Acer Aspire One 571: The First Blu-ray Enabled Netbook?

acer_aspire_one_571_1-480x373When a new netbook is announced, you can pretty much guess the specs before you even begin reading a company’s press release: 1.6-GHz Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, 160GB hard drive, and Windows XP operating system. As such, keyboard quality and battery life have been vital elements in differentiating the various models, but a new element may enter the mix:  Blu-ray playback According to this website, the Acer Aspire One 571 uses Vmedia’s 32-mm media format, which houses movies inside of plastic cartridges.  But in order to properly display HD video on the 10-inch, 1,280 x 720 screen (which uses a cinematic 16:9 format),  the 1.66-GHz Atom CPU will supposedly be paired with Quartics’ Q1721 Multimedia Coprocessor, to enables both the encoding and decoding of H.264 and other HD formats (up to 1080p). When we reached out to Acer, a company spokesperson mentioned that a prototype was shown at CES, but there aren’t any immediate plans to release the Aspire One 571 stateside. The company is also looking into overseas markets, but nothing has been confirmed. We’ll continue investigating this tasty morsel of information to see what else can be dug up on this netbook. In the meantime, we propose a question:  We’re not sold on the idea of Blu-ray on such a small screen, but do you have a desire to watch HD video on a 10-inch netbook?

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  1. Teppo Says:

    Personally I am not necessarily all that interested in viewing HD material on the netbook screen itself. But add a HDCP capable graphics chip and DVI out into the mix and you could output the video to a big screen too when wanted or needed. I have been toying with the idea of an external optical drive for my netbook to make application installation easier. Could get a blu-ray one while at it (since I have no BD drives at all yet even though I actually have a couple of BD movies) but my netbook doesn’t have HDCP capability nor the processing power for the blu-ray video itself – yet firing up my power-hungry desktop comp just to watch BD titles isn’t all that appealing.

    Granted, this definitely doesn’t represent a common scenario among netbook users, I’m sure. Even if one were to want a portable computer that could double as a video player for a home theater, a full-size notebook with a built-in BD drive could do the trick while still not being too much of a power hog (as compared to a PS3 for example).

  2. Davide-NYC Says:

    While I do not think that the Quartics co-processor and the mini blu-ray drive are at all necessary what I do appreciate is the higher resolution screen. Just give me a d250 with a 1280 x 720 screen and we’ll be in business!

  3. Chunk Says:

    Meh, the new media format is kind of unnecessary.

    I’d much rather just stream or download HD content, possibly even get it on those SDXC cards they’re pushing now.

  4. techimad Says:

    when I travel I may want to watch a movie, and if that movie happens to be on blu-ray I can’t do it on my laptop or portable DVD player.
    If my laptop – or even better, net book, had a blu ray drive I’d definitely be interested.

    I have to say that my interest is based on portability and single convergent device rather than seeing HD on a small screen.

    I agree with teppo that proper video out ports would be marvellous.

    Ps – came across this because I googled netbook and bluray. It’s definitely a selling point for me. my laptop is a widescreen media machine that is really a desktop replacement. when I go visit the rellies at christmas a lovely netbook that can also view my existing blu rays (and maybe chrissie pressies) would be lovely.
    PPs – sorry for the abbreviations there. had a true girlie moment!

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