Acer Aspire 9800 Laptop

Acer took its place in line behind Toshiba to say it will release an HD DVD-packing laptop, the Aspire 9800. This is going to be one unusual notebook, with a massive 20.1-inch. Although it has such a large screen, the maximum resolution is “only” 1680 x 1050 the same as 20.1″ desktop displays like the Dell 2007WFP. It would have been nice to see a WUXGA (1920×1200) display offered as an option. Powering the 20.1″ display is a GeForce Go 7600 GPU backed up with 256MB of dedicated graphics memory. The Aspire 9800 is able to support dual SATA hard drives up to 240GB in a RAID 0 configuration.

It’s naturally got Intel’s Dual Core processing and backs it up with a 240GB hard-drive, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0. The thing is loaded for video of all types, including a 1.3-megapixel webcam, and both analog and digital TV tuners feeding that big display.

Then there’s that HD-DVD drive. Such an advanced disc-eater is, of course, useless in these days of zero next-gen releases, but the first films are due this summer. Like the G30, it can’t write to HD-DVD discs, but archivists will be able to burn to dual-layer DVDs instead.

The Aspire 9800 is due to hit the UK in May and, although official pricing hasn’t been confirmed, prices are expected to start at £1500.

Sony may be preparing Blu-Ray Vaios for June but, with the Acer and Tosh double team, HD-DVD is well on its way to the title already.