Acer Showcases Aspire Notebooks With AMD Fusion, Intel Sandy Bridge Chips

Acer at CES this week launched a slew of notebooks featuring integrated graphics processors -- both AMD's Fusion APUs as well as Intel's Sandy Bridge processors.

The new Acer Aspire AS5750, AS7750, and AS8950 models feature the second-generation Intel core Sandy Bridge chips, while the Acer Aspire AS5253 is based on AMD's latest Fusion APUs, which integrate CPU and GPU capability on a single-die.

The Aspire family of products emphasizes HD video capability, with support for, Acer's home entertainment networking system, which allows Acer notebooks to share content with one another.

The 15-inch Aspire 5750, 5750G, and the 17.3-inch 7750G version run on the new Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, while the more cost-effective, low-power Aspire 4253 and 5253 notebooks feature AMD's Fusion processors.

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The Aspire 7750G offers a choice between AMD's Radeon HD 6550 or Radeon HD 6650 graphics cards, and includes an optional Blu-ray drive. It supports up to 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, and up to 750 GB of hard drive space. The Aspire 5750 come with up to 6 GB of RAM, and up to 640 GB of hard drive space.

However, the Aspire 5750 only includes Intel's Sandy Bridge integrated graphics processors, while the 5750G comes with an optional Nvidia GeForce GT 540M discrete graphics card, as well as Nvidia's Optimus switchable graphics technology.

The two 15-inch models, the Aspire 5750 and the Aspire 57050G, both have 1,360x768 resolution screens, while the 17.3-inch Aspire 7750G has a 1,600x900 display.

AMD launched its Fusion APUs the night before CES 2011 opened in Las Vegas. Fusion includes the Brazos platform, which is based on AMD's x86 Bobcat architecture and consists of two product families: Zacate and Ontario. The E-series Zacate processor includes the dual-core 1.6 GHz E-350 and the single-core 1.5 GHz E-240 version, both of which are intended for mainstream laptops, all-in-ones and smaller desktops. The C-series Ontario accelerated processor, which includes a dual-core 1.0 GHz version and a 1.2 GHz C-30 single-core version, was also on display at CES.

The more high-performance Fusion processor is the 32-nm A-Series Llano APU, which is set to appear in products mid-year. Llano comes with up to four x86 cores and a DirectX 11-capable discrete-level GPU.

Other manufacturers that have adopted AMD's Fusion processors include Lenovo's ThinikPad x120e on display at CES earlier this week, and Sony's 3D Vaio Y-series line of notebooks.

Next: Other Sandy Bridge Systems

On the opening day of CES, Intel CEO Paul Otellini introduced Sandy Bridge , the second generation of its Core processor family, based on a 32-nm process and equipped with built-in graphics capabilities. The update includes new versions of the Core i3, i5 and i7 series of processors that were originally introduced at last year's CES.

Several manufacturers have unveiled or announced upcoming devices running Sandy Bridge during CES. MSI on Wednesday at CES launched its GT780, GT680, GE620 and GR620 notebooks with Sandy Bridge processors inside. Also on Wednesday, Asus launched its G73SW A1 laptop powered by Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors. Lenovo on Tuesday introduced the 12.5-inch ThinkPad E220 and the 14-inch E420 with Sandy Bridge processors, while HP announced plans to offer Sandy Bridge upgrades to its HP Pavilion dv6, Pavilion dv7, and Envy 17 notebook.

Reports last month suggested Acer's 17.3-inch Aspire notebook would include Intel's Sandy Bridge processors after retail listings for several upcoming systems equipped with Sandy Bridge processors began appearing online.

The Aspire 5750, 5750G, and 7750G will be available on January 9, starting at $899.99 for the Aspire 5750 and 5750G, on the same day that the Aspire 7750G will become available for a starting price of $ 1,029.99