Acer is always finding new ways to stand out from the competition. Just look at the company’s new Vero laptop—a sustainable and repairable device that’s garnered a ton of praise from press and customers alike. But Acer’s latest idea is a bit strange. Allow me to introduce Acer’s line of germophobe-friendly laptops, tablets, and monitors.
Antimicrobial products are a hot thing right now, and unfortunately, they’re not always great at protecting you from germs. Those UV phone sanitizers and magical brass keys are vaguely backed by science, for sure, but they aren’t a replacement or alternative for washing your hands or wiping down the stuff you use every day. They’re also unregulated, and they’re often sold by no-name companies hoping to cash in on fear.
Needless to say, we didn’t expect to see Acer dive into the sanitation game. But the company just announced five new products coated with a silver ion antimicrobial solution. There’s the new TravelMate Spin P4 laptop, the rugged Acer ENDURO Urban N3 laptop, the new VE6 monitor (I’m not sure why this needs to be antimicrobial), a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and an ENDURO Urban T3 tablet.
Did I say that there’s five new antimicrobial products? Sorry, I forgot to mention Acer’s new antimicrobial raincoat. I’m not sure how that one slipped my mind, but I’d like to forget about it again. Thanks.
Ignoring the weird raincoat, these devices are actually pretty compelling. The ENDURO Urban N3 looks fantastic, even. It costs just $850 but comes with an Intel 11th gen processor, an NVIDIA GPU, and a 13-hour battery life. There’s also IP53 dust and water resistance, plus an integrated drainage system to expel any liquids. Those are some unique features!
Yet Acer is relying on its antimicrobial coating to sell these products, and I find the whole thing a bit misleading. Acer doesn’t provide data to show whether its antimicrobial coating is effective or not—in fact, the company explicitly states that its antimicrobial solutions “do not claim to protect users or provide any direct or implied health-benefit.”
Instead, Acer says that these solutions help your products “stay cleaner for even longer.” If customers take this claim to heart, then they may decide not to clean their antimicrobial laptop very often. That’s pretty gross, given that antimicrobial coatings can’t magically clean dirt or grime and, according to Acer, don’t protect users from germs.
I definitely suggest window shopping for Acer’s new products. They look fantastic, and I love the company’s push for sustainability with its Vero laptop and Vero BR7 monitor. But please don’t buy a laptop for its microbial coating. Unless Acer can prove that its silver ion solution can effectively kill germs, you should clean these new laptops and tablets the way you would any other device.