Acer plans a netbook with 10.2in screen, as well as an iMac rival.

Acer, the world's third largest PC vendor, is planning to launch a netbook next year with a 10.2in screen, the largest netbook screen from Acer so far, a company representative confirmed.

The Taiwanese company's Acer Aspire One netbook has been a hit this year. Launched at mid-year, the device now has the Asus Eee PC in its sights. Acer has forecast shipments of 6 million Aspire One's this year, against estimates of 5 million from Asustek for its Eee PCs.

The Acer Aspire One out now has an 8.9in screen, but most companies are putting out netbooks with 10.2in screens now. The slightly larger screen sizes are more popular with people who like to view web pages without scrolling left and right to see the entire page.

Asustek, which has offered a 7in screen on its Eee PCs, has said it does not plan to offer the small screen size in the future because people don't seem to like it as much.

Netbooks are mini-laptop PCs designed for mobility, typically sporting 7in to 10in screens and weighing less than 2kg. Most netbook components, including the microprocessor, are less powerful than those of full-fledged laptops so batteries last longer. Netbooks are designed for dealing with email, browsing the internet and working on word processor or spreadsheet documents, not for heavy-duty gaming, video editing or other multimedia work.

Reports also indicate that Acer plans to launch a rival to Asustek's Eee Top, which is a low-cost competitor to the Apple iMac, a display with computing functions built-in.

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