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Acer Aspire R7 laptop with funky hinge
The Acer Aspire R7 is a laptop that is like no other. The special hinge and stand that attaches the lid to the base, which Acer calls Ezel, makes it possible to use the laptop with the display in almost any position.
The R7 is not small with the 15.6-inch display, although at first glance it seems like the screen must be bigger. The high-res screen (1920x1080) is beautiful and supports operation by multi-touch to take full advantage of Windows 8.
The laptop is beautifully designed and well constructed. It has a futuristic appearance that doesn't look like a notebook computer. The stand that allows positioning the display in a lot of configurations is reminiscent of a portable all-in-one desktop computer that is becoming more common.
Hardware specs as reviewed:
- Display Size: 15.6in
- Display: 1920x1080 resolution; 141ppi
- Weight: 5.2lbs (2.35kg)
- Thickness: 1.12in (28.44 mm)
- Battery Life: approximately 5 hours
- Processor: Intel Core i5 (Ivy Bridge)
- Memory: 6GB
- Storage: 524GB
- Ports: 2-USB 3.0, 1-USB 2.0, HDMI, combo headphone/mic jack, secure digital memory slot
- Speakers: 4
- Keyboard: Chiclet style
- Wireless: 802.11 bg/n
- MSRP: $999
What sets the R7 apart from the crowded laptop field is the funky screen stand that allows you to use the device almost any way you want. The screen can be positioned like a standard laptop, lifted up to bring it closer to your eyes, flipped around for viewing media, or used much like a tablet. The hinge is durable and supports the display in many viewing angles spread among the major configurations noted.
In addition to the radical display stand, Acer has a big surprise for you when you open the lid.
Who moved my trackpad?
When you open the Acer Aspire R7 lid for the first time, you will do a major double-take. You may have to look at the laptop a couple of times to convince yourself that the over-sized trackpad is indeed located behind the keyboard.
The trackpad is very large and works well, but it takes some getting used to it being behind the keyboard rather than in front as they have always been located. While I thought I would miss not having a palm rest in front of the keyboard, it's actually comfortable to type without it.
Some folks probably will never get used to having the trackpad up near the screen. Acer has taken a risk with this radical design.