Hands-on Review: Acer Aspire R11 Convertible with Windows 10

Acer Aspire R11 tend mode
Models pose with Acer Aspire R11
Models pose with Acer Aspire R11

Acer Aspire R 11 is Acer’s smallest convertible which was launched in Malaysia just after the Microsoft Windows 10 global launch.

It is the first Windows 10 pre-installed device in Malaysia. Anyway, every compatible Windows computer gets free Windows 10 upgrade and every new Windows computer will ship with the latest Windows operating system.

So, what’s great about the Acer Aspire R 11? Read on to find out.

360-degree hinge

Acer Aspire R11 tend mode
Acer Aspire R11 tend mode

Generally, small factor notebooks do not have a flexible hinge, but Acer Aspire R11 is an 11.6-inch convertible laptop with a 360-degree hinge. You can use it in 4 different modes: notebook, pad, display, and tent.

The dual torque hinge design allows you to open the lid with one finger till 110 degrees for notebook mode. Then, with another hand pressing R 11’s base, you can further press the lit forward until it lay flat. You can lift it up and flip the lid to the back, too. The hinge is stable and provides wobble-free touch experience.

The audio channel output will automatically reverse based on the screen orientation. Desktop wallpaper will change as you switch R11 to a different mode, too — so that you can quickly identify the current mode.

Acer Aspire R11 fabric-textured cover
Acer Aspire R11 fabric-textured cover

Acer Aspire R 11’s fabric-textured cover offers better grip and is scratch resistant. The laptop chassis feels a bit bulky but tough. The keyboard is almost full-size and comfortable to type on.

The display glass is Corning Gorilla Glass for anti-scatches and smoother touch experience. It also comes with anti-fingerprint coating to keep the screen clean and clear.

Complete ports

Despite the small size of the convertible laptop, R11 includes complete range of input/output ports at the left side: 1x USB3.0 port, 1x USB2.0 port, HDMI port, headphone/speaker jack, and an Ethernet (LAN) port.

Acer Aspire R11 ports
Acer Aspire R11 ports

I am surprised that an LAN port is included, because it is rare, even on a larger laptops. An LAN port is handy when your hotel only provides wired Internet.

Turn to the back, you will find the SD memory card reader at the center of the back. It is not a convenient position but better than none. R11 also supports fast WiFi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/AC).

Pentium Performance

Acer Aspire R 11 is powered by Intel Pentium Quad-core processor (N3700) with 4GB (max. 8GB) and 500GB hard disk drive.

“Pentium” processor may be a deal breaker in the year 2015 but, during my hands-on period, R11 runs Windows 10 smoothly with no lag, mode switching is fast too. Daily office works won’t be a problem, but not recommended for gaming.

The 11.6-inch HD (1366×768 pixel) display is LED-backlit TFT LCD with multi-touch. The resolution is fine on a small display, but the viewing angle is bad that wash out when you view it from a side.

The 48 Wh 3220 mAh 4-cell Li-ion battery pack provides up to 8 hours battery life, according to Acer. The convertible laptop weight 1.5KG with the battery pack.

Software

Acer Aspire R 11 comes with several software features:

  • Acer TrueHarmoney to deliver better audio.
  • Acer BluelightShield protects your eyes by reducing screen’s blue light.
  • Skype Certified laptop to ensure high-quality audio and video for Skype calls.
  • Acer Touch Tools allows you to capture, collect, write and share screen data with a touch of a finger.
  • Precision TouchPad (PTP) enhance the accuracy and performance of the touchpad navigation, as well as palm rejection technology to distinguish between finger gestures or accidental contact with palm or hand.

You also get 1-year free Microsoft Office 365 subscription with every purchase of R11.

Price in Malaysia

Acer Aspire R 11 priced at RM1,499 and available at all major Authorized Acer Resellers.

Photo Gallery

Thought

Acer Aspire R11 is not slim nor lightweight, but 360-degree hinge provides usability anywhere, such as in a tight space like airline seat or classroom. The small size and complete ports make it an ideal on-the-go laptop, as well as a primary computer for students.

What do you think about Acer Aspire R11 and its price?

Surface 3 with Type Cover Review: Can the Bundle Replace Your Laptop?

Surface 3 with Type Cover
Surface 3 with Type Cover
Surface 3 with Type Cover

Microsoft Surface 3 is a Windows 8 (or Windows 10) tablet. You can use it in tablet mode or desktop mode with a Type Cover.

Microsoft claims that it can replace your laptop. Is it true?

I had an opportunity to use a Surface 3 and Type Cover for a few weeks. Read on for my review to find out more.

Disclosure: I do not use Windows 8 in tablet mode at all. I set it to login directly into desktop mode.

Surface 3 Design

Surface 3 is not the thinnest tablet but it has a good build. It is lightweight at only 622 gram. Simply drop it in your bag and you are Windows productivity ready on the go.

It has 1x full-size USB 3.0 port, 1x mini DisplayPort and a microSD memory card slot hidden under the kickstand. It is equipped with 3.5MP front camera and 8MP rear camera. The power button and volume rocker are on the same side.

You charge Surface 3 via a microUSB port — yes, the same charging port found on other non-Apple smartphones.

Tip: With optional accessory, you can turn the microUSB port into a full-size USB port, too.

Surface 3 ports
Surface 3 ports

Single USB port means you may need a USB hub to connect to computer accessories. The upper position of USB port in laptop mode make your USB hub hanging in the air. It is ugly.

I would suggest Microsoft to replace the microSD memory card reader with a standard SD memory card reader. I would rather have an SD card reader to conveniently import my camera’s photos for editing and upload.

Surface 3 microSD card slot
Surface 3 microSD card slot

It is not a smartphone, you do not add a microSD memory card to expands the storage space. 128GB is enough for most users, and we have portable external storage.

The kickstand with shining Microsoft logo can adjust to 3 angles. I find it limited. I have to adjust myself to find a better viewing angle.

The thin kickstand can hold the tablet firmly on a flat surface. No bouncing nor shaking when you tap on its touchscreen. But Surface 3 is standing less stable — because the small surface of the kickstand and tablet body — when you place it on a non-flat surface, such as your laps.

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Performance

Surface 3 a Windows 8 tablet computer (Windows 10 ready), it runs all your Windows desktop software — A great improvement from previous Surface RT which runs only Windows Store apps.

The main advantages of using Surface 3 is its portability. It is smaller and lighter than Ultrabook laptop, yet it has the power to run your Windows software.

Surface 3
Surface 3 running Windows 8

The Windows tablet is powered by Intel Atom x7-z8700 @ 1.6GHz processor with 2GB/4GB RAM and 64GB/128GB SSD storage.

Intel Atom is not a powerful processor but it can handle most computing tasks, such as running office suite, web surfing, playing videos and music, simple graphic editing.

The 10.8-inch FullHD (1920×1280) display is so bright that I have to set the 3rd lowest level to type this article.

You will need to wear a pair of sunglasses at its highest brightness level. The bright display may be useful to show screen content under direct sunlight.

For a tablet, Surface 3’s stereo speakers with Dolby audio have clear and loud audio output. The battery last around 6 to 8 hours for my moderate usage: web surfing and streaming online music.

Surface 3 does not come with useless pre-installed 3rd party software (bloatware). What you get is a tablet with clean, pure Windows installation. The 128GB model has 100GB usable disk space out of the box.

It also comes with free 1-year Microsoft Office 365, which you can online download and activate.

Surface 3 Type Cover

Surface 3
Surface 3

Surface 3 is not complete without the Surface 3 Type Cover, and it will cost you additional RM479. Surface 3 and Type Cover should be sold as a bundle, instead of additional purchase.

Recently, Microsoft (finally) make a Surface 3 and Type Cover bundle with 10% discount.

Type Cover does 2 things: 1. Protect your Surface 3 and 2. Adds a physical keyboard to Surface 3. It does not expand any Surface 3’s input/output ports.

Surface 3
Surface 3 Type Cover

The Type Cover feels flimsy with a smooth leather-like surface, which adds grip and avoid fingerprints and smudge.

Surface 3 Type Cover attach magnetically to Surface 3 and draw power via metal pins. It is strong and does not detach easily.

I like the row of function keys. The keyboard is backlit and you can adjust the brightness level using function keys. Neat!

Volume control is not found on Type Cover keyboard. Microsoft wants you to use the volume rocker on the tablet.

Surface 3
Surface 3 Type Cover

Surface 3 Type Cover has a small trackpad to keep your palm on the keyboard, do not need to raise up your hand to touch the screen. Web page scrolling is a bit lagging using the trackpad.

The trackpad is usable, but I wish it is bigger. Am I asking too much, considering the small size of Type Cover?

The Surface 3 Type Cover’s magnetic flap folds up and snaps to the front of the tablet to raises the keyboard for comfortable typing angle, but it will  slightly blocking finger access to windows taskbar at the bottom. Not a problem if you use a mouse or trackpad, though.

The keyboard keys’ travel distance is shallow, the key size is near to full-size keyboard. It is comfortable to type and definitely better than virtual touch keyboard.

Conclusion

Surface 3
Surface 3 with Type Cover in tablet mode

In a nutshell, I like Surface 3 because it is a lightweight, no bloatware, and stable Windows tablet.

Surface 3 is a Microsoft hardware. Logically, it will highly supported by Microsoft Windows operating system and drivers. Thus, fewer problems and more stable than the other OEM computers.

This is the confidence you get when you are buying a Microsoft Surface device.

I would recommend it anyone who need a portable Windows computer for office work. Just make sure you buy the Surface 3 Type Cover, too. It is a must-have.

The only deal breaker would be the Surface 3 price. It is RM1,989 (64GB) or RM2,389 (128GB), plus RM479 for Surface 3 Type Cover.

The total cost of the Surface 3 bundle can buy you a lightweight and more powerful ultrabook computer.

Photo Gallery: Surface 3 and Type Cover

Hands-on: Acer Aspire Switch 10 E 2-in-1 Laptop in Malaysia

ACER Aspire Switch 10 E
ACER Aspire Switch 10 E
ACER Aspire Switch 10 E

Aspire Switch 10 E, Acer’s latest 2-in–1 laptop, was launched in Malaysia on 28 April 2015. The launch was held at Acer’s latest concept store at Quill City Mall, Kuala Lumpur.

The second generation Acer 2-in–1 laptop won the Red Dot design award and features Acer Snap Hinge 2 with a guiding plane design. It works in 4 different modes: laptop, tablet, display and tent.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E modes
Acer Aspire Switch 10 E modes

I tested the Acer Snap Hinge 2 and it works well, easy to attach and detach. Once attached, it holds the pad and keyboard dock firmly together and does not fall off.

Aspire Switch 10 E features textile pattern on the top cover and underside to prevent scratches, fingerprints and provides better grip.

The 2-in–1 is powered by Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core processor and 2GB DDL3L RAM. It runs full version Windows 8.1 and free upgrade to Windows 10 when it is ready. Also, you get free Microsoft Office 365 Home & Students license with every Aspire Switch 10 E.

ACER Aspire Switch 10 E
ACER Aspire Switch 10 E

Comparing to 1st generation Acer Aspire Switch 10’s 1366 x 768 pixel display, Aspire Switch 10 E display has a lower resolution at 1280 x 800 pixels. Maybe it is an ideal resolution for the 10.1-inch display?

New Aspire Switch 10 E has dual 2M camera on the rear and front, supporting 720p HD video recording. It is an upgrade from the single front camera of last year Aspire Switch 10.

 

For connectivity, the tablet part of Aspire Switch 10 E has a microUSD memory card reader, headphone/speaker jack, micro HDMI port, a micro USD 2.0 port. The dock has a normal size USB 2.0 port.

Aspire Switch 10 E has two configurations in Malaysia: SW5–013 with 32GB eMMC + 500GB hard drive and SW5–013 with 64GB eMMC.

The 32GB eMMC + 500GB configuration has Acer SwitchLock build-in hard drive protection to safeguard your data when the keyboard dock is lost or stolen. Data in the hard drive is not accessible without the tablet.

Aspire Switch 10 E has Blue Light Shield to reduce the blue-light emission to protect your eyes. Switch to “Long Hour Mode” for less strain on your eyes and maximizing12 hours battery life.

ACER Aspire Switch 10 E side view
ACER Aspire Switch 10 E side view

The tablet weight 630 gram only but attaching keyboard dock will double its weight to 1.28KG for the dock with hard drive and 1.20KG for dock only. Acer Aspire Switch 10 E is still bulky when docked, especially when you view it from the side.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 E price in Malaysia is RM1,399 (32GB eMMC + 500GB) and RM1,099 (64GB eMMc). It is available in 5 colours: Moonstone While, Shark Grey, Peacock Blue, Magenta Pink and Coral Red.

Photo gallery: Acer Aspire Switch 10 E

Acer Concept Store @ Quill City Mall

Acer Concept Store at Quill City Mall, Kuala Lumpur
Acer Concept Store at Quill City Mall, Kuala Lumpur

The 1,195 square feet Acer Concept Store is managed by Brightstar. Acer will have new concept stores at Mid Valley Megamall and the Mines.

Acer is aiming to open more concept stores and to uplift existing stores for better customer experience. Currently, Acer has 16 service centres nationwide via Highpoint Service Network Sdn Bhd.

Acer is No. 1 brand for both PCs and laptops in Malaysia. The total PC shipment in Malaysia for 2014 was 414,841 units or 18.51% market share, total shipment for laptops was 319,375 units or 26.1%. (IDC Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, February 2015).

Visit Acer Malaysia Facebook or call Acer Product Infoline at 1800–88–1288.

Toshiba Satellite Laptops: L40 and L50 with Skullcandy-tuned Speakers, P50 with 4K Ultra HD Display

Toshiba Satellite P50t 4K UltraHD

Toshiba Satellite P50t 4K UltraHD

Toshiba Singapore Pte Ltd. announced its latest L and P Series laptops – 14-inch Satellite L40, 15.6-inch Satellite L50 with Skullcandy-tuned speakers and Satellite P50 with 4K Ultra HD display. Read on to learn more about their features.

 

Toshiba Satellite L40-B and L50-B with Skullcandy-tuned speakers

Toshiba Satellite L40-B
Toshiba Satellite L40-B

Both Toshiba Satellite L40-B and L50-B featured a pair of speakers tuned to Skullcandy audio specs and enhanced with DTS Sound to provide richer sound experience, and integrate a custom sound profile with optimized settings for Skullcandy headphones and ear buds.

Toshiba Satellite L40-B is powered by Intel Core i5–4200U 1.6GHz processor, support memory up to 16GB. It offer option of integrated Intel HD Graphics or dedicated AMD Radeon R7 M260 graphics with 2GB dedicated VRAM for high graphic performance.

The 14-inch LED display’s resolution is 1366×768 pixels with Clear SuperView Technology. The hard disk space is available up to 1TB (5400rpm), plus Super-Multi DVD drive.

The laptop has 2x USB3.0 and 1x USB2.0 ports, HDMI port, card reader, RGB (VGA) port, headphone out and mic in. It uses 4-cell 45Wh battery offer up to 6 hours of battery life. Total laptop weight is starting from 1.9KG.

Toshiba Satellite L50-B is the bigger version of L40-B, sharing most hardware specs but the display size (15.6-inch, same 1366×768 pixels resolution) and option to upgrade to Intel Core i7–4500U 1.8GHz processor. Laptop weight starting from 2.2KG.

Toshiba Satellite L series price in Malaysia starting from RM 2099.

Toshiba Satellite P50 with 4K Ultra HD display

Toshiba Satellite P50
Toshiba Satellite P50

Toshiba Satellite P50t is one of the world’s first laptop with 4K Ultra HD display panel, it is the world’s first with Technicolor Color Certification. Satellite P50 with FullHD (1920 x 1080) screen is available, too.

Satellite P50t’s 15.6-inch Ultra HD Clear SuperView touchscreen display delivers 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution with 282 PPI (pixels per inch). Each Ultra HD display is individually calibrated by ChromaTune and Technicolor Color Certified during production for accurate colour gamut to ensure true to life imagery. ChromaTune for Toshiba software is pre-installed for color space management.

Toshiba Satellite P50 series is powered by 4th generation Intel Quad-core i7 processor with memory up to 16GB. It uses dedicated AMD Radeon R9 M265X graphics with 2GB RAM.

Satellite P50 series is equipped with Harman Kardon high-quality stereo speakers, enhanced by DTS sound. It has a Sleep & Music feature allowing you to use the speakers even when the laptop is off.

Satellite P50t use Hybrid storage with 1TB HDD (5400rpm) + 8GB SSD, where P50 (FullHD display) uses 1TB HDD (5400rpm). Both models integrated Super-Multi DVD drive.

For connectivity, P50 series has 4x USB3.0 ports, a HDMI port support Ultra HD and 3D video output, SD/SDHC memory card slot, mic-in, headphone out, microphone in.

The Satellite P50 chassis is build with aluminium. The laptop uses 4-cell battery 43Wh providing up to 5 hours battery life. Weight starting from 2.20KG (P50) and 2.35KG (P50t).

Toshiba Satellite P series price in Malaysia starting from RM 3,999.

➤ Toshiba Asia

New Dell XPS 11 and XPS 15 Haswell Laptops with Super-high Resolution Display (Late 2013)

XPS 11

XPS 11

Dell launches new XPS 11 2-in–1 and XPS 15 laptop with 4th generation Intel Core processor (Haswell) and super-high resolution displays (Quad HD and Quad HD+).

Learn the specs and price for XPS 11 and XPS 15, plus tip to use high-DPI Windows device.

Dell XPS 11 (late 2013)

Dell XPS 11 is a compact 2-in–1 Ultrabook (11–15mm thin, 1.13KG) with a 360 degree rotating hinge design and solid surface (read: flat) backlit touch keyboard. You can rotate the display completely to the back of the laptop to switch to “tablet mode”.

Quad HD (QHD or WQHD) used on XPS 11 is a 16:9 aspect ratio 2560 x 1440 pixels display resolution. It is exactly 4 times more pixels than 720p HDTV, hence the name.

It is the highest resolution display in 11.6-inch 2-in–1 today, more pixels than Apple iPad’s retina display, same pixel count with Apple’s Thunderbolt Display and 27″ iMac.

XPS 11 Specs

  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i3 or i5
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 Single Language/Pro
  • Memory: 4GB DDR3L-RS 1600Mhz
  • Video card: Intel HD Graphics 4200
  • Display: 11.6 inch LED backlit touch display QHD resolution (2560 x 1440)
  • Storage: Up to 256GB SSD
  • Wireless: WiFi, WiDi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC
  • Dimension: 11–15mm x 300mm x 201mm
  • Weight: 1.13KG
  • Battery: 40WHr build-in battery
  • Webcam: Widescreen HD webcam with dual array digital microphones
  • Ports: USB 3.0 x 2, HDMI, headset jack, 3-in–1 media card reader

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Dell XPS 15 (late 2013)

Dell XPS 15 is high-end laptop with 15.6-inch touch QHD+ display, Intel Core i5 and i7 quad core processor options and NVIDIA discrete graphics option. Storage configurations available are hybrid drive (500GB/1TB + 32GB SSD) and 512GB SSD drive configuration options.

QHD+ (WQXGA+) is 3200×1800 pixels resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio. It is 4x as many as HD+ (1600×900 pixels) resolution.

XPS 15 specs

  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i5 or i7
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 Single Language (64-bit)
  • Memory: 16GB (8GB x 2) DDR3L-RS 1600Mhz
  • Video card: Intel HD Graphics 4400 / NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB GDDR5
  • Display: 15.6 inch LED backlit touch display – Full HD (1920×1080) / QHD+ resolution (3200 x 1800)
  • Storage: 500GB + SSD / 1TB HDD + 32GB SSD / 512GB SSD
  • Wireless: Dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, WiDi, NFC
  • Webcam: Widescreen HD webcam with dual array digital microphones
  • Dimensions: 8-18mm x 372mm x 254mm
  • Weight: 2.01KG
  • Battery: 61WHr 6-cell battery
  • Ports: USB 3.0 x3, USB 2.0 x1, HDMI, mini DisplayPort, LAN port, headset jack, 3-in–1 media card reader
  • Security software: McAfee LiveSafe 12 Month Subscription

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Availability and Pricing

Dell XPS 11 price starts from RM 3,899 and Dell XPS 15 price starts from RM 4,899. Both are now available on Dell

Tip: How to use Windows 8.1 devices with high DPI

Generally, text and objects on screen will become tiny on high DPI (dot per inch) display. That’s truth before Windows 8.1.

One of the new features in Windows 8.1 is “high-dpi and dpi scaling support”. You have an option to scale DPI up to 200% (make text and other items on desktop bigger).

READ ALSO: 16 Best Features of Windows 8.1 You Want to Know

If supported by your software, the result will be sharper text and images. Else, images will become blurry. Yes, it is similar to Apple MacBook Pro Retina display.