The Tech Report writes Thunderbolt lost an important backer as Acer is no longer using the technology on its newest systems. Instead of the expensive Thunderbolt, Acer is now promoting USB 3.0.
Instead, the PC maker appears to be throwing its weight behind USB 3.0. Acer representative Ruth Rosene called SuperSpeed USB an "excellent alternative" to Thunderbolt, noting that it's less expensive and compatible with a wide range of existing devices. She also mentioned USB 3.0's ability to charge mobile devices like smartphones, a capability Thunderbolt can't match without additional hardware.
To be fair, calling USB 3.0 an alternative to Thunderbolt is a little disingenuous. Thunderbolt combines PCI Express and DisplayPort on a single cable, while USB 3.0 is just the latest, fastest version of the USB spec. Rosene's claim that USB 3.0 "offers comparable bandwidth" to Thunderbolt isn't accurate, either. A single Thunderbolt port boasts 40Gbps of aggregate bandwidth—a big step up from the 5Gbps provided by USB 3.0. Even the 10Gbps "supplement" planned for USB 3.0 would leave that interface well short of Thunderbolt territory.