Acer ditches Thunderbolt for USB 3

Intel insists it's "comfortable" with Thunderbolt adoption

Shona Ghosh
16 Jul 2013

Acer has ditched Intel’s Thunderbolt technology, omitting support for the interconnect from its latest PC models.

The PC maker told CNET that USB 3 is an "excellent technology" compared with the costlier Thunderbolt, and noted it offers a wider range of accessories.

"We're really focusing on USB 3 - it's an excellent alternative to Thunderbolt," a spokesperson told CNET. "It's less expensive, offers comparable bandwidth, charging for devices such as mobile phones, and has a large installed base of accessories and peripherals."

Acer has dropped Thunderbolt support from its budget Aspire M5 laptop and the Predator AG3 gaming series.

Intel defended its technology, saying other OEMs are continuing to add support for Thunderbolt.

"We are comfortable with Thunderbolt in terms of market adoption," a spokesperson told PC Pro. "Thunderbolt has been targeted towards premium systems, particularly for users working with video and photos."

"PC adoption is increasing in 2013, with over a dozen new fourth-generation Intel core processor-based systems with Thunderbolt announced last month," the spokesperson added.

Acer's move is still a blow for the standard, as Acer is the fourth-biggest PC maker globally. It’s also difficult to see how Intel will make good on an earlier promise to ramp up mainstream adoption of Thunderbolt this year, especially as the technology still isn't a compulsory part of its Ultrabook specifications.

Some PC makers are still keen on the technology though, with Apple unveiling the updated Mac Pro earlier this year with six Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Read more about: