We go hands-on with the new Acer Aspire R11; an affordable Windows machine with a hinged design that lets it transform into a tablet.
Whether Acer’s engineers were all fanatics of 80s cartoons as a kid, we can’t be sure, but the company loves transformers. 2-in-1 laptops and convertible notebooks dominated Acer’s international product showcase in New York yesterday and amongst them was the new Acer Aspire R11.
With Windows 10 on the horizon and promise of broader support of lower power hardware, Acer is preparing itself for the arrival by unveiling a host of new devices including the new Switch 10 E, Switch 11 and the new Aspire R11 – a laptop capable of converting into an 11.6-inch tablet.
The affordable proposal the R11 offers is apparent in its general heft. Whilst the two-tone design helps slim this laptop-cum-tablet down visually, it is a little bulky and heavy if you plan on using it extensively as a handheld tablet. That said, its sides do accommodate a number of ports including a full-sized Ethernet connector, an HDMI-out and two full-sized USB ports, one of which offers USB 3.0 speeds too.
The conversion is possible thanks to a dual torque hinge of Acer’s own design which not only lets you fold the screen 360 degrees so that the keyboard sits behind the display, but holds the screen firmly at any position when in any of the other three modes; notebook, display mode and tent mode.
When it comes to the internals there’s a little variation to let you choose how beefy you want your R11 to be. You can pack with a 1TB hard drive, up to 8GB of RAM and there’s the option of an Intel Celeron or Pentium chip to run the show. The display also packs technology from Acer, which reduces the amount of harmful blue light it spits out, making it easier on the eyes.
In the flesh, despite its weight it’s unquestionably an impressive feat of engineering and as Acer’s smallest convertible it would lend itself well to students or those who travel frequently. In the US it’s scheduled to launch sometime in July and we’re hoping it’ll grace our shores not too long after. The Aspire R11 will start from £299.99 and we can’t wait to test it out for real.