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Acer Aspire R7 gets Haswell update and active stylus support

by Mark Tyson on 21 November 2013, 22:15

Tags: Windows 8, Acer (TPE:2353)

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The Acer Aspire R7 turned heads when it was released earlier this year and won some geeky fans thanks to its Star Trek associations. Today Acer has announced an update to this futuristically designed ‘Ezel hinged’ multi-mode computer with an Intel Haswell processor and active screen digitizer being the highlights. Also as a new laptop this machine, the Aspire R7-572, now ships with Windows 8.1.

This second generation Aspire R7 still allows user to flip and turn the device into different modes via its experimental ‘Ezel’ screen hinge. With the added digitiser in the touchscreen, the new model allows users to work with an optional Acer active stylus. The stylus comes in handy for users who are looking for more options to increase productivity and creativity on the uniquely mounted 15.6-inch display.

A new set of apps called Acer Touch Tools also makes the touchscreen more useful than ever. The stylus software suite includes:

  • MemoryBinder: a kind of scrapbooking app
  • Screen Grasp: an image clipboard
  • Scrapboard: a web image erm... scrapboard
  • AccuFinger: to help fat fingers select and manipulate small on screen elements

Acer gives us some details about the tech behind the active stylus. The systems maker says it uses electromagnetic induction technology. “It provides high accuracy, hover capabilities for precise system control, rapid refresh to accurately capture ink subtleties, 256 distinct levels of pressure sensitivity for more exact control and input, and advanced palm rejection capabilities for natural and intuitive computing experience,” says Acer. The stylus also has interchangeable nibs and configurable side buttons.

The Aspire R7-572 is also updated with Intel Wireless Display technology (WiDi), 8GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive. The new Haswell CPU provides a much better battery life; up to 6.5 hours compared to the original Aspire R7 which only ran for 4 hours in battery life tests.

Although the external design remains the same, there are a lot of respectable internal upgrades. "The new R7-572 builds upon the unique design of the first generation model, bringing more options and greater functionality to our R7 customers." said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president, product marketing, Acer America. It has definitely taken a large step in the right direction with the better battery life and active stylus options. A full list of tech specs can be found here.

The new version of the Aspire R7 with the updates mentioned above, more base memory and a double sized HDD also comes with a price cut, down by $100, to US$899. We always like to see products that are new and improved with a keener price tag attached. Availability starts in US based Best Buy Stores early December.

HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Gorgeous, if I was in the market for something like this, it would definitely be considered.
The Easel mode is interesting.

I've actually held one of these and it's a lot lighter than you'd expect and the hinge is solid.
I always had a soft spot for the original design. You get a lot of spec for your money, hopefully they'll offer SSD options, or make it easy enough to upgrade yourself.

Reasonable dedicated graphics (GT 750M), 8Gb RAM standard, Haswell i5 4200U as standard for $900, even if that was a direct conversion to £ that's a great price for a larger convertible workhorse laptop. Also Widi and other niceties. Looks like they're going for a decent implementation of touch with intelligent palm rejection as well, just hope they allow somewhere to store the stylus within the chassis.

Edit: Seems the GPU isn't in the standard config so it's likely to be north of £1000 for any option with that...
Link to the tech specs states $1998, not quite so much of a bargain...
I like the idea of the hinge, but the damn screen still can't fold flat with the screen up! You try and write on it with a stylus, and the thing will wobble on it's hinge.