Acer has really gone out there with its new 15.6-inch notebook the R7. We got to spend some time with the convertible notebook at its launch event in New York, here’s our Acer Aspire R7 hands-on review. See all laptop reviews.
There are two main areas where Acer has gone off-piste with the R7 notebook. The first crazy thing Acer has done is move the mouse to the top of the keyboard (seriously). The other is the madly impressive ‘Ezel Hinge’ that they’ve slapped on this notebook. The result is a pretty unique laptop that will no doubt take some getting used to. Take a look at our Acer Aspire P3 hands-on review too.
The reason Acer has made these design changes to the traditional laptop is because it wants to bring ‘touch’ to the fore. When you look at it with that in mind, you have to say that the Acer Aspire R7 is a success as the combination of the ‘Ezel Hinge’ and unnatural position of the track pad forces you out of your computer comfort zone and makes you physically touch the screen more than any other touchscreen laptop we’ve used to date. See our Acer Iconia A1 tablet hands-on review.
As we only used the Acer Aspire R7 for a short period of time, it’s impossible to say whether this is actually a good thing or not, as it will take a considerable amount of time to get used to the alien way that Acer wants you to use this notepad. However if you are looking for a laptop that’s all about touch than we can see the R7 being a real success thanks to the special “Ezel Hinge”.
The “Ezel Hinge” is a design feature that has left me asking the question “why hasn’t this been done before?” Laptops have always been restricted by the fact that the keyboard and screen have been physically attached to each another, resulting in the user (you) having to slouch and stretch your arms or neck in order to use it. The “Ezel Hinge” gives you that little bit more freedom with your laptops positioning, making it that much easier to use – even as a traditional non-touch focused laptop - in comfort. It’s a feature that we would really like to see in more laptops.
When using the R7 we were impressed with the clarity of the full HD 1920x1080 touch screen. However when we used the device in a bright white room with natural sunlight coming through the windows and it became pretty hard to see the display once you got a bit of light on the screen. Maybe a bit of adjusting of its fancy hinge will be required if you sit next to a window.
The R7 certainly isn’t a light laptop, weighing in at a hefty 2.4kg, it’s really not going to be a machine that will sit comfortably and safely on your lap when on a bus or a tube…which is a real shame because the “Ezel Hinge” make will make this easy to find a natural working position in such places.
Using the Acer Aspire R7 was a very pleasant experience. The touchscreen was very receptive to the touch, as was the mouse, even though it felt weird to use considering its positioning. The metal finish is a nice and stylish touch too.
In terms or raw fire power, this laptop is pretty well equipped to cater for all your needs with an 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, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a convenient converter port supporting VGA, RJ45 and USB.
The Acer Aspire R7 will csot £899.99 and will be available from June.
Full review to follow as soon as we receive Acer Aspire R7 sample.