Laptops

Acer Turns Its Attention to the Living Room With Clear.fi

Acer introduced its clear.fi home networking system and showed off prototypes for its upcoming Revo consumer product series at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Clear.fi is based on the DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) home networking standard and allows users to share content between Acer devices. Clear.fi can also automatically find Acer smartphones and PCs, including the company's newly announced Stream smartphone and touchscreen computers: the Aspire Z5710 All-in-One PC and Aspire 5745P notebook.

Clear.fi will be preinstalled on the Revo product series, which includes the Revo multimedia center, RevoPad wireless remote, RevoView high-definition media player, and a server with four hot swappable 2TB hard drives for 8TB of total storage capacity.

The RevoPad remote is stored inside the Revo, and removed when needed. By hitting a button on the top-right edge of the device, the RevoPad's backlight switches on to show its futuristic QWERTY keyboard and additional hot keys.

The RevoView can play content from a range of media, including hard disks, memory cards, optical discs, and UPnP mass storage media, and has a HDMI port for 1080p video and music playback. The player also comes with a hard drive that can be swapped out and used with the 2010 Aspire M Series desktop PC and RevoCenter.

The clear.fi software will be available soon, while RevoCenter servers will be out during the second half of this year. Release dates for other products remain uncertain and will largely depend upon availability of content from partners and service providers, said Trisha Pan, a senior product marketing manager at Acer. Pricing was not disclosed.

The aluminum-clad Aspire Z5710 All-in-One has a 23-inch display with 1920x1080 resolution and Dolby surround sound. It also comes with a slot-in optical drive, multi-card reader, an HDMI port and an optional TV-tuner.

Acer wants its devices to share a common user interface to eliminate the need for consumers to learn how to use digital electronics. For example, the interfaces for the company's upcoming Stream smartphone, Aspire Z5710 desktop and Aspire 5745P laptop are strikingly similar, despite the fact that the new PCs run Windows 7 and the Stream uses a tweaked version of Android 2.1.

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