Acer's Windows 8 train has steamed full speed ahead for almost a year now, and Thursday's announcement harkening U.S. and Canadian availability and pricing for its Aspire V5 Series notebooks falls right in line with the company's designs.

Coming in three screen size varieties, the Aspire V5 Series touches down in North America Oct. 26.

Dubbed the thinnest value-based notebooks available, the Series got good marks when TechRadar reviewed the 15.6-inch version in July, especially for portability and speed.

As for the other versions, the 11.6-inch Aspire V5-171 weighs approximately three pounds, while the 14-inch Aspire V5-471 scales in at 4.63 pounds.

The biggest of them all, the Aspire V5-571, is bulked out to about five pounds and sports the 15.6-inch breadth.

Back in August, Acer announced versions of the 14- and 15.6-inch V5s would get a touchscreen upgrade, making them even more compatible with the Windows 8 platform. Naturally, nothing's changed on that front.

"With Windows 8, the new Aspire V5 notebook series with touch allows consumers a premium feature even at mainstream price points," said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing, Acer America, in a press release.

Some with, some without

Though the 11.6-inch version has been left out of the touchscreen fun, its $449.99 starting price is a decent enough deal to make the omission sting a little less.

As for its older siblings, Acer's equipped versions of those notebooks - the V5-471P (14 inches) and V5-571P (15.6 inches) - with an edge-to-edge display users can maneuver about with using a 10-point touch system.

A larger trackpad also contributes to better control and more precise finger work.

The Intel innards of the machines are powerful indeed, with third-generation Intel Core i3, i5 or i7's running the show.

For the i5 and i7 variants, Intel infused its Turbo Boost Technology 2.0 with the processors, giving better performance and better battery life.

Taking advantage of the notebooks' slimness, the 14- and 15.6-inch versions come with a built-in slim DVD drive for data backup and CD burning.

Acer also threw in a 500GB or 750GB hard disk drive for added storage space in the touchscreen flavors.

Not all is lost without touch

Although Acer didn't endow all of its new notebooks with touch capabilities, it didn't skimp on the entertainment quality of the devices.

Part of that is thanks to HD CineCrystal widescreen LED-backlit displays, plus a "true" 16:9 aspect ratio and integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000.

A 1.3MP HD webcam comes complete with the notebooks, plus built-in digital microphones support the webcam. Dolby Advanced Audio v2 is also part of the package.

BlueTooth 4.0+ HS technology connects the notebooks to other Bluetooth-enabled devices (owned by the same person, of course), and a USB 3.0 port turns transferring into a snap.

Whether the V5 is sleeping, hibernating or off, it can charge external devices as well, Acer said.

Pricing

The Aspire V5-471P starts at $749.99 with touch, while the V5-571P begins at $699.99.

Users can grab the V5-571 without touch starting at $499.99 and the V5-171 (sans touch) for $449.99.

According to an Acer spokesperson, the V5-471 non-touch will be available in Canada for CAD$549.99 and plans for the device's arrival in the U.S. are still to be determined.