When you think of Acer, you probably think of PCs, whether they are cheap beater laptops and tablets, slightly nicer but still budget-focused ultrabooks and gaming laptops, or weird hit-or-miss experiments. But today, the company announced something completely different: the “ebii,” a light electric bike that has nothing to do with PCs or tablets except for an app for smartphones.
We’ve looked at e-bikes that were stylish and had nice curves, but the ebii looks much more practical. The control box, battery pack, and headlight are all in the big “ebii Box” in the middle. The seat and handlebars stick up from it. In a nod to its past as a PC and tablet maker, the 460 W battery in the ebii can be taken out and used to charge USB-C devices on the go.
The ebii is light at just over 35 pounds (16 kg). It saves weight in part by having a single-sided fork for the front tyre. Acer says it can fit most riders who are between 4.75 and 6 feet tall (145 to 185 cm), which means that very tall riders probably won’t be comfortable on it. With a top speed of about 15 mph and a range of 68 miles, the bike won’t set any records for speed or distance, either.
The bike is called “AI-driven,” which says more about the current state of “AI” as a buzzy marketing term than it does about the bike’s abilities. The ebii app claims to “adapt to the rider’s pedaling power, riding conditions, and preferred level of assistance, learning over time for a more personalized experience.” Even though it’s not wrong to say that these features are “AI-driven,” the more accurate term for them is “machine learning.”
The ebii also uses the app on your phone to lock and unlock the bike based on how close you are to it. The bike also has GPS so you can find it if it gets stolen. Acer’s announcement says that the ebii has a “smart LED display” that shows the battery level and remaining range, but the company’s photos don’t show it.
Instead, some show a smartphone mounted between the handlebars. The ebii doesn’t have a built-in screen to show the charge level or do anything else, but some pictures show that you can see this information using the app.