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Acer touts 'super 3G' notebook duo

But full HSDPA likely to come later as a wireless-card upgrade

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Acer has re-iterated its plan to bundle Vodafone-branded 'super 3G' HSDPA data cards with a pair of upcoming notebook PCs, pledging to introduce TravelMate and Aspire laptops with the cards in the coming months.

However, don't expect HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) support on day one. According to Acer, the data cards it plans to ship with the TravelMate 4260 and Aspire 5650 will be standard 2100MHz 3G products and are merely "upgradeable" to HSDPA. The cards will also support GSM/GPRS/EDGE connections thanks to a tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) radio.

Dell announced three 3G-equipped notebooks last month, having already stated earlier this year - as Acer did - its plan to ship laptops with bundled HSDPA cards. Like Acer, Dell will offer Vodafone data cards. Unlike its rival, Dell appears to be holding off doing so until the HSDPA service is commercially available.

Fujitsu Siemens is also planning to offer HSDPA-enabled notebooks this year, though it's partnering with T-Mobile.

Vodafone is currently trialling HSDPA in the London area and in Newbury, Berkshire. The cellco has said it hopes to roll out the service within the M25 some time this coming Summer. Other major UK towns and cities should be wired up by the end of the year.

Both Acer notebooks will be Centrino-branded machines running Core Duo processors and 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi. ®

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