Acer is for Netbooks

A few years ago, chance are, many people outside of Taiwan had never heard of Acer Group (LSE: ACID; Taiwan Exchange: 2353).  Lately, however, many more have, after Acer’s recent introduction of  the netbook (small laptop computers).  Acer’s netbooks have become increasingly popular, usually used by people as second computers, due to the size (generally 8.9″ or 10.1″) and lower cost.  One can get a netbook for less than $300. Of course, netbooks are not nearly as powerful as a regular laptops or desktops, but are great for people who travel and are using the computer mainly for email or browsing the web.

While many people may not have heard of Acer until now, the brand has actually been around for over 30 years.  Launched in 1976, it was first a company which only distributed parts.  However, as the PC market began to grow, the company eventually entered the manufacturing industry.  In addition, several well-known brand names are actually under the Acer umbrella, including Gateway and Packard Bell.  Besides computers, Acer also produces televisions, PDAs and other electronics.

Many of its computers, including netbooks are running on Windows (the netbooks are on XP, since Vista would take too long to load up), but Acer has also started to push Linux on its netbooks and will eventually expand that to laptops and desktops.  This will keep the costs low, making computers affordable to more people.

On Tuesday, May 5, Acer Inc. opened at 9.80 and closed at 9.75 in London.  Acer is also traded in Taiwan, and its Tuesday close was 64.80.  It opened Wednesday at 64.70.