ACER ASPIRE R13
The Acer Aspire R13 is quite a nondescript convertible notebook. It is a fairly thick dark gray slab, with its display and back lid covered by sheets of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, more commonly found on smaller devices like mobile phones and tablets.
This is actually the thickest and largest Ultrabook of the lot – while it isn't huge per se, it isn't going to disappear into your tote bag as easily as some of the others.
In practical use, the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 display should mean that you have to worry less about scratches, but we think Acer could have dispensed with the glass covering on the lid. We found that this was prone to fingerprints and smudges, and unless you're going to dedicate a lot of time to wiping them off, the face of your notebook is going to be quite grimy.
Furthermore, the display was a modest 1,920 x 1080 pixel IPS panel – quite a letdown considering that all the other Ultrabooks reviewed here have ultra-high resolutions of 3,200 x 1,800 pixels. Of course, the Acer's Full HD screen was by no means fuzzy, but it was noticeably less crisp in a side-by-side comparison.
That aside, the Aspire R13 is equipped with performance-oriented features like two 256GB M.2 SSDs configured in RAID 0 for faster read and write speeds, and support for MU-MIMO wireless connections via a Qualcomm Vive 2x2 adapter. In addition, a USB Type-C port offers Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, which means it also supports DisplayPort 1.2.
Another standout feature is the sheer versatility of the hinged display. The screen itself can rotate around the U-shaped stand and be used in six different modes, including as a tablet, easel, or stand. Although not as simple as the 360° hinge on the Lenovo YOGA 900, the hinge was fairly easy to work and felt quite well-built.
The Aspire R13 also comes bundled with an Aspire Active Stylus that felt more like a freebie than anything. It didn't have the heft of the Microsoft Surface Pen, and the palm detection feature did not function as well. We also found that with just 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, the strokes were not as smooth as those on the latest Surface Pen. Ultimately, the pen is useful for quick note-taking, but you're not going to derive any real joy from using it.
The USB Type-C port also supports Thunderbolt 3.