Acer eyes making more mobile Internet gadgets

Acer will likely launch more, smaller mobile Internet devices in future, an executive said.

Fresh from the launch of a mini-laptop the company hopes will catapult it into a new segment of portable Internet devices, an executive at Acer said the company is also looking to build even smaller devices to fit the category.

Acer launched the [[xref:http://www.acer.com/aspireone/|Aspire one] on Tuesday, a low-cost mini-laptop with an 8.9-inch screen that contains an [[xref:http://www.intel.com/technology/atom/index.htm|Atom] microprocessor from Intel to ensure long battery life. The device is one of several new mini-laptops launched at Computex aimed at people looking for a device with the power and screen size to surf the Internet wirelessly but not so small that Web pages are hard to view. The device will cost between US$399 and $499 when it launches in July.

The devices are meant as first computers for people who mainly want to enjoy Internet access on the go. They all come with wireless Internet connectivity, whether Wi-Fi or 3G mobile telecommunications, and boast long battery life, up to eight hours in some machines. Acer believes there is room for another kind of device because there are over 1.5 billion Internet users around the globe but fewer than 1 billion PCs out there.

"We see there's a huge gap between the amount of Internet users and the number of devices out there. Since the gap is so huge we're trying to fill that with devices," said Jim Wong, a senior corporate vice president at Acer, in an interview in Taipei.

Acer is looking at devices smaller than Aspire one to fill the needs of more people looking for mobile Internet devices.

"The Aspire one is the biggest size, it is a two-handed device. We're definitely thinking about a one-handed device," said Wong. He declined to comment on what the device might look like or when it might be available.

But he said Acer is interested in touch-screen devices, and sees that as a key for one-handed mobile Internet devices.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service

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