Anyone who's been around PCs for a length of time remembers when Plextor had a reputation for building top-shelf optical drives. For the most part, they were fast performing and reliable, and of course more expensive than your average bargain-bin burner. Plextor still sells optical drives, but like everyone else, the company also dabbles in solid state drives. The company's newest SSD product is the M3 Series with "True Speed" technology and a comparatively lengthy 5-year warranty.
Acer, the second largest PC vendor in the galaxy, continues to gun for the No. 1 spot (held by Hewlett-Packard), and one way to get there is to kick out low-cost models nearly anyone can afford. That seems to be the philosophy behind Acer's new Aspire X3 and M3 Series consumer desktop models, which start out at just $450.
"Our new Aspire X3 and M3 Series desktops are great all-around workhorses offering practical technology in an intuitive design," said Steve Smith, senior business manager of consumer desktops for Acer America. "Engineered to efficiently multitask and tackle digital media, these systems are outfitted with industry-leading components and make an appealing addition to a dorm, bedroom or home office."
Featuring a space-saving chassis, the Aspire X3 series plays both sides of the fence with AMD Athlon II, AMD Phenom II, Intel Core i3, and Intel Pentium E6600 processor options. Other specs include 4GB of memory (standard), up to 1TB of hard drive space, Intel GMA HD graphics, optional Nvidia GeForce 9200 graphics, up to 11 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, and various other accouterments.
Acer's M3 series, on the other hand, come in only AMD flavors, either an Athlon II or Phenom II processor. Sporting a microtower chassis, the overall spec sheet is a little more subdued in some areas and includes up to 640GB of storage, one less USB 2.0 port, and choice between Nvidia's 9200 chipset or ATI's HD 5450 graphics.
The report that cites unnamed sources – no surprises – further claims that Microsoft has supplied some of its most intimate customers and partners with alpha builds of the OS designated M1 and M2 (M stands for milestone); M3 is in the works per the sources. A beta release by the end of this year will almost ensure the release of Windows 7 in late 2009 or early 2010; therefore, this delay won’t have a huge impact on Windows 7 release plans.