Review: Acer Aspire R 14
3.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $1119 starting price; Review model was $1599;
Manufacturer: Acer

Laptops aren’t merely laptops anymore, and thanks to 360 degree hinges, computers can act more like tablets. Acer’s R 14 embodies this philosophy, too, and even delivers a Full HD screen to a 14 inch form-factor.

Specs

It’s a laptop. No wait, it’s a media player. No wait again, it’s a tablet! That’s the general feeling you get when you hear about hybrid computers, with the two- or three-in-one philosophies brought to the computing arena, letting you have a laptop, an entertainment system, and a tablet all in the one device provided it has been designed with hybrid in mind.

Acer’s latest take on that comes in the Aspire R 14, and this machine is spec’d out in much the way you might expect a modern computer to be, with Intel’s latest chip generation featuring here in a Core i5 clocked at 2.3GHz and paired with 8GB RAM.

Storage on the Aspire R 14 is set to 256GB, though 128GB storage can also be found, meaning this computer relies on solid-state storage.

This is paired with Microsoft’s Windows 10, and while you don’t need one to make Windows 10 work, there is a touchscreen here, with a 14 inch Full HD (1920×1080) offered.

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Connection wise, you’ll find a fair amount of ports, with four USB ports in total, two of which are USB 3.0, one which is USB 2.0, and another that delivers USB 3.1 in the Type C port configuration, handy if you happen to have a new phone or other peripheral supporting the the Type C standard.

A single HDMI port can also be found here, as can an SD card slot and a 3.5mm headset slot, but that’s it for wired connections.

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Wireless offerings are fairly standard for a new computer, and you’ll find support for WiFi over 802.11ac here, backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n, while Bluetooth is also found on this model.

Everything else is probably what you’d expect a modern laptop to offer, with a keyboard, multi-touch gesture-friendly trackpad, and speakers, though this laptop does arrive with a 360 degree hinge that has been strengthened for the times when you want to have the Aspire R 14 work in tent or display mode.

Design

Let’s get stuck into the computer, and design seems as good a place as any, so we’ll go there.

In this computer, Acer is bringing a little more than just plastic to the table, which is predominantly what we’re used to, so it’s nice to see something else.

Granted, there’s still plastic on the bottom, and a reasonable amount at that, with a rubberised bottom taking up the bulk of the R 14’s chassis, but at least it is complimented by a little metal.

Along the inside and on the outside of the screen, Acer has provided a bit of brushed black aluminium, both of which help the Aspire R 14 feel a little more premium, even if that plastic undercarriage lets that feeling down.