals will otherwise get a solid Android 4.0 smartphone with a 4.3-inch display, HSPA+ 3G and a battery that lasts for nine hours of 3G talk. Other countries in southeast Asia are next on the list to get Acer's turn at an Intel-powered handset, although we wouldn't expect to see it everywhere -- Intel's Uday Marty warns ZDNet that the absence of LTE will keep phones like the C1 away from markets where the faster data is commonplace.
Acer just added another smartphone to its Liquid E line of mid-range handsets, and it's called, unsurprisingly enough, the Liquid E1. Device specs aren't bad for a phone of this caliber: you get a 4.5-inch qHD (960 x 540) IPS display, a dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of built-in storage, a microSD card slot, a 5-megapixel camera and a decent 1,760mAh battery. It ships with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, though we would've preferred the latest Android 4.2 on board instead. While the specs didn't wow us, the curved design does look quite handsome at first blush -- it measures 132 x 68.5 x 9.9mm and weighs in at 4.59 ounces (130g), so it appears quite lightweight as well. We'd be inclined to like it even more if the price was low enough, but Acer hasn't announced that just yet. We hope to get a closer look at this smartphone at Mobile World Congress, but until then you'll just have to make do with the picture above.
Via: Phone Arena
At Intel's press conference today here in Las Vegas we got a chance to see smartphones from Acer and Xolo based on chipzilla's Lexington platform. This new SoC follows in Medfield's footsteps but is targeted primarily at emerging markets. It scales up to 1.2GHz, supports 1080p video and features HSPA+ with dual SIMs. We were not given any specs and were only allowed to look (in fact we got in trouble for touching) so stay tuned for more details as we find out more. Until then, go ahead and take a look at our gallery below.
07/01/2013 - Intel announces new Lexington platform: up to 1.2 GHz, supports 1080p video and HSPA+ data speeds
During Intel's press conference at CES 2013, the company outed a brand new platform for mobile devices known as Lexington (Z2420), intended mainly for smartphones headed to emerging markets. The Atom processor is optimized for Android apps and runs at up to 1.2 GHz with the company's hyper-threading technology. It supports dual 5- and 1.3-megapixel shooters with burst picture-taking at 7 fps, and it'll also decode and encode 1080p video at 30 fps; PowerVR's SGX 540 GPU will take care of graphics. The chip can deal with HSPA+ data speeds, microSD cards, dual SIMs (with dual standby), FM radio and WiDi streaming. It's already destined for handsets made by Acer, Safaricom and Lava.
Gallery: Intel's Lexington (Z2420) platform
Apple's patent claim against Samsung's Galaxy S III mini is no more, with Cupertino citing the phone's lacking availability in the US for the amendment to its original November filing. In the ongoing litigation between the two electronics giants, Samsung argued that it's Galaxy S III mini didn't warrant inclusion in the latest volley of Samsung devices Apple wants added to its patent lawsuit; Apple apparently agreed, and is thusly withdrawing its claim against that particular device. The argument also highlights the sad news that the S III mini won't join Samsung's Galaxy lineup in the US.
An agreement filing spotted by Reuters from a San Jose, CA. US District Court revealed today's news, coming just days after Judge Lucy Koh dismissed a request to permanently ban sales on several Samsung devices. It's unclear if the other Samsung devices Apple asked to be added to the ongoing case are approved yet by the court, but we can certainly count the S III mini out for the time being.
Acer may be something of a leaky ship. Just days after we saw the supposed V360 smartphone pose for the camera, a possibly related V350 model has reportedly shown up in GLBenchmark's results. Despite the lower number in the naming scheme, the device put through testing looks to be the higher-end of the two. It jumps to a 720p screen, a speedier 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor and even a slightly newer Android 4.1.2 build of Jelly Bean. Without a peek at other details, we don't know what else if anything might be upgraded over the V360, or if this is indeed a real device -- benchmarks aren't definitive proof, after all. If history is an indicator, though, we could get full details of the V350 near Mobile World Congress in February, like with past devices. We just hope Acer is timelier about actually getting to market this time around.
Via: Phone Arena
As a brand, Acer doesn't quite yet resonate in the mobile space. After all, it took the company the better part of a year to release the CloudMobile. But from the looks of these (very clear) leaks captured on Chinese site VR-Zone, it seems Acer may be prepping a mid-range device for that market. Allegedly dubbed the V360, the handset appears to be running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean which, if true, would be a first for the OEM. It's not clear if the UI is skinned, but if its previous work on the CloudMobile's UX is any indication, expect this one to be very lightly skinned. Apart from that, there are a handful of unverified specs floating about, like a 4.5-inch qHD display, unknown dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz, five-megapixel camera and DTS sound (as indicated by backplate branding). As for the possible release and pricing for this mystery device, well, that's very much up in the air. Acer would first have to confirm its existence before we move on to those market realities.
Source: VR-Zone.com (Translated)
Back in June, when Acer first announced the Aspire S7 Series, two things seemed noteworthy: these were the company's first touchscreen Ultrabooks, for one, and they were easily its best-made. Whereas the earlier S3 and S5 skew a bit boring, the S7 is made of aluminum, with either a metal or Gorilla Glass lid, depending on whether you choose the 11- or 13-inch version. What's more, it has a 1080p IPS display, which looked just as nice in our initial hands-on as the spec sheet would have you believe. Throw in a choice of Core i5 and i7 processors and a RAID 0 SSD configuration, and you can easily expect the same fast performance we recorded on the S5. So is this it? Has Acer finally built an Ultrabook we can heartily recommend? More to the point, does the 13-inch model get enough things right to justify that $1,400 starting price? Find out in our review after the break.
Gallery: Acer Aspire S7 review
It's been a while since we last took a look at a smartphone from Acer. Today's offering -- the S500 CloudMobile -- however, might not be all that unfamiliar, having first met our eyes way back at MWC in spring. This time around Acer presents us with a leaner, slicker, much more design-conscious handset, one that isn't just about the pretty looks, either.
With a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera and a 720p display, all for £289 SIM-free, it's pitched against similarly specced phones like the HTC One S. In short, it's yet another alternative for people seeking a full-featured smartphone, except it comes without the pocket-draining price tag. More importantly for Acer, however, is the chance to get back onto people's smartphone radars. So, now that the CloudMobile has gently drifted over our shores, does it have us looking to the sky, or putting on our raincoats of indifference? Read on to find out.
Gallery: Acer CloudMobile review
Acer CloudMobile review: an ambitious Android phone that arrived a little too late originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 10 Nov 2012 14:30:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | | Email this | Comments