Acer Aspire R7: Lifestyle Laptop Computing

Acer-R7-Display

Despite Windows 8’s poor sales, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new laptop computer. With the new operating system, Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make Windows more of a lifestyle product by introducing touch capabilities and a completely new user interface, and this week Acer has just launched a notebook that really makes Windows 8 a compelling alternative to a MacBook and Mac OS. At a glitzy New York press launch, Acer unveiled a slew of new notebooks specifically designed for Windows 8. The top-of-the-range model is the Aspire R7.

Spec-wise the R7 is no slouch as well as the Full HD 1920×1080 touchscreen display, there’s a Intel Core i5 processor, up to 12GB of memory, up to 1TB hard drive, or up to 256GB SSD and a full-size backlit keyboard. It also includes a volume control button, HDMI port, SD card reader, audio jacks, three USB ports, WiFi, Bluetooth and a convenient converter port supporting VGA, RJ45 and USB.
The R7’s main selling point, apart from the impressive specs, is a clever hinge that allows the screen to be moved into 4 differing positions so you can really utilise the high definition touchscreen to it fullest.

Ezel mode is the most interesting and allows you to pull display closer, removing the need to reach across the laptop to use the touch screen. By pulling the display closer, switching between touchscreen, keyboard and touchpad is as seamlessly as you can get on Windows 8.

Notebook mode is pretty self-explanatory: it allows you to slide the display behind the keyboard for a traditional notebook setup.
If you flip the screen over into display mode and it’s positioned perfectly for watching a movie, showing photos or giving a presentation. With Acer’s proven dual-torque design, the screen flips easily yet remains rigid when touched.

Acer-Aspire-R7

Pad Mode allows you to pull the touchscreen down and lay it on top of the keyboard with the screen facing up – essentially it turns the R7 into a rather bulky iPad. But the ergonomic 4-degree tilting angle makes it perfect for browsing, writing or playing casual touch games.

The R7’s impressive specs are also complemented with a decent sound system courtesy of Dolby Home Theater and four 8-watt speakers. Due to its transformative design, Acer has cleverly made sure the audio channels automatically reverse when switching modes, so stereo sound is always perfect no matter which way you use the notebook.

In addition, Acer also relocated the dual microphones to the front and at the base of the notebook below the keyboard. This provides for the best voice sound quality, and enhances the aesthetics of the touchscreen without have unnecessary speakers holes spoiling the design.

The Acer Aspire R7 is available in June with a starting price of £899.

Acer Aspire Z5761: A touching performance

Acer is bringing its latest all-in-one to a somewhat crowded market, with the likes of HP and Sony having recently released their own all-in-ones. But what just might make this one stand apart from the rest is Acer’s own TouchPortal interface (powered, by the way, by Sandy Bridge processors).

Acer-Aspire

The ‘Touch’ family of functions includes:

  • TouchBrowser: a touch-friendly web browser designed for searching, retrieving and presenting information from the Internet;
  • TouchCam: a handy touch controls to add fun video effects while chatting online, or do theme-style recording and share with friends on YouTube;
  • TouchMusic, which lets you browse, manage and play your favourite music;
  • TouchPhoto, which integrates photo management with photo sharing capabilities and is designed to interact with both local images and online albums, and
  • TouchVideo, which includes video management and sharing features. It allows you to enjoy Blu-ray or DVD movies and home videos, as well as browse and share your videos to YouTube.

Acer has also included its new media sharing system – called Clear.fi – which brings all your multimedia content into a single system with a common interface. Out of the box, it promises to identify all your Clear.fi-enabled devices on the home network and then allow any digital content stored on them to be shared seamlessly.

Acer has done its best to make this new computer look like a part of the decor, rather than a piece of gadgetry – its sharp lines combine aluminium with matt and glossy black surfaces, along with cool blue lighting to light up the keyboard. The keyboard can be slid under the PC when not in use, to help achieve that minimalist look. The silver stand has a window for organising cables.

Spec-wise, it features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0, making it powerful enough for editing multimedia files and playing fast-action games, a 23in Full HD 1080p display, an integrated 5W stereo speaker system and Dolby Home Theater v4.

There’s an optional Blue-Ray Disc optical drive and TV tuner, and connectivity wise it offers support for 802.11b/g/n, Gigabit LAN and optional built-in Bluetooth 2.1, as well as featuring an onboard microphone and high-def webcam.

Storage-wise, you’ll get up to 1.5TB plus up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and eight USB ports. Sounds like quite a lot for your money, with an expected retail price starting at £799.

More details from www.acer-euro.com

The Aspire Z5761 will be available in early May with prices starting from £799 inc Vat