With the summer now half over, all of the major OEMs are beginning to launch their back-to-school lineups. Acer just sent word that they have a new model available at Best Buy that includes a touchscreen and a Haswell Core i5 processor for $700. Intel hasn’t launched their standard voltage dual-core Haswell processors yet, so naturally this is a ULV part, specifically the i5-4200U beats at the heart of the new M5-583P-6428. That processor has a base clock of 1.6GHz and a maximum Turbo Boost of 2.6GHz, which should be plenty for the typical student. Where performance may fall short is in the graphics department; the HD 4400 has 20 EUs clocked at up to 1GHz, but in practice it’s no faster than the previous generation HD 4000.

Other specifications are certainly going to draw some groans from our enthusiast community. While the display is a 15.6-inch touchscreen with 10-point capacitive input, the resolution is the painfully low 1366x768 that we’ve come to know and loath over the past several years. Other details are somewhat light; we know it has a 500GB hard drive (no solid state storage), 8GB RAM, a touchscreen LCD, and 802.11n wireless networking. What we don’t know is whether it’s a dual-band networking solution or not (probably not, and probably single-stream as well), and whether the LCD is decent quality or not (probably another low contrast TN panel). Acer does mention a "premium sound system" and enhancements to improve the microphone quality, but otherwise it sounds like the typical update every time a new CPU platform is launched. If we get one in for review, we'll of course provide full details.

The saving grace with laptops like this is their pricing, and with a price at Best Buy of $700 this is probably the lowest price we’re going to see on a Haswell touchscreen notebook in the short term. However, it’s also $200 more than what you might pay for similar Ivy Bridge laptops (e.g. ASUS VivoBook), and again about $200 more than touchscreen offerings with AMD E-series APUs (e.g. Toshiba Satellite). On the other hand, it has more memory and performance should be better than those types of laptops. Haswell has also impressed us with the battery life it’s able to achieve, and the Acer M5 looks to continue that pattern with a rated 6.5 hours of battery life (it’s only a 4-cell battery, so that tempers our expectations). If you’re interested in getting one, the M5 is available as of yesterday; we expect we’ll see quite a few similar laptops in the coming weeks.

Source: Acer PR

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  • jasperjones - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    is best buy paying you for this?
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Acer sent the PR, and it seemed like a reasonable enough topic to discuss so I did so. This is Pipeline, and as I mention at the end, "we expect we'll see quite a few similar laptops in the coming weeks." The only paychecks I get right now are from AnandTech, and I get those for reporting and writing, so expect to see more Pipeline stories going forward.
  • Zandros - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I think it is a reasonable topic. The headline did seem a bit off to me, though.

    I mean, sure, if you become interested it's good to know where it's available, but is the headline the place?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Acer's press release actually says, "Today Acer is announcing a new M5 notebook available exclusively at Best Buy." Figure if it's only available there, it's worth noting -- because if you don't have access to a Best Buy, you probably don't care much about the products sold there. :-)
  • caleblloyd - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Any news on when AT will start letting us up/down vote comments? I think it'd be cool because then readers would get to see the more meaningful discussions on the first page. It would surely beat having to wade through opinionated riff raff to talk about technology.
  • Ortanon - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    "The only paychecks I get right now are from AnandTech, and I get those for reporting and writing, so expect to see more Pipeline stories going forward."

    ROFL! Awesome response.
  • purerice - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    If I were Best Buy and I paid for this, I would want my money back.
  • Souzetsu - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I actually like announcements like this. I like knowing when a new laptop becomes available and seeing how it stacks up compared other options. I don't know of any other places that offer that coverage.
  • karasaj - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Acer also has the V5-122P available for $430 with a Temash APU (the A6-1450) and a 1366x768 (it is a 11" laptop) IPS touch screen... Much more attractive for most people than this because of the lower price and IPS. In my time with it (we bought it for my mom) Temash seems to be good enough for any basic browsing and 1080p video. But this is really cheap for Haswell... Shame that there are only 6 hours of battery life, since to me that's haswell's biggest draw!
  • Crono - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I agree about the IPS screen. They could easily fit a larger capacity battery into this model without making it too much heavier/thicker, so I'm hoping they actually will for other models. I'd like a new Haswell laptop, but it doesn't seem there are enough models out there quite yet that would fit my exact needs and budget.

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