Acer has unveiled two new convertible Windows 8.1 laptops at its press event at IFA 2014. Coming in at 13 and 14 inches, both machines can be switched between laptop and tablet mode, but go about it in very different ways.
The first system, known as the Aspire R13, is a 6-mode convertible Windows 8.1 laptop that uses a similar easel hinge to the one we saw on the Dell XPS 12 (Acer calls it the Ezel Hinge). The solution here is a little more elegant than with Dell’s system, with the frame only extending as far as the tilt point of the display, rather than wrapping itself all the way around the screen.
The machine’s hinge is its clear stand-out feature, but there’s a lot to like elsewhere. The R13 follows in the footsteps of the European version of Acer’s S7 Ultrabook, offering a choice of either a 1,920 x 1,080 or quad-HD display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440.
The laptop features an industrial design and can be configured with up to a 1TB SSD in RAID 0 configuration, up to 8 GB RAM, an Intel Core i7-4510U, and features active pen input – a great feature for a convertible laptop. It’s 17.95 mm (0.7 in) thick and weighs in at 1.5 kg (3.3 lb).
The company also unveiled a 14-inch convertible known as the Aspire R14. While the larger system shares a similar moniker to the 13-inch laptop, it’s a notably different machine. Unlike the easel-hinge-packing Aspire R13, the larger laptop opts for a Lenovo Yoga-like 360-degree hinge, allowing the display to flip all the way over from laptop to tablet mode.
If you’re a power user, then you’ll likely appreciate the extra horsepower of the R14. Like its little brother, the 14-inch system can be configured with an Intel Core i7-4510U, but offers a more expansive 12 GB RAM and a 1 TB HDD. If you’re partial to a bit of light gaming, then you’ll also appreciate the system’s dedicated Nvidia GeForce 820M graphics card. As you might expect from a larger machine, the R14 is thicker and heavier than the R13, coming in at 2.2 kg (4.6 lb) with a thickness of 23 mm (0.9 in). Display resolution is a middling 1,366 x 768.
The Acer Aspire R13 will launch in the Americas in October, with prices starting at US$600, while the R14 will hit EMEA and Asia in mid-October for $500 and up.