By James Wells

SYDNEY: Acer has become the first company to offer consumers notebooks with either a Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive, but for the second time this year it has backflipped on its release dates into the Australian market.

In a statement distributed yesterday, Acer said it intends to have its first notebooks featuring Intel Core 2 Duo processors in retail stores by mid-September, with the entire premium notebook range as well as a retail desktop range running on Core 2 Duo processors by mid-October.

Within minutes of making the statement, a spokesperson for Acer admitted that the premium notebook range, which features Core 2 Duo chips as well as the choice of either a Blu-ray or HD DVD drive, may miss the mid-October time frame.

The Blu-ray version is still slated at this stage to be released next month, but there is no clear release date for the model featuring HD-DVD.

On 23 May this year, Acer announced it would release the first notebook PC in Australia equipped with an HD-DVD drive. Stock of this model only arrived just a few weeks ago, resulting in Toshiba beating Acer to market with its Qosmio G30 notebook.

Acer product business manager – mobile, Lindsay Tobin, believes that when the products do arrive on the Australian market, the increased performance of the Intel Core 2 Duo chipsets will make the notebooks ideal for processing high definition video and multi-tasking.

“The Blu-ray enabled notebook will bring next-generation HD technology to our range. The model also makes us a unique vendor in that we offer customers notebooks with both Blu-ray technology and HD-DVD. We are all about giving our customers choice when it comes to their computing requirements," said Tobin.

"Intel has clearly raised the bar with the Core 2 Duo Processor and Acer is ready to get this technology into the hands of consumers. With our local production plant in Australia, we can quickly and efficiently give our customers what they want," said Tobin.

Prices for the Acer notebooks featuring Intel Core 2 Duo Processors range from $A1,699.