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Wednesday, September 03, 2014
Acer Debuts New Hybrids At IFA 2014

Taiwanese tech giant Acer released new hybrid laptops along with a slew of new notebooks at the IFA tech trade show in Berlin.

Acer's new half-laptop half-tablet gadgets include the new hinge-swivelling Aspire R13 series.

By swinging the R13's 13.3-inch screen out of its bezel, you can spin the display down, turning the machine into a chunky tablet, or spin it backwards, using the keypad as an impromptu stand. The R13 is less than 1-inch thick, Acer boasts, and weighs just over 1.5kg.

A 1080p "zero air gap" Gorilla Glass 3 touchscreen is standard and can be upgraded to 1440p resolution. Both are built with IPS technology, include an anti-reflective coating and support Acer’s optional active stylus.

Under the hood there is a Core i5 or i7 processor, solid state drives with up to 1TB of space and up to 8GB of memory. Audio will be provided by Dolby Digital Plus Home Theatre speakers and a dual-microphone configuration will be used to enhance VOIP services like Skype. Acer also claims up to eight hours of battery life. The base model will sell for just $899 in Europe and Asia this November.

The R14 series meanwhile is another hybrid range with 14-inch displays. These are differently constructed however, and transform to tablet mode using a hinge that swivels 360 degrees, letting you push the screen around until it bumps into the back of the keyboard. The new Aspire Switch 11 series also features a magnetic hinge to completely detach the notebook's screen from its keyboard.

The R 14 offers a 14-inch display and will only be available with a 1366×768 "zero air gap" touchscreen. A wide range of Intel processor, from the basic Pentium line to Core i7 dual-cores, will be available along up to 12GB of RAM and up to 1TB of storage. Nvidia 820M graphics will be optional as well. The R 14 will sell for $599 when it launches worldwide this October.

Acer also debuted at IFA the Aspire Switch 11 series of 11.6-inch models and a new Switch 10 that boasts a 1080p Full HD 10.1-inch display. The Aspire Switch 2-in-1 lines combine a full Microsoft Windows -based notebook and tablet in one flexible device.

Not only is the Acer Aspire Switch offers four flexible modes for touch, typing, viewing, and sharing. The magnetic detachable Acer Snap Hinge has two hooks to connect the tablet to the keyboard and a 2-way connector that holds the tablet for two-sided viewing.

The new Aspire Switch 11 notebooks featuring 11.6-inch displays are outfitted with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. They're also protected with an anti-fingerprint coating. Two front-facing stereo speakers deliver audio.

Two models are available in this series. Engineered for power users, the Aspire Switch SW5-171 features a Full HD 1080p display and a HD webcam. Up to a 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor delivers power for multitasking and fueling casual games and movies. It's also outfitted with 4 GB memory and up to a 128 GB SATA hard drive. Connectivity to external storage, peripherals and other digital devices is provided via full-sized USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.

Designed for mainstream users, the Aspire Switch SW5-111 is outfitted with a 1366 x 768 resolution display. It is powered by an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor, 2 GB memory and sufficient room for archiving data with up to 64 GB eMMC storage. Two USB 2.0 ports - one full sized and the other micro - provide connectivity to peripherals and digital devices. A 2.0MP front camera with Full HD 1080p audio/video recording enables videoconferences and capturing images on the fly.

Both models include Microsoft Windows 8.1, micro HDMI for connecting a full-size display via just one cable and MicroSD for reading a wide variety of SD cards. Wireless connectivity is enabled with Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n.

The Aspire Switch 10 offers a new model, the SW5-012 that features a Full HD 1920 x 1200 or a HD 1280 x 800 10.1-inch display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3. One of the thinnest 2-in-1 devices on the market, it measures less than 8.9 mm thin (0.35 inches) in tablet mode and 20.2 mm (0.44 inches) with the keyboard dock.

Weighing 0.585 kg (1.29 lb.) for the tablet and 1.17 kg (2.58 lb.) for the combined tablet and keyboard, the light design delivers long battery life of up to 8 hours (HD) and 7 hours (Full HD) for almost a full day of computing. This model provides performance offering up to 32/64 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM and an Intel Atom quad-core processor. It offers a 2MP HD webcam with 1920 x 1080 resolution and 1080p Full HD audio/video recording. The Switch 10 SW5-012 also comes pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows 8.1 along with Microsoft Office 365 Personal at no additional expense.

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 series will be available in September in Pan America with prices starting at US$329.99, and in EMEA with prices starting at €329.

The Acer Aspire Switch 11 series will be available in October in Pan America with prices starting at US$399, in EMEA with prices starting at €399.

Acer also lifted the lid on three new tablets. The Iconia Tab 8W is an 8-inch affair and runs Windows 8.1, the Iconia Tab 10 has a 10.1-inch display and runs Android 4.4, while the Iconia One 8 also runs Android 4.4, and packs an 8-inch screen.

The Iconia Tab 8 W features a 1200 x 800 pixel display and an Intel Atom Z3735G processor. While the Iconia Tab 8 W is 9.75 millimeters thin and weighs just under a pound, Acer says it should give you up to 8 hours of battery life.

Storage is expandable via the tablet’s MicroSD slot. Thetablet is also equipped with dual stereo speakers, a front- and rear-facing cameras. Finally, purchasing the tablet will net you one year of Microsoft Office 365.

You can purchase the Iconia Tab 8 W this November for $150.

The Iconia Tab 10 displays Android 4.4 KitKat with its 10.1-inch 1080p IPS display. It utilizes the company’s Zero Air Gap technology and it is equipped with both a Micro HDMI port and Intel’s Wireless Display technology. The two built-in stereo speakers are backed by Dolby Digital Plus, while a MediaTek quad-core processor powers the Iconia Tab 10 itself.

It can be yours in black or white this September for $200.

The Iconia One 8 will come in 10 different colors. It is powered by the same Intel Atom Z3735G quad-core processor that powers the Iconia Tab 8 W, except that it runs Android 4.4 KitKat instead of Windows 8.1. Acer also threw in the same Zero Air Gap technology and anti-fingerprint coating found on the Iconia Tab 10, though it has a 1280 x 800 pixel panel.

Europe will get the tablet this October for 150 euro.

Acer is also touting a new desktop computer dubbed the Revo One. Taking a design cue from Apple's Darth-Vader-pedal-bin Mac Pro, this cube-like gadget packs up to 6TB of storage.

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