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Earlier this morning, one of the stars of Acer’s global presentation which took place in New York City was the Aspire R7. Acer called the Aspire R7 its notebook hybrid which not only re-imagines the layout of its keyboard and trackpad, but it also features a 15.6-inch screen which is mounted on an ezel hinge that makes it possible to move around to the user’s preference. We were able to get some hands-on time with the Aspire R7, so let’s take a look at just what makes this notebook hybrid so special.

When we first put our hands on the Aspire R7, having the keyboard so close to the edge of its base is a little jarring considering the layout of a notebook computer has gone unchanged for several years. It seems unnatural at first, but when you start using the Aspire R7, you’ll see why Acer went with this design. Bringing the screen forward to where it sits at the edge of the keyboard invites you to use its touchscreen much more than you would on a typical touchscreen notebook.

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When you feel you need to use the trackpad, you can push the screen to the rear of its base, but using it at this angle felt a bit strange as you have to reach out to use the trackpad much more than we were comfortable with. The best way to use the Aspire R7 if you’d like to use its keyboard is when its screen is as close to you as possible while having its keyboard accessible.

The ezel hinge makes it possible to move the Aspire R7’s screen in a number of ways where you could show the screen to someone sitting across from you, lay it flat for collaboration and laying it completely flat over the keyboard for its tablet mode. At first use, manipulating the screen to be used in multiple modes is a bit difficult as we didn’t want to bend it in the wrong way, or tilt it into a position where the R7 fell over. But after about 5 minutes of use, manipulating the screen felt natural.

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With its 15.6-inch display and its ezel hinge, the Aspire R7 is rather heavy to the point where it feels like it would be better suited as a Windows desktop replacement rather than an actual portable notebook. Sure – you could carry the Aspire R7 around, but we have a feeling you’re not going to want to travel cross country with it in your bag. Aside from its weight, the display gave off a nice amount of brightness and detail.

The Acer Aspire R7 will be made available on May14 for a yet-to-be-announced price.

Filed in Computers >Reviews . Tags: Acer and Windows 8.
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