SLEEK,LIGHTWEIGHT & SNAPPY
Acer Aspire R 14
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
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.