Acer is adding another convertible to its laptop lineup with the Aspire R11. The R11 will be the first laptop of Acer’s to employ a 360 degree display hinge, a design feature that was first popularized by Lenovo’s Yoga line. The Acer Aspire R11 features an 11.6-inch (1366 x 768) HD touchscreen and will start at $250 when it is made available in June.
Before even touching the device, we were impressed by the laptops sharp visual appeal. Available in both sky blue and cloud white, the bright vibrant colors serve to catch the eye. Acer’s fabric-textured chassis design provides a clean aesthetic and an easy to grip surface, something that is especially welcomed while holding the 3.48 pound device in tablet mode. The textured protective cover extends beyond the display and deck to provide a surface for the laptop to stand on in various modes.
Matching the build quality is the device’s dual-torque hinge, which provided enough resistance to keep the screen in place when using the laptop’s touch controls. However, the hinge also had enough give to make transforming between laptop and tablet modes a breeze.
We were also pleased with the Chiclet style keyboard. The square plastic keys offered excellent travel. Unfortunately the tactile feedback was a bit flat, but it remained consistent in our limited testing. While not perfect, the Aspire R11 provided a decent typing experience that allowed for quick and accurate typing. We also enjoyed the sizeable touchpad located just below the spacebar. The black singular pad was smooth to the touch, affording great travel and an accurate quick response to multi-finger gestures.
At 3.48 pounds the Acer Aspire is a bit heavier than many 11.6-inch convertibles on the market, but the device does offer excellent connectivity for a budget laptop. The notebook features a SD Card reader, a full-sized HDMI connector, a VGA connector, along with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.
The Acer Aspire R11 is equipped with either a new Braswell Intel Pentium or Intel Celeron processor, with up to 8 GB of RAM, and a 500 GB or 1 TB hard drive. Utilizing Intel’s new 14nm low-powered chipsets the Acer Aspire R11 features a fanless design, and according to Acer the R11 will last up to 8 hours on a single charge, falling comfortably in line with other devices in this category and price range. The device will be shipped running on Windows 8.1, but Acer will offer a free upgrade to Windows 10 that OS rolls out.
While the Acer Aspire R11 certainly isn’t a powerhouse, it should be more than sufficient for basic computing needs such as word processing and web surfing. The attractive vibrant design is definitely a plus, but at 3.48 pounds the Acer Aspire R11 can feel a bit bulky especially while holding the device in tablet mode. However, the Acer Aspire R11 still seems like a worthwhile offer with it’s affordable starting price. Considering Acer is offering a free upgrade to Windows 10 when the new OS hits markets, the R11 may be the ideal choice for users who want a well-built convertible for simple computing needs, when the laptop is made available in June.