Touchy Subject: Acer Announces Aspire M5 Ultrabooks and V5 Notebooks with Windows 8

Paul Lilly

Someone should go ahead and que up a continuous loop of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch Me" hit from the 1970s (which again became popular in the 1980s courtesy of Joan Jett) because almost every time we see a new product announcement these days, it's the first song that comes to mind. Manufacturers are launching touch-friendly Windows 8 devices at a breakneck pace, including Acer , which just unveiled a line of Aspire M5 Ultrabooks and V5 notebooks, both with touch support.

The Aspire M5 Ultrabooks come in two sizes -- 14 inches (Aspire M5-481PT) and 15.6 inches (Aspire M5-581T). For whatever reason, Acer only equipped the 14-inch model with a 10-point multi-touch display; the 15.6-inch model is non-touch. Size and touch differentiation aside, both SKUs sport 3rd Generation Intel Core i5 processors, 500GB hard drive, 20GB mSATA solid state drive, two USB 3.0 ports, backlit keyboard, and an optical drive, the latter of which is fairly rare in the Ultrabook arena. Both will also come with Windows 8 installed. Acer intends to make these available exclusively at Best Buy on October 26 starting at $700 for the M5-581T and $800 for the M5-481PT.

There are three main versions of Acer's Aspire V5 Series notebooks: 11.6-inch Aspire V5-171, 14-inch Aspire V5-471, and 15.6-inch Aspire V5-571. All three come with Windows 8 installed, with the larger two models boasting 10-point multi-touch panels.

Like the M5 Ultrabooks, the V5 notebooks sport Ivy Bridge hardware inside, though in addition to Core i5 processors, users can also opt for models equipped with Core i3 and Core i7 chips.

"Acer continues to deliver on its promise to bring innovative technology with a superb blend of quality, performance and portability to consumers," said Sumit Agnihotry , vice president of product marketing, Acer America. "With Windows 8, the new Aspire V5 notebook series with touch allows consumers a premium feature even at mainstream price points."

Pricing will begin at $500 for the V5-571 without touch and $750 for the V5-471P with touch. Acer didn't say how much the touch version of the 15.6-inch model or non-touch 11.6-inch SKU will run in the U.S., though in Canada they'll cost $700 and $450, respectively.

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