Review: Acer Aspire R11 - a device for all occasions

2016-03-22 10:44 - Kyle Venktess, The Witness
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Acer Aspire R 11 laptop. (Acer)

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Pietermaritzburg - It is true that the traditional laptop is taking various forms and names in recent times. As advances are made in the tech industry, our gadgets become smaller and more convenient to use, anywhere and everywhere.

Only a decade ago we had the thrill of being able to use a laptop for just an hour on a long road trip, but now we are able to use devices for even longer and to be more productive in our everyday lives.

The Acer Aspire R11 is one such device, making life easier, and smarter.

The Aspire R11 is a convertible notebook which is compact and able to rotate 360° to be used as a laptop, display screen or a tablet.

As seen in many pamphlets advertising such devices the new trend among laptops is for the computer to be able to convert, either by rotation or unclipping.

Windows 10

The device obviously is engineered with a full touch screen to make it display screen or tablet compatible.

However, functioning only by rotation the R11 eliminates the need for the user to purchase a separate keyboard and the keyboard and mouse is always connected to the device in one place, whether needed or not.

It also takes four forms - a traditional notebook, display screen, tent, or pad. While adjusted to the forms the display itself auto-rotates to the form it is in.

When needed as just a laptop, the R11 looks and feels just the way the user needs, with typing on the device mimicking that of a traditional laptop. The trackpad on the device is soft and allows the finger to glide smoothly across it.

However, at no discredit to the device, those who “grew up” using Windows, from the days of DOS commands and pixelated games, the mouse and new operating system, Windows 10 may take some getting used to.

Recently the new trend by Windows operated machines was to go the Mac OS route and ditch the left and right click button. Right click functions are done by either pressing the button in or tapping it. Left click functions are now down the same way but by using two fingers instead of one.

Back to the device!

Hard drive

The R11 is designed to be compact enough to carry almost anywhere. The device is encased in a hard plastic body that feels comfortable in the hand.

My first fear about the device was that the keyboard would be damaged if the device was being used in display screen mode, that is, with the keys face down.

Thankfully, that issue was taken care of through a slightly concave keyboard and four small rubberised pads to prop the device up before the keys can touch the surface the device is placed on.

The R11 has a quad core 1.6GHz processor and features Intel HD Graphics with Shared Memory with 4GB of RAM.

While being compact, the display size is 29.4cm (11.6 inches) and has a resolution of 1366 x 768 at a ratio of 16:9.

This tiny rocket also has a massive 500GB hard drive – comparable with many laptops today.

Other features include Corning Gorilla Glass which protects the screen from damage, similar to many tablets and smartphones.

Zero Air Gap is another display technology feature built into the device which improves contrast and image clarity, even under sunlight.

For audio enhancement, Acer TrueHarmony offers crisper sound, while its auto-reversing speakers optimise themselves for each form chosen on the laptop.

BluelightShield is also built into the device to assist in reducing eye-strain from the glare of the screen.

With power-saving modes activated, this offers a great battery life. My experience after a full charge was two hours of streaming at night which brought the life down slightly. Limited usage during the next day allowed for two more hours of streaming at night, and left the device with about half its life the next day.

The R11 smartly put itself to sleep to conserve its four-cell Li-Ion battery at various points in time, resulting in an extended battery life Acer boasts to be around eight hours.

What’s more is that the R11 is cheaper than all high-end smartphones on the market today at a recommended retail price of R7 999.

The Acer Aspire R11 is a convenient device to use for entertainment or increased productivity on the go.

@KyleVenktess on Twitter

kyle.venktess@witness.co.za

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