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Acer spins Android dual-boot netbook and Ferrari phone

Jun 10, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Acer is readying the Acer Aspire One D260, a dual-boot netbook running Windows 7 and Android on an Intel Atom N450 or new DDR3-ready N455, with a claimed eight hours of battery life. Acer also formally introduced its high-end Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition, a smartphone that runs Android 2.1 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, offers a 3.5-inch screen, and — of course — is colored Ferrari F1 red.

The Acer Aspire One D260 is a follow-on to the dual-boot, Atom-powered Acer Aspire One D250-1613 announced last October. Pictured at right, the D250 was the first Atom-powered netbook to run Android, as far as we know. The netbook is due to ship July 1 at an unspecified price, according to SlashGear, which offered a photo and some additional specs not provided by Acer itself.

As with the D250-1613, Android plays second fiddle to Windows 7 on the D260, being billed as an optional accessory. Featured in an undisclosed version, Android appears to play a fast-boot alternative OS role, not unlike Linux quick-boot products such as MontaVista's MontaBello (Dell's Latitude ON), Phoenix Technologies' HyperSpace, and Xandros' Presto.

Acer Aspire One D260

(Source: SlashGear)

According to Acer, a user who boots the D260 into Android can run a web browser or email client within 15 seconds of pressing the start button. This is a slight improvement over the 18-second time that was cited for the D250.

Whereas the D250 ran on the 1.66GHz Atom N280, a variant of the earlier 1.6GHz N270, the N260 offers the newer "Pineview" N450 or N455 Atom processors. Both include onboard graphics and offer decreased power consumption, according to Intel. Yet, the D260 is said to offer only eight hours of battery life compared to nine hours for the D250.

The D260 is said to hold up to 2GB of DDR2 or DDR3 memory. For the DDR3 option, the netbook swaps out the N450 for the similar, recently announced N455, says Acer.

The Aspire One D260 offers a multi-in-one card reader, and once again supplies a 160GB hard disk drive, but it also adds a 250GB HDD option. Otherwise, the netbook appears to be almost identical to the original, with a few nips and tucks. The 10.1-inch backlit, Acer CrystalBrite display is said to offer WSVGA (1024 x 600) resolution and a 16:9 format, but apparently no touch capability to make Android feel at home.

A multi-gesture touchpad is provided, however, and is wider than the D250's version, says Acer. The 93 percent standard-size keyboard, meanwhile, is said to offer larger keys than the D250's.

The Acer Aspire One D260 provides a 10/100 Ethernet port and 802.11b/g/n (up from b/g), as well as optional 3G and Bluetooth 3.0 modems. An Acer CrystalEye webcam is also supplied, said to offer enhanced support for low lighting conditions. Available colors are said to include black flake, purple flake, pink flake and charcoal flake.

According to the specs posted by SlashGear, the netbook also provides three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, a speaker, and headphone and microphone jacks. The specs also refer to Android as "Android InstantOn," suggesting a fairly minimal install.

The netbook measures only 0.94 inches (24mm) thick and weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 k) for models with the six-cell battery pack, says Acer. A three-cell battery is also available with four hours of claimed battery life, says the company.

Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition

Tipped by Acer in a teaser announcement back in February, the Acer Liquid E Ferrari special edition had its formal coming-out party at Computex. In Acer's typically breathless marketing prose, the Android 2.1 smartphone is touted as "the most exclusive smartphone in the world" and is further described as being "passionate, like the red of its livery, sophistication, expression of the utmost perfection…" (You get the picture.)

Acer Liquid E Ferrari Special Edition

Beyond the hype, the undeniably attractive phone — at least for those who don't mind standing out with a handset that screams Ferrari F1 red — is essentially a version of the Acer Liquid e with extra bling. The Liquid e, in turn was the follow-on to the Acer's flagship Android phone, the Acer Liquid, notable for being the first Android phone to sport the near-ubiquitous Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

Like the earlier Liquid models, the Ferrari version sticks with the original 768MHz Snapdragon, unlike the more commonly used 1GHz version. The phone shares with the Liquid e features like 256MB of RAM, 512MB flash, and a microSD slot that accepts up to 32GB of memory. (An 8GB card is supplied with the phone, the company says.)

Acer Liquid E Ferrari from an angle

Like the Liquid e, the Ferrari edition offers a 3.5-inch, WVGA capacitive touchscreen, a five megapixel camera with autofocus and geo-tagging, and a weight under 135 grams (4.76 ounces), says Acer.

The phone offers 7.2Mbps HSDPA, WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0, and GPS, says the company. Other features include a 3.5mm audio jack, mini-USB, and sensors.

An Elite Bluetooth earpiece matches the red coloring and styling of the phone, which features the Scuderia Ferrari shield on its back cover, with details in carbon fiber. To reinforce the theme, the microphone has been redesigned to mimic a Ferrari air intake inlet (see image below).

Always wanted a mic that looks like a Ferrari intake? You got it.

The user interface has been personalized, too, says Acer, with Ferrari wallpaper used on the five-page home page. In addition, Acer provides Ferrari and Formula One related wallpaper, videos, and ringtones, says the company.

Stated Gianpiero Morbello, Acer VP, Marketing and Brand, "From the original concept to the finished product the new smartphone was conceived down to the finest details with the idea of giving a stronger sense of belonging to all Ferrari fans."


The SlashGear story on the Acer Aspire One D260, reporting a July 1 ship date, may be found here.

Pricing or availability was not provided for the Acer Liquid E Ferrari. Acer's web page for the phone may be found here.

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