Acer launches its first Netbook

Vendor has high hopes for its Aspire One and plans on taking on the corporate market in the future with 3G models

PC and notebook vendor, Acer, has made its first steps into the developing Netbook category and launched the Aspire One in Australia.

Running on Linux or Windows XP, the Aspire One retails from $599. Acer senior product manager, Henry Lee, said the launch was in response to consumer demand. The vendor recently set aggressive sales targets for its new Netbook during the Computex tradeshow in Taiwan.

"It's a new category of product that will increase in importance over time. Most consumers already have a PC at home and some are looking for a secondary product," Lee said. "Intel's Atom processor allows us to meet the needs of this kind of consumer."

The initial focus for the Aspire One would be retail and education markets, especially in the younger grades, where the sub-kg weight of the Netbook would suit the classroom environment, Lee said.

"We're talking to key schools and also at a department level at the moment to get units into the classroom," he said.

In Q4 Acer plans to release a model of the Aspire One with 3G capabilities built-in.

"With that unit we expect take-up among corporate and travel-heavy customers to increase," Lee said.

The bulk of Acer's channel partners had expressed interest in the Netbook and would have access to it, he said.

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