SLEEK,LIGHTWEIGHT & SNAPPY

Acer As­pire R 14

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - By John Law

Back when Mi­crosoft first launched its first it­er­a­tion of the Sur­face Pro in 2012, the con­cept of the note­book, and by ex­ten­sion, the Ul­tra­book, was reimag­ined for the vox pop­uli. Since then, many com­pa­nies have tried (rig­or­ously) to em­u­late Mi­crosoft's suc­cess with their 2-in-1 con­vert­ibles. The end re­sults of their ef­forts have been a hit or miss, while some of them are com­plete mim­ics of the note­books. Luck­ily for us, the Acer As­pire R 14 is its own kind of 2-in-1 con­vert­ible. But the ques­tion is: is it a hit?

The brush metal­lic mo­tif of the As­pire R 14 is ap­peal­ing to look at, and equally as sat­is­fy­ing to the touch when we used it as our daily driver (In fact, this re­view was writ­ten en­tirely with this unit).

Its per­for­mance isn't too shoddy ei­ther, hav­ing scored an av­er­age of 3,800 points on the ac­cel­er­ated op­tion for both the Home and Cre­ative bench­marks of PCMark 8. By com­par­i­son to other

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APRIL 2016 note­books, that score isn't too bad, es­pe­cially when you con­sider that this model is only pack­ing a 6th gen­er­a­tion In­tel Core i5 mo­bile pro­ces­sor, and a mea­ger 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM.

One caveat that we no­ticed while re­view­ing the As­pire R 14 was with its dis­play. Yes, it's nice that Acer ac­tu­ally man­aged to fit in a 16:9 ra­tio, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) dis­play into the note­book, but again, com­pared to other note­books, its bright­ness lev­els seemed rather sub­dued. We're not say­ing that it's a bad thing, but even at max­i­mum bright­ness, we still had to squint our eyes at the dis­play from time to time.

That aside, the ex­pe­ri­ence with this note­book wasn't bad. De­spite its pal­try 4GB of RAM, we still man­aged to play some of our own me­dia con­tent on the de­vice. Out in the wild (by that, we mean cafés and restau­rants most of the time), we were able to watch movies and YouTube videos com­fort­ably, set­ting the de­vice up in tent mode. While on the move, we switched to the As­pire R 14's tablet mode to make read­ing a lit­tle eas­ier, and back to its lap­top state when­ever we found a ta­ble.

En­durance on the As­pire R 14 was some­thing of a mild dis­ap­point­ment for us. On the bat­tery life test for PCMark 8, we only re­ceived a max­i­mum of three hours and 18 min­utes on a full charge, which is re­ally not what we'd ex­pect of a new note­book us­ing In­tel's ‘Sky­lake' ar­chi­tec­ture. How­ever, out­side of the syn­thetic bench­mark and in our ba­sic use of the de­vice, the de­vice ac­tu­ally lasted sig­nif­i­cantly longer and giv­ing us nearly six hours of emails, videos, and other work-re­lated tasks.

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