Acer Aspire Timeline 1810T: Looks of a Netbook, Guts of a CULV Notebook

a1810t2Looking for the love-child of a netbook and notebook? Acer seems to have bred one behind closed doors with the Aspire Timeline 1810T. Macles says it looks like the Acer Aspire One 751 netbook, but only from the outside. Instead of an Intel Atom, Acer shoved an Intel ULV SU3500 CPU running at 1.4GHz. That’s a chip from the Consumer Ultra Low Voltage line that’s surely going to appear in many more devices over the next six to 12 months.

Gone also is the Intel GMA 950 for graphics. Instead, the CPU is paired with the Intel GMA 4500MHD chipset, which can handle up to 4GB of memory. That’s double what most netbooks can deal with and should offer decent HD video decoding. The 11.6-inch display can handle it, thanks to the 1366 x 768 resolution. Using the HDMI port, you can pump the video out to an HD television set in a pinch, too.

With this platform, Macles expects an eight-hour battery life, even with the bigger jolt of the CULV platform. So what happens to the traditional netbook Atom platform when manufacturers start offering large netbook form factors with decent notebook power? It’s likely that cost will play a big part here, and there’s no price yet for the 1810T. If consumers could get greater performance with solid battery life in a light package for only $100 to $200 more than a netbook, they could be drawn to devices like this.

Looking back to an NPD report on netbook satisfaction last month, two data points support that thought:

  • 60 percent of netbook owners expected the device to have the same functionality as a notebook.
  • 65 percent of the 18- to 24-year-old demographic expected their netbook to perform better than a notebook. Only 27 percent of those felt that the netbook performed better than expected.

With a CULV, the device comes closer to offering the same functionality of a notebook and might perform closer to what consumers expect. On the other hand, if these devices command a $300, $400 or more premium over a netbook, they won’t likely compete for the same consumer decision.

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