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Acer Intros New Tablet, Pen-Based Notebook

By - Source: Acer | B 7 comments

Acer also introduced a new tablet and hybrid notebook with a cool stylus.

In addition to the Liquid S2 smartphone, Acer introduced during IFA 2013 the new 10.1 inch Iconia A3 Android-based tablet, and a refreshed Aspire R7 notebook sporting a new Acer Active Pen that's based on N-trig DuoSense technology. The updated notebook will also have Windows 8.1 out of the box, meaning don't expect it to appear on store shelves until after mid-October.

Unfortunately, Acer is light on the details regarding its new Iconia A3 tablet. A brief description states that it will have a 10.1 inch IPS screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution, which is surprisingly low given that many rivals of the same size have HD screens or higher. It will also be powered by a quad-core Cortex-A7 chip clocked at 1.2 GHz, and a battery promising up to 11 hours of smooth HD video playback.

"The Iconia A3 also debuts Acer’s IntelliSpin technology that expands the tablet's screen image rotation feature, so even when lying flat, the screen image will rotate to match the user's orientation when turned," the company said on Tuesday.

CNET adds that the model on hand at the IFA 2013 show features a micro HDMI port, a micro SD card slot for extra storage, and a 5MP camera on a white plastic backside (the front is also plastic with a metallic finish). Connectivity options include Wi-Fi only and added 3G support, the latter of which will reportedly arrive one month after the Wi-Fi model hits store shelves.

As for the refreshed Acer laptop, the Aspire R7-572 follows the original model that launched back in May. The Ezel hinge allows the device to switch between four modes: traditional desktop, touch display, table top pad and Ezel, the latter of which allows the screen to float over the keyboard in various angles. The updated model also sports a Full HD 15.6 inch screen, a full-size backlit keyboard, fourth-generation Intel Core "Haswell" processors, up to 12 GB of memory, up to 1 TB on an HDD or up to 256 GB on an SSD.

The big promotional push with this laptop is Acer's new Active Pen, aka N-trig's DuoSense Pen 2. This stylus uses electromagnetic induction technology and responds to varying degrees of pressure sensitivity like an actual pen, enabling more natural writing and accurate line weights in compatible drawing apps. The pen can also be used with gesture controls, allowing the user to resize a picture with a pinching gesture, and then adjust the fine details with the pen.

"With these upgraded [DuoSense G4 Series 100] controllers, the touchscreen continues working even in excessively noisy environments," N-trig said. "The active pen's new conductive tip material provides an enhanced user experience, while the pressure sensitivity pursues it even closer to pen-on-paper feel. Additionally, the pen hover provides a precise navigation tool for small icon activation when a finger touch is simply too large to be accurate on high resolution screens. The DuoSense advanced palm rejection allows users to place their hand on the screen for a natural and intuitive writing experience."

In addition to the new pen, Acer said the updated laptop also ships with its Touch Tools app suite including MemoryBinder for creating a personal photo album complete with brush tools and messages, Screen Grasp for screen capturing and sharing, AccuFinger for accurately acquiring items on-screen with a finger, and Scrapboard for collecting ideas and images from the web.

U.S. pricing and shipping dates for the Iconia A3 tablet and the Aspire R7-572 laptop were not available as of this writing.

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  • -3 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 5, 2013 9:12 AM
    Full HD is a minimum these days, more evidence that Acer shovel cheap junk and blame bad sales on W8
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 5, 2013 11:17 AM
    Full HD is a minimum these days, more evidence that Acer shovel cheap junk and blame bad sales on W8

    Demand, it's really not. I do agree, the ability to output to higher resolution - which almost everything can do with a micro-hdmi cable - is a bare minimum these days, but on a small screen? Maybe for some people, but for lots, not even close.

    In fact, a lot of people prefer lower resolution on small screens. Simply put, a big flaw in Windows it that text scaling is inconsistent in many areas and lacking in others. I was recently helping my mother buy a new laptop and she almost exclusively favoured machines which had a lower resolution. Why? Because she could easily read everything on the screen. I couldn't really fault her for it either. I like HD resolution as a base, but even I find myself having to wheel up on various things when I open them to properly read text, and getting the Windows desktop fully readable for those of us without perfect eyesight can be very difficult at higher resolutions.

    A lot of people say "Well unless it's the newest and the bestest and most advanced, it's garbage." A company like Acer though probably does sample groups and is finding that a lot of more casual computer users actually prefer lower res screens because they can actually read on them. I mean, the Iconia W700, a recent release by them, came out with an HD screen on a small'ish tablet. It's not like they don't know they exist or are incapable of putting them into devices.

    Lastly, some Acer stuff - see, the Iconia W700 - is pretty slick now and still selling like garbage. Windows 8 not setting the world on fire is at least in part to blame on MS and the program itself. However much I like it, you can't tell millions of people they're wrong in not liking it. The idea behind it is great for certain types of hardware, but it's not for everyone in every situation. If screen size/hardware quality were what was keeping devices from selling, the Iconia W700 would be a huge seller. It really isn't.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 5, 2013 2:36 PM
    Elsewhere on this same news page Asus have a 13" screen 2560x1440, so 1080p is hardly the latest & greatest
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 5, 2013 2:48 PM
    True, and 2560x1440 isn't the latest and greatest any more either. Heck, I was playing PC games in so called HD about 10 years ago on my PC. Does any of that in any way discount what I said?
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 5, 2013 10:51 PM
    Yes, the much touted "first 8" W8 tablet" that was waved around has had awful reviews for quality, and the tackiness of construction & materials is how Acer have operated for years. They don't deserve the status they seem to hold in the tech press when they are basically bottom feeders and no better than the hoards of cheap knockoff companies. The PC decline has been going on much longer than Windows 8 so the Latin "ergo propter hoc" does not apply, and having actually used W8 ir really doesn't deserve some of the hatred that is clearly bandwagoning, if W8 was the cause of such woes then how come Lenovo aren't affected and actually thriving? I'm not advocating we all go out and exclusively buy Razer or Alienware as there are plenty of firms that have good quality & prices, but Acer really are the bottom end, you may as well give a forum to those nasty Z brand Chinese knockoff companies.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , September 6, 2013 6:05 AM

    You say this about Acer's build quality as if it were something new. Frankly, I was shocked by the Iconia W700 because it wasn't built like garbage. But yes, Acer has classically had shoddy built quality. The thing is, they had shoddy build quality in the past, being the clear-cut budget machine on the shelf, and they did just fine. Now all of the sudden, same bad build quality and even a few well made items and... They're doing badly all of the sudden?

    Simple question with a simple answer - what's changed? Now, I'm not shoveling all the blame on Windows 8, but some of it has to lie there. The computing world is changing and mobile devices are filling roles that used to be filled by PCs so people don't need to buy PCs to do PC things. What's more, the PC upgrade cycle is slower. No question, both of these things contribute but the answer to "what's changed" is, at least in part, Windows.

    Any way you cut it, Windows 8 was made at least in part with mobile in mind. For people using straight up non-mobile PCs, this has turned a lot of people off the OS. I've met casual users who look at it and say "What the heck is this and why do I want it?" and we both know the vitriol it inspires here at Tom's. If you want to pretend like this isn't at least part of why PC sales are slowing, that's your business, but... While an OS isn't solely to blame for slowing PC sales, an OS that people really want to buy certainly could help them out - and I don't think Windows 8 is that. May change when people start using mobile touch screen devices with it more but for now? I doubt Windows 8 is helping PC sales much at all.
  • 0 Hide
    voltagetoe , September 6, 2013 7:09 PM
    That 15.6 inch laptop looks very promising. It's good to see a stylus with that size of screen. Should interest many artists/designers if the calibration is accurate.