Aspire R7: Acer makes a stand (review)

Aspire R7: Acer makes a stand (review)

Summary: Acer launched this futuristic laptop with a big Star Trek campaign. The fun stand can make it look like the Enterprise at times.


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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
    • Bluetooth
    • 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.


  • Large, comfortable laptop

    When used as a typical laptop, the Aspire R7 is comfortable due to its large size. The backlit keyboard is close and if you can get used to the trackpad location, the R7 is all business with Windows 8.

    The display is gorgeous and high-resolution, and the touchscreen is great to use with Windows 8.

Topics: Mobility, Laptops, Reviews

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  • The same people who complain

    about how inconvenient it is to reach up to use a touchscreen are going to complain about how they'll have to move their hands forward to use the track pad. With the common placement of a track pad below the keyboard you can at least use your thumbs without moving your hands away from the keyboard.
    Michael Kelly
  • At last...

    For years I've cursed touch pads, because I would always bruch it with a thumb when touch typing and start destroying text I'd already written. Putting the trackpad out of the way makes sense.
    • Yep

      Now I can accidentally press keys when trying to use the trackpad instead of accidentally pressing the trackpad when I am trying to use the keys!

      Progress, ever forward.

      Honestly, they probably should have just left the trackpad off since the touchscreen is handier with this. And precision users can always carry a portable mouse in their laptop bag.
      • Trackpad

        ...can be turned off on my Laptop, so that's not an issue. I virtually never use mine, never liked them much!
    • I have never once had that happen in years of using a MBP.

      But I have had fits with most HP/Dell/Lenovo trackpads. One thing that really helps is turn off the tap to click mouse feature and use the actual buttons supplied with the trackpad.
  • Big Beautifl Display

    Hmm, my 3 year old laptop has the same size and resolution display, I don't see what the fuss is about.

    The hinge, touch and the layout of the touchpad are noteworthy, but the size and resolution of the display is pretty standard.
  • I like the hinge

    I haven't felt compelled to comment on a product review ever, but the hinge is cool. Now, fix the trackpad location and I might buy one.

    Hey Acer--lose the DVD drive and put a swing out trackpad in there as long as you are redoing the form factor. This laptop seems to have plenty of room for that.
  • upper pad

    Not sure why someone hasn't thought of this before. I like the trackpad up topside where I'm not resting my palm on it. The hinge positions that let you cover the trackpad and just go with touch is pretty cool. Nice innovation.
  • Very nice laptop.

    I'd like having to bring the screen closer to me while typing, although if it would be possible to lose that Windows logo below the screen, that would be nice, as I'd like to put Ubuntu in it as long as I can turn off Secure Boot. I might give Windows 8.1 a try but then I don't feel like giving my money to Microsoft for pre-installing Windows. I do try to be platform-agnostic, but oh well.

    I do want to have an AMD version of the laptop, though. Maybe a high-end AMD Accelerated Processor Unit (APU for short as it combines CPU and GPU in one)?
    Grayson Peddie
  • Two usb 3.0 and one usb 2.0

    This laptop only has two usb 3.0 ports, not three. The third port is a usb 2.0.
  • The Flybook used to have this (3-4 years ago!)

    I forget what model it was, but this is not a new design.
  • Cool !! - questions

    My current laptop has a heat (temperature) problem. It makes my lap warmer. That is OK in the winter, but not so in the summer. Does this laptop have a similar heat situation?

    When will it be available in the stores (or online) and how much will it cost?

    I never use the track pad, I carry a wireless mouse. Been looking for a touch laptop.
    Looks that this is a serious contender.

    Can you run Linux (android or other distro's)? Will it interface with my smartphone?

    Old enough to say I can wait. But young enough to be excited.
  • When will higher spec model be released? (1TB)

    Does anyone know when the higher spec model with 1TB will be released in USA (R7-571-5338G1T)? I saw it in an Asia site selling for RMB$2,869. 500GB is too small for a home notebook (I like to have all my home photos/videos). Thanks.
  • Here's the link to the 1TB R7 model
  • New Tablet

    The tablet, which retails for $379.99, will be sold at Microsoft stores,, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, and Walmart.
    Sofia Ivanova
  • Acer

    take my money!
  • Acer R7

    looks like a decent, if overpriced and heavy to carry laptop.
    hmmmm, No DVD player on a 15.6" hi def screen laptop?
    seems a waste.