In the midst of all the Ultrabook announcements from Computex, there are also plenty of regular laptops coming out. Acer is launching a new line of laptops called V5, targeting users that are looking for thin and light notebooks that won’t break the bank—students are specifically given a mention. These are full-featured laptops with optical drives and standard voltage Core i3 and i5 processors, but the design language has been given a serious overhaul compared to previous value-oriented Acer Aspire offerings. Perhaps most notable is that the new models are 30% slimmer than the previous generation.

For now, Acer will be offering two general models with the Aspire V5, a 14” unit that’s 0.79”/20mm thick and weighs 4.6lbs/2.09kg and a 15.6” laptop that’s 0.83”/21mm thick and weighs 5lbs/2.27kg. Those figures are very close to the requirements for Ultrabooks, but in order to keep costs down Acer will be using regular CPUs and won’t ship any V5 laptops with SSDs or SSD caching. Acer didn’t provide specifics on the components they’ll be using, but you can expect a variety of models with differing hard drive capacities, CPUs, and memory if the past is any indication.

There’s no mention made of discrete GPUs, only HD 4000, but you will get the usual assortment of USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n wireless (now with Acer Instant Connect so that you can restore previously used networks in just 2.5 seconds) Bluetooth 4.0+ HS, and optical drives. Acer is also using chiclet-style keyboards, which is a great improvement from their old floating island design. The press release doesn’t mention LCD resolution, other than to say they feature a “true 16:9 aspect ratio” (I have no idea what a "false 16:9 aspect ratio" would be), but I’ll eat my hat if they’re anything other than 1366x768.

The chassis will feature a “soft and smooth surface”, so it sounds like Acer is using a soft-touch plastic material/coating. The V5 will launch in four colors: purple, blue, silver, and black. And as you would expect given the manufacturer, prices are coming in quite low. Acer will have widespread availability of the Aspire V5 models across the US shortly, with prices starting at $630 when equipped with a Core i3 Ivy Bridge CPU. If that’s still too expensive, Acer will also have models with last-generation Sandy Bridge processors starting at just $450. No models are currently listed, but keep your eye on Acer’s Aspire V5 webpage and it should be updated with additional information in the coming days/weeks.

Source: Acer PR

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  • SmCaudata - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    With the current processing power of Ivy Bridge I'm wondering what's the point? You can get small and lightweight versions with optical drives and the same screen resolution for about the same price as this laptop. The performance difference between normal voltage and low-voltage processors now does not matter for most users. I really feel that there should only be two classes of laptops now. The giant ones with high end GPUs (gaming or workstations) and the chassis that fit within the ultrabook spec.

    These companies could decrease the number of SKUs significantly by getting rid of these laptops. I'm sure people will buy them because the walk into a big box store and see an inexpensive laptop. They wouldn't be missed if they were off of the shelves. Also, it would help your brand image if all your products were well built with only internals making up the difference.
  • gamoniac - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    I agree. It's become too confusing unless one follows a particular line closely and regularly.

    Personally the main thing I look at in any laptop specs are: Size, CPU/GPU, and screen resolution, in that order.

    The size is pretty self-explanatory -- you decide how big/heavy your laptop will be. CPU-wise, any mide to highend CPU are plenty powerful as long as I can mitigate the hard drive performance bottleneck by slapping in an SSD. The screen resolution is more often than not the reason I skip a review or move on to the next item on the shelf.
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    I'm confused about your comment. These Aspire V5 laptops are "small and lightweight with optical drives", and they come with the standard voltage processors. That's the whole point, unless somehow you mean you prefer models with ULV processors from other companies? If not, you might want to read the article a bit more carefully.
  • DaveSimmons - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    I see these as a good deal for someone looking for a budget general-use laptop. Making them thinner and lighter without spending the extra $200+ for high-end parts is a nice compromise for someone who doesn't want to spend $800+
  • Shadowmaster625 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    What the hell kind of scam is that? If it costs $450 for a sb notebook then how the hell can an ib notebook cost $630 when the chips are the same price????
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    We don't know the specifics of the $450 models. My guess is: Core i3 (or possibly even Celeron/Pentium branded 2nd Gen Core?), 250GB or 320GB HDD, and 4GB if you're lucky. The Ivy Bridge models will most likely have 500GB and 4GB or even 8GB RAM for $630. Anyway, we'll have to see what actually shows up, but regardless getting even Core i3 IVB for $630 is pretty reasonable.
  • frozentundra123456 - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    Well, still seems kind of expensive to me, especially for an Acer. Maybe they will up the quality.

    But you can get an A6 Llano for 400-450 dollars, which seems like a better deal to me. Actually, seems like Llano/Trinity would be an ideal fit for these cheaper laptops. No way would I consider Sandy Bridge in a laptop now vs AMD with better graphics and also since Ivy is out with lower power use and better graphics as well.

    They would have to really cut the price dramatically, somewhere well below 400.00 for me to consider a SB laptop now.
  • starcrab - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    I own 8943g 17" Acer notebook. It over heat under heavy load Or gaming. Very very disappointed and will never buy any account Acer again!
  • ajp_anton - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    This must mean it's NOT 1366x768, because it's not exactly 16:9.
  • Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - link

    My thoughts exactly. :-) Maybe they've downgraded to 1280x720...

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