Acer Aspire R14 Ultra Review

Acer Aspire R14 (R7-471T-M613) Review

The future of Two-In-One Laptops is here! Acer has been amazing us with their range of products, and especially in this case, the Notebooks that go from a standard laptop to a Tablet by bending the keyboard backwards. Here’s what we have to say about the Acer Aspire R14 Ultra!

Hybrid Hype!

Laptop Mode

The latest generation of these two-in-one laptops have grown even more in size as of late, though the R14 Ultra sticks close to it’s predecessors with its 14″ display screen. The sleek black design of the exterior of the laptop still looks and feels sophisticated; even more so, in fact, complemented by the silver lining around the touch-pad. The laptop has become even thinner, which is ridiculous to even consider as a possibility. The dimensions of the laptop are 320 x 230 x 10mm. That’s right, 10mm thickness! I didn’t think I could get any more careful in handling a laptop, but it wasn’t that difficult, because the laptop is surprisingly light too, weighing at only 1195 grams, and even feels pretty durable.

As mentioned before, the laptop has a 14″ display with a Full-HD 1920×1080 resolution. I was further surprised by how crisp the display was, to the extent where I got a lot closer to the screen than I should to be able to see how close the pixels are to each other. The White Balance was pleasing, leaning more towards the cooler side of the spectrum. Unfortunately, the screen does not fend off glare, but that wasn’t much of a problem considering how mobile one can be with this notebook, and shouldn’t be too much of a problem for many either. The touch-feature on the screen is incredibly responsive, keeping up with my input, pinching and zooming and tapping, and is useful in both Tablet Mode and Laptop Mode.

More Tablet Than Laptop

Tablet Mode Engaged!

Speaking of the Tablet mode, the Laptop has a strong 360-degree hinge that allows you to rotate the display into the standard laptop, display, tent and tablet modes. The conversion from Laptop to Tablet mode is seamless, most likely as a result of the performance by the Intel Dual-Core m7-7Y75 @ 1.3GHz and 8GB RAM, further assisted by the fact that it’s running on a 256GB Solid-State Drive. This allows the device to support a significant amount of multitasking. I had MS Paint open, the Webcam software running, McAfee’s system scan, as well as a few Browser windows open, streaming videos and exploring Dropbox, with nary a lag in sight. The touch-display can handle 10 points of touch input, as well as excellent palm rejection to avoid accidental input. (And let’s not forget the anti-smudge coating!) It feels like a proper hybrid; With the screen facing you, the laptop’s power button and volume control is on the left side along the edge of the case, making it look and feel even more like a Tablet. There is almost no delay when pressing the power/sleep button in bringing the laptop to life or making it go to sleep.

The keyboard on the laptop is quite comfortable to use in my opinion. I found I was able to type easily on the chiclet-style keyboard, and some people may find it a bit mushy, but I like the slender, simple look and feel of the keys. The touch-pad clicks as loudly as any other laptop’s, so there isn’t much change expected there, but the default mouse sensitivity is comfortable and like I mentioned earlier, the silver-lining around the sides of the touch-pad gave it an elegant look.

The R14 Ultra

In terms of Graphic Prowess, the laptop possesses an Intel HD Graphics 615 card. I tested the gaming ability by using World of Warcraft, and the laptop was able to keep up comfortable at Low settings, pushing it into a combination with Medium settings and it still kept up quite nicely, even on Automatic Settings. I dare say the laptop would even be able to play Bioshock Infinite on Low settings. The clarity of the image makes watching movies and/or online video clips quite enjoyable. Sound quality of the laptop was pretty surprising too. The powerful speakers were able to fill my room with good quality sound. Sometimes 75% was even too loud.

Here is a downside to the Tab-top… It’s more Tablet than Laptop, because of the fact that there are only two USB Type-C ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. No, you cannot plug any USB 2.0 or USB-3 Flash Drives into this Hybrid. I’m actually even surprised that there wasn’t a port to plug an SD-card in for extra storage. The device does however have Bluetooth connectivity, and excellent WiFi connectivity.

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Conclusion

This hybrid laptop has an impressive design with a lot of power under the hood. Business meets pleasure with this laptop, and I would say that I would definitely use this more for business purposes, especially if you’re on the go and need to do work anywhere. The keyboard is comfortable and the Touch feature is amazingly responsive. This stylish two-in-one packs a punch, and can last for a long time depending on how demanding the processes are that are running, averaging comfortably on 9 hours per charge, and can last even longer too, once again giving it more of a Tablet feel than Laptop. Perhaps this is more Tablet than Laptop. My biggest issue is that it is very limited in terms of connecting peripherals, having only 2 USB-C ports. Otherwise, my experience with it was quite pleasant. I have not seen any local stores stocking it, so I won’t add it as criteria to the overall score (for now…) but the laptop goes for over R9,000 overseas. A bit of a steep price, all things considered.

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