Jason Dean reports in today's today's WSJournal that Acer is buying Gateway...

"Taiwan's Acer Inc. said it had reached an agreement to acquire Gateway Inc. in a deal that values the U.S. company at about $710 million and pushes Acer past Lenovo Group Ltd. as the world's No. 3 vendor of personal computers.

"The deal appeared to mark a double blow to Lenovo, which has been the world's No. 3 PC vendor since buying the PC business of International Business Machines Corp. in 2005. Lenovo disclosed earlier this month that it is in talks to buy a stake in Packard Bell BV, a Netherlands-based PC maker. That deal was aimed at giving the Chinese company a leg up in the European consumer market, where Acer is especially strong."

As noted in this blog posting on ZDnet by Larry Dignan, Acer has been doing well in securing a better retail presence, which has put Dell "at a disadvantage because the fastest-growing segments of the PC industry are consumer and emerging markets, which was demonstrated by Dell’s share losses to HP and Acer in the past year."

A benefit to the merged companies: improve their combined customer service image. Good to note that Gateway has seen their customer satisfaction scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index increase over the past three years, hitting 75, up more than two percent. 

Acer seems to be everywhere with a number of models in retail, and I've seen a number of Acer Ferrari notebooks around town--models that users say they like.  Acer should do well if they are able to continue to bring out more highly-rated computers like the Acer Aspire L310 and Travelmate 8204WLMi (one of PCMag's Favorite Laptops). 

But I haven't seen a similar rise in quality wen it comes to their monitors, especially when I looked at home desktops recently. Although the Aspire 310 received good marks, the Acer X221W LCD monitor paired with it at retail didn't match up. Said John R. Delaney of PC Magazine in a recent review, "an attractive appearance and low price don't compensate for the Acer X221W's dismal image quality."

Tags: Acer, Gatewaymergers, PC hardware, customer satisfaction.