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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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I could be wrong -- maybe it's actually not TN. I've asked and am waiting a response, but the cynic in me is expecting TN. I'll update if necessary.
  • purerice - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    You have some good points. My only 2 hopes are that A) this is a baseline for i5 Haswell touchscreen laptops with 1080p+IPS+SSD cache+GT3 won't be more than $200 more...
    The 4200U ties one of the i3s as the cheapest mobile Haswell chip atm.

    Upgrading to a 28w Haswell would likely tack on $80 at retail, another $30 for IPS ($60 for 1080p), $30 for SSD cached HD, $20 for better network card, and $40 for a better battery. iow, with tax a good Haswell touchscreen laptop will probably come to about $1000. Refurbed IVBs at $600 are starting to look pretty good.
  • Crono - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Acer is quietly moving from being a budget brand to being a midrange and, dare I say, a (lower tier) premium brand.
  • otherwise - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    I guess that's what happens when you do budget right for long enough; people are willing to trust you further up the chain when it's time to purchase there. My Aspire 1810T has been good enough to me that I would definitely consider Acer if/when they do come out with a Haswell ULV Ultrabook. Moreso than HP considering how many times I've been burned by them.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - link

    Where are all the Haswell "ultrabooks"? The only ones on Newegg are the Sony Vaio.
  • stratoknight - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Acer's S7-392 is available on Amazon and the Dell XPS 12 has Haswell now.

    Not sure if these count as "ultrabooks" but the following do have ULV Haswell options that you could order today:
    HP ProBook 430 G1
    Dell Inspiron 15R Touch
    Toshiba Satellite P50-AST2NX1
    Toshiba Satellite P55t-A5202

    Some others that I have seen that are on their way that have Haswell ULVs
    Acer V5-573G-9491
    Acer V7-582P-6673
    HP TouchSmart 14-k000 series
  • HisDivineOrder - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    It's sad that we get laptops with crappier screens than tablets because MS and Intel won't stop pricing the crap out of their parts due to them living in the 90's.
  • jimbo2779 - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    Yeah its MS and/or Intel's fault a computer manufacturer decides to put low quality screens in their machines!

    Are you simple?
  • JarredWalton - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I think you're not grasping the content of his message. MS charges a pretty fat fee for Windows -- I don't know how much OEMs pay exactly, but I suspect it's north of $50. Intel meanwhile sells their Core i3/i5 CPUs starting at around $150, and with a really sweet OEM deal they might get them for $100-$125 I suspect, but you have to tack on another $30-$50 for the Intel chipset as well. Combined then we're looking at roughly $250 for the CPU, chipset, and OS. Compare that to an ARM-based Android tablet where the OS is free and the SoC is about $20-$30, and you can see how tablets are able to spend more of the total BoM on the display. Then again, tablets often sell for less than $400 and we're looking at $700 for a basic touchscreen laptop, though I haven't accounted for storage, RAM, cooling, keyboard, etc. yet....
  • turing-test - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - link

    I am loath to tell you that you should have said "loathe".

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