ACER AS­PIRE R13

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST -

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.

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