IFA 2014: Acer's PCs and Tablets

IFA 2014: Acer's PCs and Tablets

Some of this, some of that

Acer announced several new PCs and tablets at this week's IFA 2014 conference in Berlin, Germany. Here's a rundown of the Windows devices you can expect from the firm this holiday season.

Aspire R Series Convertible Notebooks

The Aspire R 13 and Aspire R 14 series feature 13- and 14-inch multi-touch screens respectively. Both are transforming/2-in-1 designs, but they vary wildly from a design standpoint.

The big news with the Aspire R 13 series is the somewhat unique 360 degree "Ezel Aero hinge" design, a sort of U-frame structure that lets the device transform into multiple usage modes: notebook, ezel, stand, pad, tent and display.

A picture is worth a 1000 words, as they say:

The Aspire R 13 series is 1-inch thin with a curb weight of just over 3 pounds. The IPS screen is available in 1080p or "retina"-class WQHD (2560 x 1440), and is protected by Gorilla Glass 3. It can be used with an optional, pressure sensitive Acer Active Pen and features palm rejection for reliability.

The PC is backed by an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 1 TB of SSD storage.

The Aspire R 13 series starts at $899 and will ship in November.

The Aspire R 14 series is a more traditional convertible design with a 360 degree dual-torque hinge that provides four usage modes: Notebook, display, tent and pad. Again, a picture will help tell this story:

This device features a 1366 x 768 screen, an Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processor, up to 12 GB of RAM, and 500 GB or 1 TB HDD storage. Some models offer NVidia GeForce 820M graphics.

The starting price is just $599, and the Aspire R 14 series ships in October.

Aspire Switch Transforming Notebooks

Acer has expanded their Switch lineup of transforming notebooks—which feature detachable screens that can be used as tablets—to include both 10.1- and 11.6-inch offerings. Both offer four usage modes: notebook, pad, display and tent.

The existing Aspire Switch 10.1 series has been updated to a new model with a Full HD (1080p) or 1280 x 800 IPS display with Gorilla Glass 3. It is one of the thinnest transforming PCs in the market at 8.9mm thin, or 20.2mm including the keyboard dock.

The Switch 10.1 weighs just 1.29 pounds, or 2.58 pounds with the keyboard dock, and it delivers up to 8 hours of battery life (7 hours for the 1080p version). The devices pack a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 2 GB of RAM and 32 or 64 GB of SSD storage. They both offer Windows 8.1 and a free one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal.

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 series will ship in September and start at just $329.99.

The Acer Aspire Switch 11 series comes in high- and low-end versions. The high-end versions feature an 11.6-inch Full HD display, an HD webcam, Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, 4 GB of RAM, and up to 128 GB of HDD storage. On the low-end, you get a 1366 x 768 display, an Intel Atom processor, 2 GB of RAM, and up to 64 GB of eMMC storage. Both models run Windows 8.1.

The Acer Aspire Switch 11 series will ship in October with prices starting at $399.

Acer Iconia Tab 8 W Tablet

Acer announced several new tablets at IFA, but only one of them runs Windows:

The Iconia Tab 8 W is Acer's new take on the Windows mini-tablet, and unlike previous Iconia designs, this one looks solid. It features an 8-inch IPS screen running at 1280 x 800, a quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor, and a nice thin and light (.44 pounds) design.

And you can optionally add a full-sized Acer Crunch Keyboard, which is an interesting accessory.

The Acer Iconia Tab 8 W comes with Windows 8.1 with Bing and a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal.

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