Acer Aspire R13 first look

Acer’s Windows 10 hybrid has a crazy hinge that’s back from the dead

Back in 2009 one of the first Windows 8 hybrids was the Acer R7-571 which had an unusual and very distinctive easel-like hinge with the screen mounted inside a frame in such a way that it could swivelled 360 degrees. Apart from showing up in a few competing Dell hybrids, that unusual easel-like hinge had disappeared. Until now.

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The easel hinge makes a return in the Acer Aspire R13 under the brand name of Ezel Aero Hinge. As with older hybrids with such a hinge, it's certainly eye-catching although we're not sure it's any more convenient than a hybrid with a more conventional convertible or detachable mechanism as we can't see many practical advantages to this unusual mechanism.

This Windows 10 convertible hybrid weighs 1.6 kg despite having a glossy back glass finish to the lid. The rest of the casing is made from a mixture of plastic and metal, but the pre-production R13s we saw at Acer's IFA stand were nonetheless reasonably sturdy.

The Aspire R13 will come with Intels' new Skylake processors, the option of two internal SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration as well as the new Thunderbolt 3 port which has a USB Type-C connector instead of the older Mini DisplayPort connector used by previous versions of Thunderbolt.

The large keyboard felt well-made and comfortable to type on, while the touchpad is apparently an improvement over previous touchpads on Acer laptops as it's a Precision Touchpad'. This is a joint effort by Microsoft and laptop manufacturers to improve the quality of Windows laptop touchpads which had been, at best, merely middling in the recent past.

All of these features come at a relatively high price - 899. The Acer Aspire R13 will go on sale in Britain from the middle of October.

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