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Acer announces Aspire R13, R14 convertibles and larger Switch series 2-in-1s

Mark Hachman | Sept. 4, 2014
Flexibility is the watchword this year.

Acer spent considerable effort highlighting the flexibility of each display, a design aesthetic that was popularized by the Lenovo Yoga and similar models. The Switch 10 and 11 can detach the tablet portion via a magnetic latch that, at least on the earlier Switch 10, was almost absurdly strong. Acer said the Switch tablets could be detached, tilted, or undocked. Acer's Aspire R 13 series models can also be folded back on themselves, Yoga style, to serve as a display or "tent mode." The R 14 uses a 180-degree hinge that allows the display to face away from the user or support the weight of the notebook in a tent or "easel" mode, sliding forward.

New Aspires: same old components, but with a twist

The Aspire R 13 series weighs less than 3 pounds and is less than 1-inch thick, Acer said. All of the models include either a  2,560x1,440 or 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display with what Acer calls "air gap" technology to improve legibility. Users can choose from either Core i5 or Core i7 microprocessors, but not the upcoming Intel "Broadwell" Core M chips, apparently. Users can also ask for up to 8GB of memory or 1TB SSDs. The R 13 series is Skype-certified and includes the Microsoft Surface-like Acer Active Pen, which can be used to launch Microsoft OneNote or a screen-capture app. The notebooks also include dual-array mics and software to eliminate ambient noise.

Somewhat surprisingly, perhaps, the larger Aspire R 14 family only includes a 14-inch, 1,366x768 display option. Inside, users can choose from the standard range of Intel Core chips as well as Nvidia 820M graphics options, either 500GB or 1TB hard drives.

Acer only revealed pricing for the Aspire R 14 series, with prices starting at $599 in October. Will consumers choose the new clamshells or opt for the tablet? Either way, Acer has them covered.


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