Acer Aspire R7 - A Flexible Form Factor With A Reasonable Price (Part 2)

8/5/2013 9:07:53 AM

Display and sound

The 1080p, 15.6inch touchscreen is so wonderful for watching Netflix and surfing the web. Colors look accurate and documents look clear, just like it should be. The LED-backlit display provides good view-angel thanks to the IPS technology. We encounter no issue from either the far left of the right of the center. Of course, it is possible to adjust the screen to be anti-glare too. When considering it as a touchscreen, it is not bad too. It response to your swipes and taps flawlessly.

R7 produces quite loud audio thanks to four speakers and Dolby Home Theater v4. On the downside, the music does not sound very rich as it is a little small and sounds like muffled, like most of other machines. Acer states that when you switch between different modes, the audio channels reverse themselves automatically, and we actually note that the audio quality is consistent, regardless of whether we are in the laptop, tablet or Ezel mode.

The R7 display

The R7 display

Performance and battery life

With the Ivy bridge Core i5-3337U processor running at 1.8GHz, together with the 6GB RAM, the R7 is a powerful daily system. It runs a 500GB, 5,400RPM hard drive with 24 gigs of solid-state storage rather than a full SSD, so it cannot be comparable to other devices in benchmarks such as ATTO, where records 117MB/s and 115MB/s as its maximum read and write speed. Similarly, you will feel disappointed recognize the disadvantage of lacking the SSD when booting the system up: it takes about 21 seconds.

Acer Aspire R7 (Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,034

·         3DMark06: 4,478

·         3DMark11: E1126/P631/X213

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 117MB/s (read); 115MB/s (write)

Samsung ATIV Book 7 (Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,418

·         3DMark06: 4,045

·         3DMark11: E1081/P600

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 626MB/s (read); 137MB/s (write)

Asus Transformer Book (Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,414

·         3DMark06: 3,840

·         3DMark11: E924/P512/X177

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 482MB/s (read); 317MB/s (write)

Toshiba Kirabook (Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 5,011

·         3DMark06: 4,918

·         3DMark11: E1035/P620/X208

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 934MB/s (read); 686MB/s (write)

MSI Slidebook S20 (Core i5-3337U 1.8GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,043

·         3DMark06: 3,944

·         3DMark11: E1053/P578

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 484MB/s (read); 286MB/s (write)

Asus Taichi 21 (Core i7-3517U 1.9GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,998

·         3DMark06: 4,818

·         3DMark11: E1137/P610/X201

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 516MB/s (read); 431MB/s (write)

Microsoft Surface Pro (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,673

·         3DMark06: 3,811

·         3DMark11: E1019/P552

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 526MB/s (read); 201MB/s (write)

Dell XPS 12 (Core i5-3317U 1.7GHz, Intel HD 4000)

·         PCMark7: 4,673

·         3DMark06: 4,502

·         3DMark11: N/A

·         ATTO (the maximum disk speed): 516MB/s (read); 263MB/s (write)

Besides the synthetic tests, Aspire R7 still performs very smoothly and silently. It can easily handle some tabs in one browser, stream music on Spotify and run the apps in the background. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU is available, which is able to run casual game with those downloaded from the Windows Store.

Acer claims that the R7’s battery can endure four hours, but in our video rundown test, we have received better result. With Wifi on, background’s brightness at 65% and a video playing on loop, the device lasts for four hours and 44 minutes. We would not say that it is an impressive performance, but it is not a surprise given the power-hungry touchscreen.

Software and warranty

What Acer has put in its exclusive program includes AcerCloud, Acer Crystal Eye and Acer Screen Grasp. There are quite various third-party programs here as well: Norton Only Backup trial software, the game Cut the Rope and the app Social Jogger. As always, we just take the continuous pop-ups issue more serious than the bloatware. Of course, just disable all notifications from McAfee and Acer Recover Management.

Aspire R7 comes with a one-year warranty.

Configuration options and competitors

At least for now, only one configuration of the R7 is provided by Acer, available in the official website of the company and on Best Buy. With $1,000, a Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor, 6GB RAM and 500GB hard disk with 24GB of solid-state storage are in your hand. When we first saw the R7 at Acer’s press event, we are informed that the Core i7 option will be available. Could that model be delayed for the development Intel’s fourth-gen Haswell chip? Of course, there is no confirm coming out from Acer, but these manufacturers would have some products using that new chip at the Computex next week (Let’s wait to see).

The Tablet mode

The Tablet mode

If you find Aspire R7’s design too adventurous for your preference or you just simply want to check for other products, you will want to look over these alternatives. If you do not mind the portability, you may like the Dell XPS 18; an 18 inch all-in-one system with foldout stands which is able to transform that device into a sizable tablet. With the launching price of $900, the processor options range from Pentium chip to Core i7. You can also follow the Ultrabook path and choose the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, which is in the fierce competition with the R7 in terms of transformation trick and features crisp IPS display. However, if you are fond of that device, you might want to wait for the appearance of a possible Haswell. You can also consider the MSI Slidebook S20, although the adjustable screen cannot completely make up for the under-standard built quality and a cramped typing experience.


If the R7 does not have a brilliant design, it would have to encounter a serious identity crisis. However, the device is such a success, happily. Providing a brand new transformation design, beautiful 1,080p touchscreen and stable performance with just $1,000, the R7 is not just a small achievement. In fact, the device is not perfect, but as being spanned to the notebook, tablet and all-in-one categories, it really is impressive.

There are some things that make us pause: first, the upcoming introduction of Intel’s new processor, the Haswell, and actually, this quite heavy machine is not 100% sure able to replace a table or a desktop. Just call us old-fashioned guys, but we just cannot ignore the very odd position of the touchpad. Lastly, the cramped keyboard might cause big trouble for some people. However, if these warnings still not discourage you, this device would absolutely provide you stable specifications and build quality for the money.

The Acer Aspire R7

The Acer Aspire R7


·         Innovative design, well-made

·         Bright 1080p screen

·         Good specifications for this price level


·         Cramped keyboard, touchpad has odd position

·         Not impressive battery life

·         Quite heavy

·         Only one configuration is available now


·         Acer Aspire R7 is a unique approach to the Windows 8 laptop, with adjustable screen and special hinge design. It is such a bargain with the price of $1,000


·         OS: Windows 8

·         Processor: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3337U Processor 1.8GHz 2 Four Unique Viewing Modes with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.7GHz

·         Storage: 500GB 5,400RPM SATA Hard Drive +24GB SSD drive

·         Memory: 6GB of DDR3 system memory

·         Memory Card Supported: Secure Digital ™ (SD) Card

·         Display: 15.6" HD+ Widescreen Comfyview LED-backlit Display

·         Graphic: Intel® HD Graphics 4000(2) with 128MB of dedicated system memory, supporting

·         Microsoft® DirectX® 11, OpenGL® 3.1, OpenCLTM v1.1

·         Network: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™

·         Bluetooth®: Bluetooth® 4.0+HS

·         Webcam: 1.3 Megapixel HD Webcam (1280 x 1024)

·         Ports: USB 3.0 (2) / USB 2.0 (1) / HDMI ™ Port with HDCP Support (1)

·         Battery: 4-cell Li-ion Battery (3,560 mAh)

·         Dimensions (System): 14.83 (W) x 10.02 (D) x .81/1.12(H) inches

·         Weight: 5.29 lbs. | 2.4 kg. (system unit only)

·         Color: Silver

·         Warranty: Limited Warranty agreement applies.


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