Tag: Acer Aspire

Acer’s new touchscreen computers–the R7 15” convertible and the P3 reasonable-priced tablet


Desktop, Laptop und Tablet kombiniert – Acer Aspire R7: Acer Aspire R7: Science-Fiction-Notebook mit Touchscreen | Computer Bild (Germany – German language)

Acer intros Aspire R7, a laptop with an adjustable display like an all-in-one (update: video) | Engadget

Acer Reveals Aspire R7 Convertible, Aspire P3 Ultrabook | Tom’s Hardware

Acer launches 2 notebooks, tablet that emphasize touch | CNet

My Comments

After Dell released a 15” mainstream laptop that is enabled for touch at a reasonable price of AUD$600, Acer staged a global press event to launch a run of touch-enabled portable computers. These, again are to capitalise on the Windows 8 platform with its touch-driven Modern user interface along with a lot of the software being offered with touch-optimised operation.

Acer Aspire R7 convertible laptop

They launched the Aspire R7 convertible laptop which uses a 15” screen and can appear on the desktop like an easel, a regular laptop or a tablet computer. Typically the convertible tablet computer was at 11” and had less specification, typically showing up in the secondary storage area with 64Gb or 128Gb solid-state storage.

As well as having the 15” (1080p) screen, this convertible uses an Intel i5 processor as its CPU and has 500Gb hard disk capacity along with 24Gb solid-state caching and 6Gb RAM. This can make it capable for use as a main or sole computer and it comes under US$1000 at Best Buy.

Some of us may think that the 15” convertible form factor may be too large for personal tablet use but it could come in handy for group activities. In the business sense, this could also extend to a group of a few viewing a PowerPoint presentation or a video, or participating in a videoconference.

But what I see of this is that the Acer Aspire R7 has shown that the 15” mainstream size can be kitted out with the full touchscreen options and be equipped with the expectations for a regular mainstream laptop that is to serve as a main or sole computer.

Acer Aspire P3 tablet

The Aspire P3 is a detachable-keyboard hybrid with a Bluetooth keyboard as part of case. This uses the typical laptop resolution of 1366×768 which isn’t necessarily HD, but isn’t necessarily a problem for text-driven work. As for the screen, it is typically an 11.6” touchscreen.

What is pleasing about this model is that the baseline variant would come with an Intel i3 CPU, 4Gb of RAM, and 60Gb solid-state storage as its specifications and the keyboard case would be considered a standard accessory. This is all for a reasonable price of US$799.

Further comments

With these two machines and the previously-mentioned Dell laptop, could this legitimise the touchscreen as a valuable option for the Windows-driven “regular” computer? This is although I have been hearing a lot of talk panning this idea and the Windows 8 operating system.

As far as laptops, notebooks and similar computers are concerned, the touch user interface can provide a definite improvement over the trackpad as far as navigating the display as I had noticed with the recent crop of Windows 8 laptops that I had reviewed.  The trackpad still serves as a “fine” “relative” navigation tool at a pinch while the touchscreen works well for requirements like quick coarse absolute navigation.

Once we see more 15” and 17” touchscreen laptops with mainstream credentials like at least a mid-tier CPU, at least 500Gb on the hard disk and a decent graphics subsystem, these computers could legitimise the concept of touchscreen computing in the home and small business rather than just with the iPad or Android tablets.

Product Review–Acer Aspire S3 Series Ultrabook (Model S3-951-2464G34iss)


Previously, I have given regular coverage on the “Ultrabook” notebook computer concept on this site ever since Intel launched the concept to standards-based computer manufacturers. Now I have been given the first opportunity to review a computer that is part of this product class, in the form of the Acer Aspire S3 Series.

The series is available in different configurations with the cheapest unit being equipped with an Intel Core i3 processor and 320Gb hard disk, with other machines equipped with an Intel i5 or i7 processor and the option of a 500Gb hard disk or a 256Gb solid-state drive. The unit I am reviewing is the S3-951-2464G34iss which is equipped with the Intel i5 processor and a 320Gb hard disk for its main secondary storage.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook

– this configuration
Processor Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 –2467M processor Cheaper option – Intel Core i3-2367M processor
Extra cost option –
Intel Core i7-2637M processor

All Sandy Bridge processors

RAM 4Gb RAM shared with graphics
Secondary Storage 320Gb hard disk + 20Gb solid-state drive
Extra cost options:
500Gb hard disk + 20Gb solid state drive
256Gb solid state drive
SD card reader
Display Subsystem Intel HD
Screen 13.3” widescreen (1366×768) LED-backlit LCD
Network Wi-Fi 802.11g/n
Bluetooth 3.0
Connectors USB 2 x USB 2.0
Video HDMI
Audio 3.5mm stereo audio output jack
Digital out via HDMI
Operating System on supplied unit Microsoft Windows 7 Home Edition

The computer itself

Aesthetics and Build quality

The Acer S3 Ultrabook has a very lightweight feel about it and is in a thin metal housing. This svelte thin feel has allowed me to keep it in a shoulder bag and take it around town without noticing any extra weight in that bag.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook rear view with connectors

Rear view with 2 x USB 2.0 connectors, HDMI output connector and power connector - demonstrating its slimness

There is a small rear-facing ventilation grille on the back to cool the Ultrabook down but it can become too hot towards left of the unit on some occasions.

User interface

The Acer Aspire S3 series Ultrabooks are equipped with a regular-sized hard-plastic chiclet keyboard. This has a “hard” typing feel which gives a good physical feedback that is conducive to touch-typing and the user’s hands don’t feel “crunched up” when typing up content and they can type very quickly on it.

There is the regular trackpad but this isn’t marked out with primary or secondary buttons and can be very confusing to use, especially if you move from the Apple Macintosh.

Storage, Connections and Expansion

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook - left hand side

Left had side with 3.5mm audio output jack - again a very slim computer

The Aspire S3 Ultrabooks have two USB ports for use with external peripherals as well as an HDMI output jack for external displays and a 3.5mm audio output jack. You would have to use a USB-VGA DisplayLink adaptor or the HDFury HDMI-VGA adaptor to connect this Ultrabook to those economy data projectors that don’t have a DVI or HDMI input.

The notebook can connect to Wi-Fi networks but doesn’t have an Ethernet socket for other network setups. You could get around this with a USB-connected Ethernet network adaptor.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook Right hand side view with SD card slot

Right-hand side view with SD card slot

There is no need to think that the cheaper hard-disk-equipped variants of this Ultrabook series will take a long time to start because they have a regular hard disk. This unit still comes to life very quickly due to the use of a 20Gb solid-state drive that is used to store what it needs to start with such as the “image” of your last computing session or the boot requirements for Windows 7.

Audio and Video

The Acer S3’s audio quality from the internal speakers does still have that tinny sound due to the Ultrabook’s slim chassis but can yield an output volume similar to a small portable radio. I would recommend that if you want more from the sound for music, video or games, you would have to use headphones, external speakers or a sound system.

The Intel integrated video does work well for most tasks including basic photo and video editing and is gentle on the batteries; and the maximum screen resolution is appropriate for the Ultrabook’s screen size.

The glossy screen can, at times, be very distracting but the display was able to be sufficiently bright to allow for indoor and outdoor work while it was on batteries.This is something I have observed when I used the Ultrabook “on the field” while in Sydney.

Battery life

The Acer Aspire S3 was able to complete approximately 2 days off the charger with ad-hoc online use including uploading images to Social Web via Wi-Fi. Unlike most laptops, there isn’t the ability to force hibernation – the Ultrabook goes to a “deep sleep” after 8 hours or can be set to enter this mode after 2 hours through the use of an Acer-supplied app.

Other experience notes

Use while travelling

This review is integrated with a visit to Sydney where I have been staying with some close friends of mine and I have been assessing the Ultrabook form factor’s prowess with travel conditions through the trip.

The Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook’s size allows you to work comfortably in a typical economy-class airline seat without any problems. This can work well in the favour of those who do regular business or leisure air travel, in a manner similar to the scene in “ABBA The Movie” where the journalist who was chasing ABBA was typing up his notes on a portable typewriter in his economy-class seat on the aeroplane.

Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook on tray table

This computer can easily fit on that economy-class airline tray table with room to spare

For example, I was editing some of this copy with this notebook on the airline tray table through most of the Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne and was able to have room for a cup of coffee in its proper cup-rest position on that table. When I had to stow the Ultrabook away during takeoff, I could store it in the seat pocket in front of me without it looking obnoxious.

Experience with other people

A comment that I had received about this Acer S3 Ultrabook was that the lady of the house where I was staying at during the Sydney trip described the computer as being thin and beautiful to look at. Others who have seen this notebook have been simply amazed at how slim this computer is.

Limitations and Points Of Improvement

I would also look at replacing one of the Aspire S3’s USB 2.0 sockets with a USB 3.0 socket. This could allow high-speed throughput with external hard drives and cater for the development of a “home” accessory with an integrated optical drive, Gigabit Ethernet connection and extra USB 2.0 / 3.0 ports as an extra-cost option.

As well, it could benefit from a dedicated hardware button that turns the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth transceivers on and off, thus enabling a “flight-mode” option that you can quickly enable when you get on the plane.

Because these Ultrabooks are lightweight and easy to steal, I would also recommend making sure that the S3 Series are equipped with a Kensington-compliant locking slot as well as any software-based locking setup.


Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook lid view

That brushed-aluminium lid makes for a long-lasting finish and cool-looking notebook

I would recommend the Acer Aspire S3 series Ultrabooks as an lightweight auxiliary travel computer, especially if you are creating content on the road but don’t want all the extras like a DVD burner. This is due to the keyboard being more conducive to full quick text entry like liveblogging, live social-media feeds and the like.

The cheaper model would suit those of us who are on a budget while this i5 model would please most of us who want some snappiness for “rough-editing” average size photos and video footage. The variants with the solid-state drives would please those who are after quick performance while the hard-disk-equipped models would suit those of use who want “field” storage for the photos that we take.

Another laptop snaps at Apple’s design credentials


Acer’s Aspire 3951 leaks with MacBook Air-like specs, available in October? | Engadget

Shots Leak Of Acer’s New Ultrabook, The Aspire 3951 | TechCrunch

My Comments

The Apple MacBook Air 13” ultraportable computer range is now facing aggressive competition from Acer. Here, Acer are working on an ultraportable that is styled in a very similar way to the MacBook Air but selling it for under US$1000 for the fully-equipped package.

It will be a Sandy Bridge processor-powered unit with a hard disk of an undisclosed capacity or a 160Gb solid-state drive for the main system disk. There was reckoning that the computer, which will support Bluetooth 4, will be housed in that aluminium “wedge” case and, like the MacBook Air, it won’t have an integrated optical disk.

Acer had projected an approximate availability date for around October this year but this may be hampered by the availability of milled aluminium as well as projected availability of next-generation Intel chipsets.

But what I fear is that manufacturers like Dell and Acer will try to copy the Apple look for their portable computers in order to make themselves look cool in the Wi-Fi-equipped trendy cafe. Oh yeah, the grey or black finish will end up being consigned to the “corporate” end of the market and the coloured computers like the Dell Inspiron 15r will just appeal to the home user.

It is very similar to the two preferred directions that vehicle builders went for through the 1960s and 1970s, with a black dashboard and chrome-accented dials and controls for the “sports-car” look or the woodgrain dashboard for the “luxury” look.

At least HP, Sony and other brands have worked on their other designs for their consumer laptops rather than trying to ape Apple. This could allow them to work on designs that could upstage Apple.

Windows 7 hardware intended to upstage the Apple Mac hardware

News articles and links to campaigns

HP Envy premium laptops – HP US site

Acer Aspire Z5610 spotted in the wild – Engadget

Windows 7 launch day hardware spectacular – Engadget

L’Acer Aspire Z5610 également multi-touch – Journal Du Geek (France – French language)

My comments

Last night, I was checking on my blog and had noticed that Hewlett-Packard had taken a vertical image ad on one of the AdSense ad units that I have running on the blog just close to when Windows 7 was launched. This ad had an image of the Envy laptop and the words “The Power Of Envy” written down the ad as well as the HP and “Intel Inside” logos. So I did a search using Bing on the terms used in the ad and this led me to HP’s series of Windows-7-based Envy premium laptops, rather than clicking on the AdSense unit so I don’t commit click fraud. Judging from the photos of the HP Envy laptops that I saw on the campaign site, the look of this computer reminded me of a recent-model Apple MacBook Pro laptop.

Similarly, there was an Engadget post about the Acer Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC which had the look and functionality that could upstage the newer Apple iMacs. As well, the “all-in-one” computers listed in Engadget’s Windows 7 launch day hardware list were styled to look like a tabletop version of a European-built premium flat-panel TV. Similarly, Sony had just launched a VAIO all-in-one computer that mimics the industrial design of one of the small-screen BRAVIA flat-panel TVs

These hardware product launches were intended to be hot on the heels of Apple’s recent iMac and MacBook prduct-range launch and most of these machines would appeal to Windows buyers who like the look of Apple’s computer range.

In my honest opinion, the Windows 7 launch has heralded one of the biggest consumer-computing platform showdowns ever.