Acer has announced a range of devices including a unique laptop with a second screen in place of a keyboard, three new tablets, and its next-generation smartphone with a 4.8in touch screen.

Unveiled at Acer's global conference in New York, the most interesting device is the Iconia, a Windows 7 laptop with a dual-screen layout described as a new concept that will introduce "a brand new tablet experience".

The Iconia's two 14in displays are protected by Gorilla Glass, feature a 1,366 x 768 resolution, and are designed to allow the user to interact using touch alone.

Windows can be spread across both displays, or users can watch video on one while doing something else with the other.

User input is via a specially designed user interface called the Acer Ring, or by a virtual on-screen keyboard. The Iconia senses the position of the user's palms and automatically launches the keyboard when needed, Acer said.

"This level of commitment to touch technology is something no other PC vendor can compete with," claimed Acer vice president Jim Wong.

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