Hybrid Alert: Cool Acer Tablets with Laptop Functionality

Hit harder than most by the floundering PC and laptop market, Acer has come up with two bold and stylish hybrid laptops-cum-tablets, the Acer Aspire R7 and the smaller Aspire P3.

The R7 provides users with a regular laptop experience, including a compact conventional keyboard for real typing, and a touchpad mouse (though this is curiously positioned behind the keyboard).

Acer Aspire

Acer Aspire

Together with a 15-inch display, the Aspire R7 boasts an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, a 500 gig hard drive, 6GB of RAM, 24 GB SSD, a HDMI port, 3 USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, and it runs Windows 8.

The coup, however, is that the screen can fold over like a closed conventional laptop, or double back on a special “ezel hinge” to form a tablet. In this mode the screen folds fully flat to offer a stylish, if somewhat chunky alternative to pure-bred tablets.

The full-HD touchscreen is a classy slab of glass, and offers the feel you would expect from any Acer tab. Weighing in at a fairly hefty 2.5 kg, the machine is perfect for those who need that extra functionality of an old-school laptop without sacrificing the convenient cool of a tablet.

While some will find the Windows 8 platform somewhat off-putting, it’s more of a matter of getting used to it. Windows 8 has divided opinions around the world, with some bemoaning the loss of standard Windows features (such as the find-anything ‘Start’ button), while others say it’s easy to use and fast to boot up. Try it and see…

The second addition to the Acer stable is the Aspire P3, a cute 11-inch machine with similar functionality to its larger sibling. An upgradeable Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 60 GB SSD make it a real contender against dedicated Windows 8 tablets, though it is heavier (1.36 kg) than most and does lack a mousepad.

The Acer Aspire R7 will retail for $999 in the US, so expect prices of over 750 euro here. The Aspire P3 will cost $799 in the US, topping 600 euro in Ireland.

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