Previously, I had picked up an Acer Aspire One (net book), years ago & liked it quite a bit. So naturally I wanted to see what their convertible laptop was like. Neat, actually. I have been on the fence about tablets & such, for some time. I do a few things with my phone & everything else with my various computers, but there are times, when I'd like to flip my net book in half, so now I can.
The case has a kind of raised leather pattern on it, a far cry from the slick gloss. I like it though, no fingerprints. I got the sky blue one, & at first glance, it looks like one of those kid toy lap tops. I feel that I'm going to break it, but it's quite sturdy.
It has a nice weight to it as well. I'm sure many people will say it's too heavy, but it isn't that bad overall. Holding it with one hand, as a tablet you may want it lighter. But that could just be me.
Using it as a tablet for writing is alright. The onscreen keyboard is available, & can be split for drawing, or just text. I am writing most of this review this way.
Like most, I went to the Acer website, to see what neat little things I could add to it. I am surprised that I can't find this model listed. Not a thing on there for the R-11. I'll probably bother one of their chat people to see what I can do, or just pass on it. I have a few neat accessories already for the net book.
Using the "convertible", is really nice. You can access the on-screen keyboard any time, but, like many touch screen devices, finding enter/send takes a little bit (if you aren't using it as a lap top). I have read a few reviews about this, & how slow it is. I don't find it really that slow. It's not going to play a full scale game, but it isn't made to do that. It's about a gig of video, which is quite ample for what the tasks are for it. I have opened & loaded just about everything on there, & aside from having to log in & register, everything came up pretty quickly. Note; I started out with a balance setting, between performance & fluff.
Already, I have gone to the web store on Microsoft, & downloaded a sweet waterfall picture for one of the three/four the desktops (see pictures). If you're not exactly sure, where to go to do something, there are many, many help options & tutorials for you to review. They are only a tap away. I will say that I was concerned with not being able to close out a few programs, but (through one of the tutorials), found by dragging it to the bottom, it will kind of close it out after awhile. A pretty neat feature, which will take a little getting used to. Probably natural for tablet (non computer) users.
Viewing is something you need to adjust for yourself. I didn't have many issues seeing things, but certain angles; like with any screen, are going to be determined by the viewer. Sometimes a little off, more often, right on.
When you set this up for the first time, you need to log in with your Hotmail/Outlook/Live account (whichever one you use). Not an issue for me, as I've had Hotmail well before MS bought it, & periodically, have had outlook. Somewhere along the line, they merged everything.
Setting this system up (using Windows 8.1) isn't bad at all. Pretty simple really, liking to any other retail computer. I do like that they added an easy to find desktop, being only a click away. I had built a computer awhile back for someone, using 8.1, but installed a shell program to get to the desktop/start menu. Personally, I think Win 8 & 8.1 is more for touch screens anyhow, maybe because it looks like you should touch it. No problem with this Acer, the screen takes the touch commands very well.
Using OneNote with drawing, is nice. The screen & drawing is smooth. I can't say how well it draws pictures as yet, there aren't that many points of touch compared to a drawing tablet, but should be enough to do a little detailed work with it. That is, more than just making a picture with "circles & arrows". There are a bunch of other apps there, offering the same thing-a cloud text/photo program. All aimed to keep a copy of your stuff & make sharing (inter business)
easier. If you need/like that kind of stuff. The touch screen sure makes using Paint, a bunch easier. I may even add it to my arsenal of photo editing tools.
Being that I'm pro mouse, the mouse pad, is alright, but I tend to not get a program open the first time in lap top mode. A double click on the shortcuts, gets it open alright. While on the subject of programs, there aren't many which come with it, more than your simple programs. Mostly stuff you need to buy. Seeing there isn't any optical drive (cd/dvd), I'll have to either get or make my own digital copies of the various software programs which I'd like to continue
using. Not a big issue, even if you don't know how to, as nearly every program has a downloadable version available.
Connecting to the wifi in the house was easier than my phone, & that was easy. Just enter the password & bam, welcome. Connecting it to my certain printers, well, that's a whole other ball of wax with them (the printers). Connecting elsewhere, is easy enough. Comparing it to my above mentioned netbook, it's much faster. Even loading large retail store web pages is nice & fast. It found all of my wifi signals in the house, but it did lose the really fast one the other day for some reason.
Connection & speed are fine, & just as fast as the tower computer I use. Dinking around, I downloaded the updates to the various "apps", it didn't take long at all, for all 29 of them. Of course, it didn't tell me how big they were (3 gigs), but it didn't take too long.
I connected my phone to it, as well as inserted an SC card; it did take about three minutes to get the software for it. Once I restarted, it was quite happy to include my various pictures, songs & documents. I declined this offer, & just had it open a few random pieces so I could see how it did. It did fine.
The music sounds fine enough for little speakers, the images are very nice. Clean & crisp. Pictures & digital movies play fantastic! Many of my digital collection is in HD, & they are crisp, & clear. The sound is very good.
I hooked the HDMI up to my 1080P tv monitor (see review elsewhere) & played them via this Acer, both as duplicate & single; everything was the same. No hesitation, no skipping or stuttering. You can zoom the pictures to their max size as you like, & everything is very clear.
Hard drive space. I will say that the hard drive is a bit small for 2015; only 20 gigs to start. I had 11.8 gigs free, till I updated the first day (63 items), & it dwindled down to 8.3! Two more automatic updates & it was under 8 gigs. That is nuts for many updates, but insane for a small laptop drive.
I am sure it's this small, because the computer doesn't use any fans for cooling, so I will look into another drive. Maybe an SSD, but I'll see what the options are. I know I have a 30gig laptop drive handy, & I may even see if I can move some things to the external sd card. That would at least be a quick fix. I installed one as an extra drive.
While on the subject of the sd card, I like that it is now "in the rear" & especially like that it is flush! I do wish there was an easy way to download the various apps, to the "external" drive. This would free up the hard drive for other things. Personally I like having more control of where things go, as well as lots of drive space.
This hasn't any fans. I have had this on for hours, all day in fact, & it is cooler than my phone. So if you're looking for quiet, & not heating things up, this is a great option to consider.
The life of the battery, so far is great. From initial start at 4pm, it ran (with a brief break), till midnight, only using 52% of the battery. Some of that was downloading the updates. The second day it ran from 9am to 11pm, & 9 am till I plugged it in at 11am (because I was going to take it with me, & wanted to have a full charge on it).
Overall thoughts: This is a very neat computer that functions as a tablet. Though it may take a little getting used to it, you'll pick up on it very quickly. Using Windows 8.1 is very nice. The only thing which bothers me is the size of the drive.
If you could install the "apps" to the sd card, that would be great, but there isn't any option to install elsewhere. Because of this, I really won't be installing many of them, & certainly will be uninstalling a few more as is needed.
My "honey" has shown interest in this little "convertible" lap top, but also is concerned about the small hard drive.
She found it easy to use, & didn't feel intimidated by it at all. She likes that she can use it as a tablet, & still install (some) of the computer programs that she likes using. She also likes that she can carry it along, & not take up so much room, unlike her other lap top. She can see everything clearly, & was zipping around the various screens in little time.