Bonnie Cha

Recent Posts by Bonnie Cha

Acer Aspire R7 Gives New Meaning to “All-in-One” PC

They put the trackpad where?

That was my first thought when I heard about Acer’s new Aspire R7 Windows 8 notebook.

Acer Aspire_R7

Unveiled today at an event in New York, the Aspire R7 is a Windows 8 laptop, but its design is unique.

Part notebook, part all-in-one PC, part tablet, the machine features a 15.6-inch, 1,920 by 1,080-pixel touchscreen that’s mounted on an “Ezel” hinge so you can reposition the display to your liking. You can angle it to use it like a regular laptop, flip the screen over to watch movies, or lay it on top of the keyboard to use it like a tablet.

Acer also switched the location of the keyboard and trackpad: The trackpad is now located at the top of the laptop, with the backlit keyboard just below it. WTF, right?

Acer’s thinking is that you can simply angle the display right to the edge of the keyboard, and use the touchscreen rather than the trackpad to launch applications, click on items and so on.

I get what Acer was going for, but I’m not entirely sold on this design. There are still times where a trackpad might be more useful than a touchscreen, and having to reach over the keyboard to use it seems awkward and uncomfortable.

While PC manufacturers have been toying with these new hybrid designs of late, they come with compromises, and many times you’d be better off going with a standalone notebook or tablet. But I’ll reserve judgment on the Aspire R7 until I’ve actually used it in person.

master Helicon

As far as the guts of the machine, it has an Intel Core i5 processor, a 500 gigabyte hard drive, a 24GB solid-state drive and 6GB of memory. Ports include three USB ports, HDMI and an SD card reader.

The Aspire R7 will be available exclusively at Best Buy on May 17, with a starting price of $1,000. You can preorder one starting today.

In addition to the R7, Acer announced the 7.9-inch Iconia A1 Android tablet and the Aspire P3 Windows 8 Ultrabook convertible, a slimmed-down version of its Aspire V5 notebooks and Aspire V7 Ultrabook.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google