Acer this week unveiled its latest series of TravelMate Timeline notebooks intended for business users who prefer to work their biceps at the gym rather than by carrying big and bulky laptops. Sporting neat lines and a slim profile, both the 14-inch line (8473 and 6495) and 15.6-inch models (8573 and 6596) measure no more than an inch thick and come built around Intel's Sandy Bridge platform.
Optional discrete Nvidia graphics with Optimus technology is available, otherwise pixel-pushing chores are handled by the integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. Timeline models pack up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, up to 750GB of hard drive storage (120GB SSD option also available), a USB 3.0 port, GbE LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and up to 8 hours of battery life. According to Acer, the company's PowerSmart long cycle batteries provide up to three times longer battery life cycles than traditional laptop batteries.
From a design standpoint, the latest Timeline laptops utilize a magnesium-aluminum case that evenly distributes external forces, Acer's DustDefender technology to prevent dust bunnies from making a home inside (a smart reversing mechanism in the cooling fan pushes the dust out), spill-resistant keyboard with drainage gaps at the bottom, and Disk Anti-Shock Protection (DASP) technology.
Pricing starts at $800 for the 8573 and 8473, and $1,000 for the 6595 and 6495.