802.11ac Wi-Fi is so last year, or it is if you're Acer, since the Taiwanese company's latest TravelMate P648 laptop is the first one to come to market with Tri-band 802.11ad, and it comes with the rest of its CES 2016 announcements. With promises of up to ten times faster speeds compared to 802.11ac, Acer is billing the TravelMate as a productivity weapon for professionals. Then you'll just need to find a router that also supports 802.11ad.
The speed doesn't end with the Wi-Fi, either, with USB-C plus Thunderbolt 3 support which also means it can push two external 4K monitors as well as ultrafast data transfer.
Internal hardware options are suitably beefy, with up to 6th-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs, 512GB SSD storage or 1TB hard disk drives and NVIDIA 840M dedicated graphics all available, the TravelMate is a capable sounding all-rounder. Memory options range from 4GB of DDR4 RAM all the way up to 20GB. You'll also find NFC and a fingerprint scanner on board.
You'll find yourself looking into a 14-inch Full HD 1920x1080 resolution IPS display, and the business credentials are further pushed with with a backlit keyboard. There's also an optional Prodock for when you get to home or the office, with a vast array of ports including USB 3.0, DisplayPort, gigabit Ethernet. Sit down, dock up, and get to work.
Pricing starts at $799 in North America, or €999 in Europe where it'll be available in April. China will see the new TravelMate in February with prices starting at ¥6,999.
New Acer TravelMate P648 Commercial Notebook, the Ultimate Professional Road Warrior
LAS VEGAS (Jan 4, 2016) Acer today announced the TravelMate P648 series commercial notebooks, which run on Windows 10, boasts powerful Intel® 6th generation Core™ i3, i5 and i7 processors, industry-leading 802.11ad multi-band wireless connectivity for networking, and Thunderbolt™ 3 for ultra-fast data transfer and 4K displays. Combining a durable, ultra-slim chassis and speedy wireless technology, these notebooks are the ideal traveling companion for even the most active road warriors.
This new series builds upon the Acer TravelMate P645, which earned Red Dot Awards in both 2015 and 2014, and an iF product design award in 2014. The powerful processors translate to faster wireless processing, long battery life of up to 8 hours, vivid, clear visuals and fast video conversion.
"Lightweight, durable and powerful, the TravelMate P648 commercial notebooks were designed to meet the demands of executives and other business travelers," said Jerry Kao, President of Notebook Business Group, Acer Inc. "In addition, IT professionals will appreciate the stringent security for safeguarding the systems and valuable corporate data."
Light Yet Durable Traveling Companion
The Acer TravelMate P648 is built to withstand the rigors of frequent travel. A high-strength carbon and glass fiber lid is light, yet strong, while the system weighs only 3.5 pounds (1.7 kg) and measures just 0.83 inches (2.12 cm) thin. The palm rest and bottom cover are made from magnesium-aluminum, allowing the notebook to handle extreme pressure and protect it from drops4. To maintain its high performance, a fan keeps the system cool and Dust Defender technology safeguards it from dust. A full-sized chiclet keyboard provides comfortable typing with 1.4mm travel distance, and a spill-resistant design protects the keyboard from accidental spills up to 5 ounces (150 cc). The keys are LED-backlit, so they can be seen in dimly-lit environments, such as red-eye flights.
Industry's First Notebook with 802.11ad Multi-Band Wireless Connectivity for Networking
Featuring the latest 802.11ad multi-band wireless technology from Qualcomm Atheros, the TravelMate P648 can utilize the 60GHz band wireless spectrum to deliver speeds up to 4.6Gbps, which is up to 10 times faster5 than 802.11ac. With less latency, 802.11ad is designed to reduce the time delay of projecting wireless content from the notebook to a mere 30 milliseconds6. The multi-band wireless solution supports 802.11ac with MU-MIMO in parallel, giving up to three times7 throughput improvement for 11ac in typical multi-user scenarios.
"The demand for faster Wi-Fi continues to grow, particularly in the workplace. Continuing to evolve Wi-Fi so it meets these demands is a top priority for Qualcomm, and we're showcasing industry leadership with the new 802.11ad multi-band solutions. Acer was the first to provide users with 11ac wave 2 with MU-MIMO, and through our collaboration will now be the first with this new 11ad networking solution, allowing users to interact with Wi-Fi in a brand new way," said Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Ideal Office Mate
The TravelMate P648 is ideal for travel as well as life at the office. In addition to a card reader and HDMI for connecting to an external display, it's conveniently outfitted with a super-fast Thunderbolt 3 (USB 3.1 Type-C) port and three USB 3.0 ports with one supporting power-off charging. The optional Acer ProDock features a full gamut of ports for connecting a vast array of digital devices and peripherals, including two USB 3.0, DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, VGA and Gigabit Ethernet.
The new Acer TravelMate P648 models were designed to fulfill the rigorous requirements of commercial customers with 14-inch displays, offering choices up to Full HD with IPS technology and up to NVIDIA® GeForce® 940M graphics with 2GB VRAM. They also boast 4GB DDR4 memory upgradable to 20GB and ample storage space with up to 1TB1 hard drives or 512GB1 solid state drives (SSD). Optional RAID 0 SSD configurations provide fast boot times up to twice the performance than traditional SSD. The LED-backlit displays leverage ComfyView™ anti-glare technology to protect the eyes from blue light emissions and decrease eye fatigue.
Optimized for conference calls, the TravelMate P648 comes with a HDR HD webcam with wide view support, dual microphones and two speakers, a mute key, high-definition audio and Acer Purified.Voice for enhancing voice sound and reducing background noise and keystrokes. Near Field Communication (NFC) supports paperless payments and tickets.
Tight Security and Time-Saving Management Tools
The TravelMate P648 is outfitted with powerful security software and hardware as well as time-saving management features to simplify the service and upgrade of many of its internal components.
Acer ProShield Manager, a suite of both security and management tools, safeguards valuable data. It uses pre-boot authentication to protect the notebook from the BIOS to the application level. Users can create a Personal Secure Drive (PSD) to seamlessly store and encrypt all critical files, preventing data from being accessed if the notebook is lost or stolen. In addition, it provides an automated solution for managing IT assets remotely.
An integrated biometric fingerprint reader paired with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 reader protects the system from unauthorized access and a Kensington lock enables it to be secured to a desk.
Acer Office Manager (AOM), a manageability solution, lets IT professionals deploy security policies, monitor IT assets, and schedule maintenance tasks. Plus, Intel vPro with Active Management Technology enables them to administrate software and hardware computing assets.
The Acer TravelMate P648 commercial notebook line will be available to customers with Windows 10 Pro.
"The new Acer TravelMate P648 series provides the latest in design and portability, as well as serious horsepower under the hood through the newest 6th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ processor, designed for the modern workforce," said Tom Garrison, vice president and general manager for the Intel Business Client division. "Once again, Acer validates an understanding of what businesses need with a sophisticated, secure and manageable system that can keep up with increasing demands on power and performance."
Acer professional notebooks are submitted to a series of reliability tests and are compliant with strict industry standards. The TravelMate P648 series commercial notebook models are Energy Star® qualified and meet the criteria to be titled as EPEAT Gold.
Pricing and Availability
The Acer TravelMate P648 series commercial notebooks will be available in North America in April with prices starting at $799.99, in EMEA in April with prices starting at €999, and in China in February with prices starting at ¥6,999.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine