Acer today announced the UK launch of eight Gemstone Blue laptops.

The Intel Core 2 Duo-based 6920G and 8920G series models will go onsale from mid-April, with the superior models in each range boasting Blu-ray drives, TV tuners and dual hard disks.

Acer is positioning the Gemstone Blue laptops as consumer home entertainment models and is claiming an industry first for their true HD (high-definition) resolutions and "market exclusive" 18.4in and 16in footprints. Acer says these screen sizes enable the consumer laptops to display significantly more of the picture than other widescreen models are able to.

The Acer Aspire 8920G has a 1,920x1,080-pixel resolution and a native 16:9 widescreen resolution, coupled with an 8ms response time. nVidia's GeForce 9650M graphics card with DirectX 10 support handle the graphics-processing.

An exceptionally wide colour gamut of 90 percent promises a noticeable improvement to the look of movies it plays. Acer claims the colour intensity is 100 percent more than that of typical notebook panels.

Acer includes an HDMI connector and Blu-ray multi-format DVD writer on the higher-end T9300 and also primes it with two 320GB hard disks.

Another key feature of the eight-strong range of Gemstone Aspire laptops is the inclusion of second-generation Dolby Home Theater 5.1 audio features (CineSurround and Tuba CineBass booster with 10W sub-woofer among them). The Dolby Natural Bass technology included on the laptops can be easily switched on or off depending on how immersed the user wants to be, while audio and video playback can be controlled via a touch-sensitive CineDash control pad to the left of the laptop's keyboard.

Acer has also for the first time included fingerprint readers on its consumer laptops, reasoning that as well as being used to secure access to personal data, such a setup can be used to provide one-touch access to up to 10 different files, folders or website addresses. One example given was for access to an online banking site.

Prices for the two Gemstone Blue ranges are £699 to £1,149 for the Aspire 6920G models and £899 to £1,399 for the Aspire 8920G models.

Acer Gemstone Blue laptop

Acer Gemstone Blue laptops come in 18.4in and 16in screen sizes to provide native support for high-definition resolutions