Acer Aspire R7 evaluate: a versatile kind issue at an inexpensive worth


If you happen to informed us Acer was popping out with an modern new tackle the Home windows 8 convertible, we might in all probability snigger in your face. After so many months of evaluating slidable, twistable, bendable and removable machines, we might (hopefully) be forgiven for believing we might seen each attainable kind issue. The Aspire R7 proves that we have been unsuitable, and we’re truly type of glad. With a 15.6-inch show sitting in a singular, versatile “Ezel” hinge, this gadget helps you to change between 4 modes, and the panel may even lie practically flat above the keyboard like an all-in-one desktop. Oh, and Acer switched the positions of the keyboard and touchpad, a setup that undoubtedly takes some getting used to.

Although the R7’s kind issue units it aside, it gives the identical specs as many Home windows 8 convertibles: you get a 1080p display, a Core i5 processor and 6GB of RAM for $1,000. So does the R7’s enchantment hinge on its distinctive design? Observe us previous the break to search out out — we promise the dangerous jokes cease right here.%Gallery-189719%

Aspire

Professionals

  • Revolutionary design, well-built
  • Shiny 1080p show
  • Good specs for the cash

Cons

  • Cramped keyboard, awkwardly positioned touchpad
  • Unimpressive battery life
  • Comparatively heavy
  • Just one configuration proper now

Feel and look

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Our evaluate photographs are fairly telling: there are such a lot of methods to have a look at this machine. Just like the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, Acer’s pocket book works in 4 completely different modes because of an adjustable (and flippable) display: pocket book, Ezel, show and pad modes. However greater than the completely different use circumstances, it is Acer’s so-called Ezel hinge that begs to be photographed from all angles. It helps you to lengthen the show over the keyboard at varied heights, from a slider-like angle to hovering virtually flat above the chiclet keys. This mechanism is clearly well-made; there’s not a touch of creakiness once you transfer the show by its full vary of positions. And the R7 is a handsome machine, too, because of a tasteful shade of silver and the Ezel’s brushed-aluminum end.

There are two actual candy spots for utilizing the Aspire R7. The primary is with the show pushed ahead so it is hovering over the keyboard, a bit like a slider gadget. As long as you are wonderful utilizing the touchscreen as an alternative of the touchpad, this place is nice for searching the online, composing emails and taking part in video games on the sizable display. Secondly, with the panel flipped backwards to face away from the keyboard, you could have a great setup for watching films and sharing displays.

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The 2 different positions are, fairly frankly, a lot much less comfy. With the display locked in its hinge so the R7 seems like a median laptop computer, you could have entry to each the touchpad and the keyboard, however the touchpad is a attain (actually — and we’ll develop on that within the part under). There’s a lot empty house on the massive deck that it looks like Acer is lacking one thing; it is fairly clear the corporate would not envision individuals utilizing this gadget like every previous pocket book. One purpose for the free house on the deck is the pill mode: push the show ahead, and it’ll lie virtually flush with the keyboard under. “Pill mode” appears a bit facetious, although; 5.29 kilos is not too comfy within the arms, not less than not for very lengthy. In truth, the R7’s giant footprint has a number of drawbacks. Along with making for a really hefty slate, it is too weighty to compete with Ultrabooks, and it is too large to stuff in most airplane seatback pockets.

There are two actual candy spots for utilizing the Aspire R7: Ezel and show mode.

Permit us to the touch on the extra cut-and-dried particulars for a second: the left fringe of the R7 sports activities Acer’s new converter port for connecting shows, an HDMI port, two USB 3.0 connections and a mic-in / headphone jack. The best facet is residence to a full-size SD card slot, a USB 2.0 port, a quantity rocker, the facility button, the DC-in jack for the AC adapter and a Kensington lock slot. It is a fairly complete choice, however we all know some will bemoan the shortage of an optical drive. Different notable {hardware} options embrace the Home windows 8 Begin button, which sits under the show and a set of bottom-mounted audio system.

Keyboard and touchpad

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We often deal with the keyboard earlier than evaluating a tool’s touchpad, however since Acer’s switched issues round on the R7, we’ll comply with go well with and begin with the Elan pad. And to actually kick this part off proper, we now have to think about Acer’s considering in inserting the trackpad above the keyboard. Whereas the corporate says having the keyboard on the entrance fringe of the deck — nearer to customers’ arms — makes for a greater typing expertise, the touchpad’s place additionally permits the show to increase ahead and lie virtually flat to be used in pill mode. It could have been a vital design selection, however there isn’t any denying that it feels unusual.

If you happen to, like us, favor the bodily clicker over a less-reliable finger when tapping or deciding on small on-screen gadgets, you may end up reaching for the R7’s touchpad fairly a bit. That is each uncomfortable — you may must stretch your hand a lot farther than you are used to — and inconvenient in the event you’re utilizing the machine in Ezel mode, since you may must push the display again to entry the trackpad. As for the touchpad itself, it really works nicely sufficient, supplied your arms do not by accident brush in opposition to a key or two. Primarily, you don’t have any palm relaxation when utilizing it, which is a large ergonomic failure. If Acer was making an attempt to reduce the significance of the touchpad, we virtually suppose the corporate ought to have left it off altogether. That might be fairly an announcement, proper?

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The Aspire R7’s island-style, backlit keyboard, whereas not excellent, is not fairly so irritating to make use of. It is barely recessed, and although it gives enough journey, the chiclets themselves are too shut collectively. After we tried a number of typing exams, our accuracy suffered as a consequence of hitting adjoining keys a number of occasions. We want Acer took higher benefit of the ample room on the deck to make a extra comfy format; there’s a great deal of house on both facet of the keyboard, in spite of everything. On the plus facet, keys aren’t dramatically undersized, and so they supply a satisfying quantity of suggestions.

Show and sound

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The 15.6-inch, 1080p touchscreen is nice for watching Netflix and browsing the online. Colours look correct and textual content is crisp, simply correctly. Due to IPS expertise, the LED-backlit show gives good viewing angles. From the far left and proper of middle, we had no bother making out photographs. After all, the adjustable display helps to fight glare, too. As a touchscreen, this panel would not disappoint both. It registered our swipes and faucets flawlessly.

Audio will get lots loud on the R7, because of 4 audio system and Dolby House Theater v4. On the draw back, music would not sound particularly wealthy; it comes by barely tinny and muffled, because it does on most machines. Acer says the audio channels mechanically reverse once you change modes on the R7, and certainly sound high quality appears fairly constant no matter whether or not we’re in laptop computer, pill or Ezel mode.

Efficiency and battery life

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With an Ivy Bridge Core i5-3337U processor clocked at 1.8GHz, together with 6GB of RAM, the R7 is a succesful each day driver. It runs a 500GB, 5,400RPM exhausting drive with 24 gigs of solid-state storage relatively than a full SSD, so it falls behind a lot of the pack on benchmarks corresponding to ATTO, the place its learn speeds maxed out at 117 MB/s and writes peaked at 115 MB/s. Equally, you may notice the shortage of an SSD when booting the system up: it takes about 21 seconds, which does verge on irritating.

PCMark7 3DMark06 3DMark11 ATTO (prime disk speeds)
Acer Aspire R7 (1.8GHz Core i5-3337U, Intel HD 4000) 4,034 4,478

E1,126 / P631 / X213

117 MB/s (reads); 115 MB/s (writes)
Samsung ATIV E-book 7 (1.8GHz Core i5-3337U, Intel HD 4000) 4,418 4,045

E1,081 / P600

626 MB/s (reads); 137 MB/s (writes)
ASUS Transformer E-book (1.9GHz Core i7-3517U, Intel HD 4000) 4,414 3,840

E924 / P512 / X177

482 MB/s (reads); 317 MB/s (writes)
Toshiba Kirabook (2.0GHz Core i7-3537U, Intel HD 4000) 5,275 5,272

N/A

553 MB/s (reads); 500 MB/s (writes)
Acer Aspire S7 (1.9GHz Core i7-3517U, Intel HD 4000) 5,011 4,918 E1,035 / P620 / X208 934 MB/s (reads); 686 MB/s (writes)
MSI Slidebook S20 (1.8GHz Core i5-3337U, Intel HD 4000) 4,043 3,944

E1,053 / P578

484 MB/s (reads); 286 MB/s (writes)
ASUS TAICHI 21 (1.9GHz Core i7-3517U, Intel HD 4000) 4,998 4,818 E1,137 / P610 / X201 516 MB/s (reads); 431 MB/s (writes)
Microsoft Floor Professional (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,673 3,811 E1,019 / P552 526 MB/s (reads); 201 MB/s (writes)
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,422 4,415

E917 / P572

278 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes)
Dell XPS 12 (1.7GHz Core i5-3317U, Intel HD 4000) 4,673 4,520 N/A 516 MB/s (reads); 263 MB/s (writes)

Artificial exams apart, the Aspire R7 runs easily and quietly, effortlessly dealing with a number of tabs in a single browser, music streaming on Spotify and apps working within the background. An built-in Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU is on board, which ought to accommodate informal gaming with titles downloaded from the Home windows Retailer.

Battery life

Acer Aspire R7 4:44
Acer Iconia W700 7:13
Samsung Collection 9 (13-inch, 2012) 7:02
MacBook Air (13-inch, 2012) 6:34 (OS X) / 4:28 (Home windows)
Dell XPS 14 6:18
Sony VAIO T13 5:39
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 5:32
Dell XPS 12 5:30
Samsung Collection 5 UltraTouch 5:23
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX31A Contact 5:15
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX51Vz 5:15
Toshiba Satellite tv for pc U845W 5:13
Toshiba Kirabook 5:12
Toshiba Satellite tv for pc U845 5:12
Acer Aspire Timeline Extremely M3 5:11
Toshiba Satellite tv for pc U925t 5:10
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 5:07
Acer Aspire Timeline Extremely M5 5:05
Samsung ATIV E-book 7 5:02
ASUS Transformer E-book 5:01 (pill solely)
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Contact 5:00
Sony VAIO Duo 11 4:47
Acer Aspire S5 4:35
MSI Slidebook S20 4:34
ASUS Zenbook Prime UX21A 4:19
Acer Aspire S7 (13-inch) 4:18
Acer Aspire S3 4:11
Lenovo ThinkPad Twist 4:09
HP Spectre XT TouchSmart 4:00
Vizio Skinny + Gentle (14-inch, 2012) 3:57
ASUS TAICHI 21 3:54
Microsoft Floor Professional 3:46

Acer says the R7 is sweet for as much as 4 hours of battery life, however we bought a barely higher consequence on our video rundown take a look at. With WiFi on, brightness set to 65 p.c and a video taking part in on loop, the machine lasted 4 hours and 44 minutes. We would not name that runtime spectacular, but it surely’s hardly stunning given the massive, power-sucking touchscreen.

Software program and guarantee

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Acer piles on its full suite of proprietary applications, together with AcerCloud, Acer Crystal Eye and Acer Display screen Grasp. There are many third-party applications right here as nicely: Norton On-line Backup trial software program is pre-loaded, as is the sport Reduce The Rope and the app Social Jogger. As at all times, we took greater situation with the incessant pop-ups relatively than with the bloatware. Positively disable the McAfee and Acer Restoration Administration notifications to avoid wasting a little bit of sanity.

The Aspire R7 comes with a one-year restricted guarantee, which covers components and labor.

Configuration choices and the competitors

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For now, not less than, Acer is providing just one configuration of the R7, obtainable by the corporate’s web site and Finest Purchase. For $1,000, you get a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, six gigs of RAM and a 500GB exhausting drive with an additional 24GB of solid-state storage. After we first noticed the R7 at Acer’s press occasion, although, the corporate stated {that a} Core i7 choice could be obtainable. May that mannequin be delayed to make method for Intel’s fourth-gen Haswell chip? Acer’s actually not saying, however the laptop maker will probably have some merchandise packing that new silicon at Computex subsequent week. (Keep tuned for that!)

For a gadget that spans the pocket book, pill and all-in-one classes, it is pretty spectacular.

If the Aspire R7’s design is a tad too adventurous on your tastes otherwise you merely wish to comparison-shop, you may need to take a look at these options. If portability is not a priority, chances are you’ll just like the Dell XPS 18, an 18-inch all-in-one with foldout stands that remodel it into a huge pill. Pricing begins at $900, with processor choices starting from a Pentium chip to a Core i7 CPU. You would at all times go the Ultrabook route and decide up the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which rivals the R7 in its transformation tips and sports activities a stunning, crisp IPS show. If that machine piques your curiosity, although, chances are you’ll need to watch for a attainable Haswell refresh. And there is additionally the MSI Slidebook S20, although the adjustable show would not make up for subpar construct high quality and a cramped typing expertise.

Wrap-up

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If the R7 weren’t well-built, it might seem to have a serious id disaster. However, fortunately, this machine is a hit. Providing an modern reworking design, a pleasant 1080p touchscreen and stable efficiency for $1,000 isn’t any small feat. The gadget is hardly excellent, however for a gadget that spans the pocket book, pill and all-in-one classes, it is nonetheless pretty spectacular.

So do you have to snatch this man up? Just a few issues give us pause: the upcoming arrival of Intel’s Haswell processors, for one, and the truth that this comparatively heavy machine is unlikely to switch your slate or your desktop. And name us old style, however we nonetheless cannot fairly recover from the oddly positioned touchpad. Lastly, the cramped keyboard might be a dealbreaker for some. If these caveats do not deter you, although, this machine gives stable specs and construct high quality for the cash.

Zach Honig contributed to this evaluate.

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