The Apple MacBook Air 13” ultraportable computer range is now facing aggressive competition from Acer. Here, Acer are working on an ultraportable that is styled in a very similar way to the MacBook Air but selling it for under US$1000 for the fully-equipped package.
It will be a Sandy Bridge processor-powered unit with a hard disk of an undisclosed capacity or a 160Gb solid-state drive for the main system disk. There was reckoning that the computer, which will support Bluetooth 4, will be housed in that aluminium “wedge” case and, like the MacBook Air, it won’t have an integrated optical disk.
Acer had projected an approximate availability date for around October this year but this may be hampered by the availability of milled aluminium as well as projected availability of next-generation Intel chipsets.
But what I fear is that manufacturers like Dell and Acer will try to copy the Apple look for their portable computers in order to make themselves look cool in the Wi-Fi-equipped trendy cafe. Oh yeah, the grey or black finish will end up being consigned to the “corporate” end of the market and the coloured computers like the Dell Inspiron 15r will just appeal to the home user.
It is very similar to the two preferred directions that vehicle builders went for through the 1960s and 1970s, with a black dashboard and chrome-accented dials and controls for the “sports-car” look or the woodgrain dashboard for the “luxury” look.
At least HP, Sony and other brands have worked on their other designs for their consumer laptops rather than trying to ape Apple. This could allow them to work on designs that could upstage Apple.