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AcerCloud gives new PC owners free online storage

David Ludlow
9 Jan 2012
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Hybrid system uses PC storage to give you all your documents everywhere

Following in Apple's footsteps with its iCloud online backup, Acer has announced that all of its new PCs will ship with AcerCloud, which will launch in Q2 2012.

Unlike traditional online storage, which Apple uses for iCloud and that relies entirely on the cloud, AcerCloud is a hybrid using online storage and your PC's storage together. Photos and documents are available temporarily online for 30 days, but automatically backed up to your PC.

AcerCloud

New documents and photos are saved to the cloud for 30 days, but backed up to your PC.

Documents that are older than this are stored on the PC and can be accessed over the internet. Acer claims that its Always Connect technology will allow a PC or laptop to be woken using Wi-Fi, so provided your computer's in sleep mode all of its documents will remain accessible.

In addition to supporting its PCs, Acer will have clients available for Android devices at launch, with Windows Phone 7 support coming later. We also asked about iOS support, but this doesn't seem likely.

"It's in discussion," said an Acer spokesman. "although our CEO says our strategy lies with different platforms."

Mobile devices that are supported have their photos automatically saved to the cloud and backed up to the host computer.

Multimedia files stored on the host computer can be accessed and streamed or downloaded for offline use using the Acer clear.fi Media application.

Acer Aspire All-In-One A27871

AcerCloud will ship with all new PCs, such as the Aspire All-In-One A27871.

Acer imposes no storage limits on the service, which is free with all new Acer PCs, such as the Acer Aspire All-In-One A27871. Details were thin on the ground about this new touch-screen PC, but it will have a touchscreen display and a clever keyboard with a LCD-powered number pad that can be switched off to turn it into a mult-touch touchpad.

Acer Aspire All-In-One A27871 keyboard

The keyboard has a number pad that can be turned into a multi-touch touchpad.

AcerCloud sounds like a neat extra for computer owners, but there are some limitations. Notably, the last 30 days of documents can be synchronised to another computer, but that has to be running the AcerCloud software, which will only be available to new Acer PC owners.

Then there's the matter than documents and photos that fall out of the 30-day limit are no longer backed-up online. For secure online backup as well as synchronisation and the backup of mobile devices, an existing service may be required, such as the Best Buy-winning SugarSync. This supports Android, iOS, Windows Mobile (not Windows Phone 7) and BlackBerry, lets you synchronise between any computers (Windows and OS X) and has a free 5GB version.

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