Acer's Aspire R7 portable PC is revolutionary, but today, being different doesn't necessarily mean a product's going to be 'the next big thing.' The R7's standout feature, however, is its ergonomic "Ezel Hinge," which makes it resemble the Starship Enterprise from certain angles.
The patented, dual-hinge technology provides four operating modes, each designed to optimize the Windows 8 experience. Accordingly, the R7's 15.6-inch display can be used as a traditional notebook, a table-top tablet, as a sharing display, or in 'floating mode,' where the screen-to-keyboard distance is infinitely adjustable.
Across all four modes, the 10-point touch-screen somehow remains rock-steady upon tactile interaction. Furthermore, the color depth and sharpness of the unit's full HD (1920x1080) IPS touch screen display are both striking.
Equally impressive are its hardware components, which include an Intel Core i5 processor (Ivy Bridge), 6GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive with 24GB SSD cache, HDMI port, SD card reader, audio jacks, three USB ports, WiFi, Bluetooth, and a superb, full-size backlit keyboard.
Dolby Home Theater and four 8 watt speakers provide surprisingly powerful audio. The unit's left and right audio channels actually track its operating modes, reversing when necessary, so sound is always perfect.
The R7's trendy aluminum chassis accentuates the unit's arched design and subtle curves. The underside features a soft touch finish for a secure grip, and dual microphones mounted near the spacebar keep the screen's bezel free of unsightly holes.
The unit's onboard battery allows the 5.3 lb. portable PC to be disconnected from power and moved but otherwise only lasts for a few hours. Like the Aspire S7, see above, the R7 relies on an optional proprietary dongle for wired Ethernet, SVGA, and other bulky connections.
Acer's Aspire R7 portable PC has an MSRP of $999.99. For more information, visit Acer.com.
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