Acer mini tablet laptop. Acer Aspire V11 fanless, touchscreen laptop review

Acer Aspire V11 fanless, touchscreen laptop review

Acer recently introduced a series of affordable, portable Windows notebooks with low-power processors aimed at balancing performance and battery life. The Acer Aspire E 11 line of notebooks feature 11.6 inch displays, Intel Bay Trail processors, and starting as low as 250.

The company also sells a similar laptop called the Aspire V11. The key difference is that the V series models have touchscreen displays and that start at 350.

While none of these machines are speed demons, they’re portable notebooks that weigh around 3 pounds, offer reasonably long battery life, decent performance for basic tasks, and low enough power consumption to support a fanless design: Neither the Acer Aspire E11 or Aspire V11 have vents or fans. That makes them quieter than most laptops.

Acer loaned me an Aspire V11 touchscreen notebook to review recently, and while this isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone, it’s a solid notebook that could make a great device for use on the go. And unlike cheap portable notebooks of the past, the Aspire V11 might not just be a companion to your desktop or full-powered notebook. This sub-400 laptop might be the only PC you really need.

The laptop featured in this review is the top-of-the-line Acer Aspire V11 with a 2.16 GHz Intel Pentium N3530 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. It’s available from the Microsoft Store for 369.

It has a 1366 x 768 pixel touchscreen display with support for 10-finger touch input. It has 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, and a 3220mAh, 48Whr battery.

The Aspire V11 features stereo speakers, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and Windows 8.1 64-bit software. Unlike the Acer Aspire Switch 10, this laptop ships with relatively little bloatware: aside from a user manual, recovery utility, and update tool, there’s not much Acer-specific software loaded on this Windows notebook.

Similar, but cheaper models include:

Some of those models also have smaller batteries, but they all have 7.5 watt Intel processors and fanless cases.

Acer’s been making notebooks with 11.6 inch displays for ages, but this is one of the first models to feature a fanless design. Interestingly it’s still a rather compact system, measuring just about 0.85 inches thick and weighing less than 3.1 pounds.

Since there’s no fan, there are no vents on the case. In fact, there’s nothing at all on the right side. You’ll find a USB 2.0 port, SD card reader, and headset jack on the left.

The rest of the ports are on the back, which is a little higher than the sides of the laptop. That allows Acer to fit a full-sized Ethernet jack, as well as power, USB, and HDMI ports.

The glossy display reflects a bit of glare in direct sunlight — if you have a choice, you might not want to use this laptop while sitting with your back to a bright window — it can make the screen look a bit like a mirror. But that’s true of most touchscreen laptops these days.

What’s a bit unusual about this model is that there’s a black border around the viewable area of the touchscreen display and a second, thin plastic bezel around the entire screen.

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Since Windows 8.1 relies on touchscreen gestures such as swiping from the edge of the screen, you need a bit of an on-screen bezel on Windows devices with touch panels. But since this model doesn’t have an edge-to-edge glass display, it looks a little odd.

The non-touchscreen Acer E11 models simply have a larger plastic bezel surrounding the display. You get the same amount of viewable screen space either way, but the upshot is that the V11 sort of looks like it has two screen bezels while the E11 has just one.

While the 1366 x 768 pixel display might not win any pixel density awards, it offers decent viewing angles and I had no problems watching a video while tilting the screen back and forth and side to side (you know, as one is likely to do while watching a video on a laptop).

The keyboard features chiclet or island-style keys which are reasonably well spaced.

While I’m not in love with the way Acer crams the arrow keys, volume, screen brightness, and Page, Home, and End buttons into a tiny space in the lower-right corner on its 11.6 inch laptops. But I was able to type comfortably at my normal typing speed while testing this laptop.

There’s a bit of flex in the keyboard, and it’s not backlit. But I wouldn’t expect any different from a laptop that sells for under 400.

Below the keyboard is a wide touchpad which supports multitouch gestures including two-finger scrolling and tapping.

Flip over the laptop and you’ll find the bottom panel is held in place by 13 screws. Remove then and you can pop off the cover pretty easily to get at the insides.

Once you’re in there you can remove a few more screws and lift the motherboard a bit to slide out the laptop’s slim 2.5 inch hard drive. It’d be pretty easy to replace the drive with a SSD or other storage.

You can also easily swap out the wireless card or remove the battery — although it’s pretty clear Acer didn’t really intend for the battery to be user replaceable, or it wouldn’t be protected by more than a dozen screws and hidden away inside the case.

If you want to upgrade the RAM you’ll have to go a bit further and detach a number of cables holding the motherboard in place, lift it entirely out of the case, and flip it over to access the single memory DDR3 memory slot. It’s doable, but a bit tricky.

The lid has a brushed metal look and a small Acer logo.

Intel’s Bay Trail processors are low-power chips based on the company’s Silvermont technology and Intel HD graphics. That means the Intel Pentium processor powering the Acer Aspire V11 has the same as the Atom chips in Windows and Android tablets like the Acer Aspire Switch 10 Windows tablet and Asus MeMO Pad 8 Android tablet.

But the Celeron and Pentium chips in this family use a little more power, run at higher clock speeds, and offer better all-around performance. While Intel Atom chips of yesteryear were clearly low-power processors, you could easily spend hours with the Acer Aspire V11 without realizing it has a chip that’s related to an Atom processor.

The laptop never felt sluggish while surfing the web with a dozen or more browser tabs open. I had no problems streaming HD videos from the internet. And it’s reasonably fast at CPU-intensive tasks including transcoding audio and video files.

Sure, a computer with a 7.5 watt Bay Trail CPU isn’t going to be as fast as a model with a Haswell processor — but the difference isn’t as great as you might expect. I ran a series of benchmarks on the laptop and compared the results with other systems including a Dell XPS 11 system with an 11.5 watt Core i5-4210y Haswell processor, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 with an Atom Z3745 Bay Trail CPU and an HP Envy X2 Windows tablet with an older Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail chip.

The Aspire V11 was more than twice as fast as the Clover Trail-powered system in most tests, significantly faster than the Atom Z3745 model, and not-quite-competitive with the Dell XPS 11… but the Acer laptop sells for a third of the price of the Dell tablet.

Note that the Aspire V11 also supports Intel’s QuickSync video encoding, so I was able to transcode the same video test file using a nightly build of Handbrake with QSV H.264 encoding in about 41 seconds.

That said, there are a few things to keep in mind with the Acer Aspire V11 when it comes to sheer performance. First, the notebook has a 5400RPM hard drive instead of a faster solid state drive. This means that some tasks might not run as quickly as they would on a system with an SSD.

For instance, it takes longer to create a large ZIP file on this laptop than on most of the other systems I’ve tested recently because those other systems have solid state drives. It also takes longer for Windows to boot or resume from sleep or hibernation.

Another thing to keep in mind about the hard drive is that it is the only component of the computer with moving parts (unless you count the keyboard and screen hinge). That means that while you won’t hear any fan noise while the system is running, you may occasionally hear a little whirring or clicking from the hard drive — although I rarely heard any noises at all during the week or so that I spent using this laptop.

Note that you can replace the hard drive with a solid state drive by opening up the case, but you’ll need to clone your disk image if you want to keep your Windows 8.1 setup. Otherwise you’ll need to install an operating system from scratch on your new drive.

In order to keep the notebook from overheating during use, Acer uses a passive heat sink rather than a fan. Most of the time it seems to work pretty well.

During average use, the CPU temperature of the Acer Aspire V11 seems to hover between 56 and 60 degrees Celcius. The bottom of the laptop gets moderately warm during extended use, but it’s not uncomfortable. You might also notice a little warmth in the keyboard, but most of the heat goes out through the bottom of the laptop.

When running my video transcoding tests with the CPU running full blast, the temperature rose to 70 degrees Celcius for a little while before returning to a more comfortable 60 degrees. While both temperatures are well within Intel’s safety guidelines, the warmer the CPU gets the warmer the bottom of the laptop gets.

I was sitting in a coffee shop with the laptop on a table during these tests, so I had to pick it up to check the bottom — but it was uncomfortably hot to the touch. It might not get quite as hot when resting on an uneven surface with no airflow… like your lap. But it’s worth noting that the bottom of the Acer Aspire V11 can get pretty warm when running resource-intensive tasks.

While the Aspire V11 isn’t exactly a speed demon, and it doesn’t really have the graphics chops for playing bleeding edge games, it has more than enough power for editing documents, surfing the web, watching videos, or playing casual games.

It also gets reasonably good battery life, thanks in part to the same low-power processor that allowed Acer to create a fanless laptop.

Acer promises up to 7 hours of run time, and based on my tests, that seems just about right. You’ll probably run down the battery more quickly if you’re watching a lot of videos or doing other heavy duty tasks. But with the screen brightness set to around 50 or 60 percent, Wi-Fi on, and an awful lot of web surfing, I regularly got around 6 or 7 hours of battery life from this laptop.

That’s not quite all-day battery life, but it might be close enough for many people — and it means you can probably leave the laptop’s charger at home some of the time. That helps make this 3.1 pound laptop truly portable.

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Touchscreen notes

A few years ago I was skeptical of the idea of slapping touchscreen displays on laptops. Sure, a touch panel makes sense for a 2-in-1 system that transforms into a tablet, but why would you need a touchscreen on a normal laptop?

Well, most of the time you don’t. But it’s actually a pretty nice feature to have if you’re using the notebook on your lap since you can reach up to the screen and tap the icons, links, or other items you’re looking for. Sometimes this is faster and easier than reaching down to the touchpad, dragging a cursor to the correct spot, and then tapping.

If you use an external mouse with this system, you might never need the touchscreen. But laptops with touchscreens don’t cost much more than non-touch models these days and the only down side is that you almost never see touchscreen notebooks with matte displays. But most non-touch laptops on the market have glossy displays too.

Anyway, aside from the strange double-bezel design of the Aspire V11, the touchscreen works pretty much as you’d expect. It support tapping, dragging, and swiping as well as multi-touch gestures. And the hinge is pretty sturdy, allowing you to tap the screen without causing it to wobble too much.

Linux notes (Updated)

An earlier version of this review stated that there was no USB boot option in the bootloader, which was a reasonable assumption since that’s the error message you get when you use the Advanced Startup options in Windows to try to boot from a USB drive.

It turns out you can boot from removable USB device like a CD/DVD drive and that lets you run Ubuntu or other operating systems. But you’ll need to use the Advanced Startup options to enter the UEFI Firmware settings, and do one of two things:

You can enable legacy boot mode, make sure to plug your removable storage device into the USB 2.0 port on the left side of the laptop (the USB ports on the back won’t work), and make sure to either adjust the boot order so the laptop checks for a USB drive before booting from the hard drive or enable the F12 boot menu option so that you can hit F12 when the PC is loading and manually choose the device you want to boot from.

Note that when legacy boot mode is enabled, Windows 8.1 doesn’t seem to load. So you may have to re-enabled UEFI boot in order to return to Windows.

Бюджетный офисный ноутбук Acer Aspire 5 A515-45. обзор и мнение от владельца, сравнения

You can leave UEFI enabled, but make sure to enable support for the F12 boot menu from the UEFI firmware settings. You might also want to disable quick boot so that you’ll know when to hit the F12 button during boot.

Now you can plug in a USB drive to the left-side USB port and choose it from the boot menu after hitting F12 during startup. Note that if you simply use the Windows 8.1 Advanced Startup options to try to boot from a USB drive, you’ll get a message stating that the system “doesn’t have any USB boot option,” so you’ll need to use the F12 boot menu.

Once legacy boot was turned on, I was able to boot into an Xubuntu 14.04 liveCD and take Linux for a spin on the notebook. Just about everything seems to work, including Wi-Fi, the webcam, the keyboard, touchscreen, touchpad, and two-finger scrolling.

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Some keyboard shortcuts seem to work — I was able to mute the laptop by pressing Fn F8, for instance. But when I tried to use the shortcuts to adjust screen brightness I saw a pop-up notification suggesting that I was dimming and brightening the display, but it didn’t actually get any brighter or dimmer.

If you’re looking for a laptop with a blazing fast CPU, a high-resolution display, an all-metal case, or a backlit keyboard, the Acer Aspire V11 isn’t it. But this little laptop does offer an awful lot for 369.

It’s reasonably fast, gets reasonably good battery life, has a quiet, fanless design, features a touchscreen display, and it’s rather compact.

There are cheaper models in this series with slower processors (and smaller batteries), but when a top-of-the-line model costs just 369, I can’t think of many reasons to opt for the lower-priced models (unless you really don’t need a touchscreen, in which case the 330 Aspire E3-111-P8DW model looks like a great deal).

If you’re looking for a truly silent system and one that offers a little more performance, you might want to consider replacing the hard drive with an SSD. But with the of solid state storage falling, it’d be easy to do that by spending an extra 100 or less.

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Acer Mini Laptop Review

Acer mini laptop review

Moving towards portable means of working has raised the need for smaller and easy-to-carry technological devices.

This is when the mini laptops come into play. Talking about mini laptops, Acer mini laptops have made their special place in the market with some exceptional quality and performance.

Although one should remember that the company produces a wide variety of other electronics which include smartphones, desktop PCs, VR devices, laptops, peripherals tablets, displays, servers, clamshells (notebooks), storage devices, 2 in 1 PCs, mini Chromebook, etc.

Acer Mini Laptop Review

How does Acer mini Laptop cope with today’s needs?

Even smartphones and tablets are equipped with several highly useful features so why would you use mini laptops such as the Acer mini laptop?

  • Acer mini laptop is proven to be very useful for traveling professionals.
  • These mini-laptops are lightweight, easy to carry, and have strong wireless connectivity.
  • It is beneficial for students who need a general combination of a keyboard with a screen.
  • Also, these mini laptops have almost all the features that a desktop PC or a 15-16 inches laptop has.
  • These mini laptops are great to use in offices as well at the time of meetings.

The Acer mini laptop is of great use because it is being continuously improved and updated with features such as a hard drive that has more space along with touchscreen or overall size becoming shorter.

And this is not all, the Acer mini laptops can perform multitasking easily because of enhanced CPU power, and improved memory storage, etc.

How to pick the best Acer mini laptop?

Mentioned below are the three, basic level qualities that you should look for in any good Acer laptop. Also, even if you are purchasing any other type of electronic media then you should take care of these three things. Let us begin.

  • Choose the best processorthe processors of sixth-generation are quite good to use and this further means that they are efficient enough to smoothly run the required software and programs. Although the gaming industry continuously increases the demand for a more efficient processor, an apt graphic card with an efficient processor is good enough to play any latest game. One more thing to note is that a processor with a speed somewhere between 2.4 and 3.6 GHz is also a good one.
  • The right RAMWhen you are going to purchase a new laptop, always make sure that the laptop has the appropriate amount of RAM. This is because with time you are only going to need more RAM for the hassle-free work performance of your laptop, even by the next year only. And so according to today’s time, a RAM of 8 GB is good to go. Your laptop should have at least this much RAM. You can also look for systems in which RAM can be upgraded; this would be a great benefit for future use.
  • Lithium Battery this is important for gamers especially. A computer with a lithium battery will have much more power in comparison to the laptops that possess the lead battery. Productivity can increase by up to 85% more. This will eradicate the need to charge your device again and again. over, you will not face any interruptions and slow-downs due to battery issues. The lithium battery is the one that is most pro-active these days rather than any other.

Some of the best Acer Mini Laptops in the market

Here are some of the best Acer mini laptops that you can consider purchasing for an astounding experience. Let us go through them one by one.

acer, mini, tablet, laptop, aspire

Acer Chromebook 11 N7

This comes as a Celeron N3060 and 11.6 “HD Acer Chromebook. You will get 4GB LPDDR3 in this with 32 GB eMMC. There is one more variant of this model as well, different in style, it is N3350.

Now, this mini Chromebook works on the Chrome operating system. The specialty of this lies in fast booting time and in-built virus protection and automatic updates.

What’s more? You will find all the Google apps here which will ease up your task altogether. With a mini Chromebook, you get Google Drive storage of 100 GB.

Also, you can access the files important to you even when you are offline.

The keyboard of this Chromebook is spill-resistant and the durability of this is military-grade. This C731-C118 renders an 11.6 “high definition display and a battery life of 12 hours. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Acer Aspire one mini laptop

This is 11.6 inches Netbook that comes with the processor 1 GHz AMD fusion C-60. Also, this Acer Aspire mini laptop has 2 GB DDR3 RAM and storage of 320 GB hard disk drive.

This hard disk drive has an RPM of 5400. over, it has a display of AMD Radeon HD 6290. This Acer Aspire one will provide you with a battery life of 7 hours and the Windows 7 Home Premium.

The link for this product is mentioned below; with the help of this link, you can check the price and availability of the product.

Also, the reviews of the products can be checked along with the frequently asked questions. The exact model is mentioned below. CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

So we mentioned most of the details about the Acer Company and its mini laptops. You can go for any Acer mini laptop that fulfills the requirements and appeals to you.

Before making the purchase, make sure to check all the specifications of the laptop thoroughly.

Acer Iconia Tab W500

How do you make a Windows tablet usable? You include a keyboard. That’s not actually a fair description of the Acer Iconia Tab W500 (which is nowhere near as ungainly as its name), but the Tab doesn’t manage to solve all the issues with using Windows on a tablet.

Our quick take

The Iconia Tab W500 wants to be the best of both worlds; in the end it’s one of the nicest Windows tablets we’ve seen so far (barring the small size of the on-screen keyboard) and that’s both praise and complaint. Windows 7 does do touch pretty well, but it’s always going to be an afterthought for all but a few apps. There’s a lot you can do well with touch on Windows, from browsing to playing all of your media (especially in Windows Media Center which works as well for fingers as it does for a remote control). It’s the other apps that you want Windows for in the first place that don’t always work well enough with touch. You have the keyboard as a fallback, but that’s not quite ergonomic enough to really make this the perfect combo. But if you have a tablet PC with a swivelling keyboard that you long to be able to rip off (and you already know what compromises you’ll be making), you’ll love the Tab.

Thank you to Saveonlaptops.co.uk for the loan of this sample.

Acer Iconia Tab W500. 3.5 / 5

The tablet itself. while not as sleek as an iPad or Honeycomb tablet. is beautifully designed and really rather lovely to hold; it has rounded edges and corners, with port covers for the SD Card slot and the SIM for the optional 3G connectivity to keep it neat. There are two webcams (front and back) so you can take photos as well as do video chat, stereo speakers on the back, two USB ports (one of which is used to dock the keyboard), an HDMI port plus the headphone socket and a physical volume control next to the power button. When you put the tablet to sleep you can use the glowing blue Windows button on the front to wake it up (and as well as opening the Windows menu it combines with the power button to give you Ctrl-Alt-Del if you ever need it).

The four-point multitouch screen is nicely responsive; you can swipe, tab, press-and-hold, type or write on screen or use the Windows flick gestures for navigations and functions. Turn it on its side and the screen rotates (irritatingly this does blank the screen for a couple of seconds). If you don’t want to change the orientation. say while you watch a video or browse the Internet. there is a lock button next to the USB ports.

Even the power adapter is more portable than usual. It’s not the iconic piece of design that Apple would turn it into, but it’s clever and practical; a small, single adapter with removable pins instead of a separate cable to plug in (and even if you’re not swapping the pins for travelling abroad, you can attach the power pins in four orientations to make it easier to fit the plug into whatever power socket you have access to).

The sound is excellent, especially considering the size of the tiny speakers on the back, thanks to the Dolby Advanced audio processing; you wouldn’t mistake it for a subwoofer but you can hear real bass, without much distortion even at full volume, clear midrange and sharp trebles with plenty of detail in the music and surprisingly good stereo separation for such a small machine. You’ll really enjoy listening to music on the Tab. and watching video. The 1280 by 800 screen gives you superb, crisp detail on HD video (helped by the Catalyst software which smoothes and deinterlaces video. Colours are bright and vivid with excellent contrast even in the darker areas of the screen and really wide viewing angles. Video performance from the Radeon HD6250 doesn’t always quite keep up; although playing 720p video locally was smooth and uninterrupted there were a couple of times streaming 1080p from the Web when fast action sequences and pans weren’t quite as smooth as they could have been.

The AMD C-50 processor is a very interesting choice for the Tab; it’s low power enough for ultraportables and tablets, but considerably more powerful than an Atom and the Tab feels faster than a netbook, especially when you have multiple applications running at once. It delivers pretty good battery life; 5 hours in light use, 3.5 with Wi-Fi on and streaming music, videos and constant Web browsing. And when you run apps that take advantage of the GPU for acceleration. like the latest generation of browsers, you get very respectable results. This is last year’s GPU crammed into a processor that beats an Atom on multi-tasking, which is a good match for the kinds of programs you want to run on a 10-inch screen and control with your fingers.

Acer Aspire 3 (2022)|Watch Before You Buy

That’s not the only option. Clip the Tab onto the keyboard and you think it’s going to turn the Tab into a notebook. and it almost does. You get extra ports to make up for the ones you lose on the side that clips into place: two USB ports plus the Ethernet port that’s too large to fit on the tablet itself. You get a full Chiclet-style isolated keyboard; the keys are a reasonable size and have clear space between them but it feels more cramped than the keyboard on a Dell Mini 10 or an HP netbook and while they have some travel the action isn’t as good as more traditional netbook keyboards.

The Shift and Enter keys are right next to the backslash and hash keys but we got used to that pretty quickly; the arrow keys are small but responsive, but the Page Up and Page Down keys double up as Home and End and usually we found we were just reaching across to tap or scroll on the screen instead. Similarly the central trackpoint nub moves the cursor smoothly but the tiny mouse buttons on the edge of the keyboard are just too small and awkward to reach comfortably. The problem is that so much of the keyboard is used for the hinge and for the section in front of it that the hinge folds down into. leaving not enough room for the keys and no room for a palm rest at all.

Also, once the keyboard is clipped on, the natural thing to do (despite the sticker warning against it) is to try and close the screen like you would on a laptop. and that just pulls the screen off the keyboard. The magnets that hold the Tab in place on the USB connector work fairly well, but we didn’t find them quite secure enough. you can slide the latch at the front but that pops up a hook right in front of the space bar. If you don’t latch it in place you can’t pick the Tab up with the keyboard on unless you’re very careful; it just falls off the hinge. The keyboard doesn’t have enough weight or stability so you have to balance it carefully to get the screen at the angle you want.

Even latched it has a tendency to lean over backwards and if you’re trying to balance it on your lap or the arm of your chair rather than on a flat surface without latching it, again that can pull it out of the keyboard. But it’s a little too heavy so that while you can clip it in place as a screen cover (which is pretty much an admission that you are going to want it fairly regularly) and it does latch in place that way round, that turns the Tab from an slender screen into a chunky netbook. Welcome as the option of a physical keyboard is, it’s not quite a success.

The reason you need the keyboard is that Windows 7 is a curate’s egg of a tablet operating system. The big advantage is that you get all your familiar, full-power programs. Office, Internet Explorer, Flash, Silverlight, Photoshop, DirectX games, iTunes, games, your favourite media player and your favourite audio and video codecs, and whatever else you want. The disadvantage is that most PC programs are designed to use with a mouse so the menus, icons, buttons and controls just aren’t the right size to use with your finger. The multitouch screen means you can type fairly fast on the on-screen keyboard and have it detect all the letters, but the size of the screen means the keyboard is just too small for touch typing unless you dock it at the bottom of the screen (we found this more of a problem on the Tab than the Exo PC, say).

Acer has put a high enough resolution touchscreen on the tab that you can actually touch small icons and scrollbars fairly reliably (it’s also increased the size of close buttons on Windows and made the other tweaks so Windows work better with fingers) and you can swipe to scroll through things like your Media Player library. It’s just not as effortless as it would be on an OS with apps designed from scratch for touch. Touch-friendly Windows 7 features like pinned icons in the task bar, thumbnails (tap icons for open programs) and jump lists (swipe your finger from the icon) work better though there’s still lots of room for improvement.

The other thing to remember is the excellent handwriting recognition built into Windows 7; the touchscreen resolution is high enough that you can write on screen with your finger and have it come out as the words you were trying to write without needing to use a capacitive stylus. We wrote several sections of this review using both and found handwriting needed surprisingly few corrections. It’s not as fast as typing and the recognition certainly isn’t perfect but it gets faster as you get used to how good it is; for a URL or a tweet or a new file name, handwriting is all you need (that would be a bigger advantage if the version of Office Starter included came with OneNote, which works well with handwriting).

Acer has done a nice job customising the Windows setup; the checkboxes and buttons are easy enough to use with your finger, the on-screen keyboard pops up automatically (as usual) when you need to type in a username or your Wi-Fi password, and there’s a migration and sync wizard to grab settings from your main PC rather than typing them all in again on screen. because a tablet is always going to be a companion device rather than your only PC (although it might make more sense to do it over Wi-Fi rather than a USB drive). That gives you your familiar desktop background, your Internet Explorer favourites and your documents, music, pictures and movies if you choose to copy them, which takes you from blank slate to your PC ready to touch, very quickly (apps you have to install yourself, though).

Utilities like the Wi-Fi switcher are nicely finger-sized but where Acer has spent most of its touch support is the Ring interface. Press all five fingers on the screen to open this control and you get an odd mix of pointless and useful. One button is rather wasted on Acer Games, which is really just an online games store; others open the Windows Calculator and the Webcam (reasonable image quality but with a slight pink colour cast that makes you look as if you have a tan), utilities to back up or delete files to make space on the 32GB SSD or the Windows snipping tool (very useful to have at hand for saving information you see on the web or in documents).

Tap in the middle and you get finger-friendly controls for Wi-Fi, screen brightness and battery options. and at the side are launcher for the clear.fi DLNA interface for streaming music to and from PCs and other devices (an interface that’s already nicely designed for touch), the Touch Browser (as the name suggests, a touch-optimised skin for IE 8 with its own clipping tool, although the IE 9 interface works just as well for touch. you can swipe and zoom just about any web page), My Journal (a note-taking tool for storing clippings in ) and Social Jogger (a touch-friendly aggregator for YouTube, and Flickr that’s a nice way of keeping up with your friends. although it’s odd that it doesn’t support ). This is a nice idea and would be far more useful if you could customise what apps and utilities it opened.

You also get the Microsoft Touch Pack, which is more about demonstrating what touch can do, although we do like dabbling our fingers in a Japanese pond to push the origami boats away.

To recap

The Tab is a nice little Windows tablet, as Windows tablets go; it can’t bend the laws of physics to deliver better battery life, although the C-50 and Radeon do a good job, and Windows has advantages and disadvantages on a tablet and the Tab gets both of those

The 5 Best 2-In-1 Laptops. Summer 2023 Reviews

2-in-1 convertible laptops have become popular as they’re versatile devices that adapt to different uses. There are many types of 2-in-1s, including laptops with 360-degree hinges, tablets with a kickstand and detachable keyboard, and even newer models with dual screens. Of course, choosing one will depend on your needs, so we’ve compiled a list of various laptops to help you decide.

We’ve tested over 75 laptops, and below are our recommendations for the best convertible laptops you can buy. You can also check out our picks for the best laptops, the best Chromebooks, and the best business laptops.

Best 2-In-1 Laptop

Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021)

The best 2-in-1 laptop we’ve tested is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (2021), a tablet PC with a kickstand and detachable keyboard. This form factor makes the Surface Pro incredibly versatile. You can detach the keyboard to make the device easier to hold or to save space and attach it when typing something out. The sturdy kickstand lets you tilt the screen to an almost flat position to draw or take handwritten notes. For pen input, you can use Microsoft’s Slim Pen 2 or any Microsoft Pen Protocol styluses. The downside is that you have to buy it separately. The Slim Pen 2 is more convenient, as there’s a slot on the type cover keyboard to store and charge the pen. The Surface Pro 8 has a nice 3:2 display. It looks sharp, gets bright enough to combat glare, and has a 120Hz refresh rate. The keyboard feels comfortable to type on and even has backlighting. You get an excellent 1080p webcam for video calls, a back-facing camera in case you need to take a photo to share, and a facial recognition IR camera so you can log in quickly. The battery lasts only around seven hours of light use, but luckily, the power adapter is fairly compact, and you can also charge via its USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports. As you may already know, Microsoft has released the Surface Pro 9. It’s essentially the same device but with faster Intel 12th Gen. processors. The Surface Pro 9 is more widely available, but if you don’t need the performance increase, you can save a good chunk of cash with the Surface Pro 8 since it’s an older device and often on sale; just remember that the keyboard is also a separate purchase.

Best Mid-Range 2-In-1 Laptop

Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022)

Looking for something a little more modest? Get the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (2022). This Chrome OS 2-in-1 convertible feels well-built and is easy to carry around, thanks to its thin and light design. Its 14-inch display gives you enough room for split-screen multitasking, and since it’s a 2-in-1, you can flip the screen around and use it as a tablet. The laptop comes with a stylus that you can use to take notes or draw, and you can dock it into its charging slot for transport. The keyboard feels spacious and tactile, although it can be slightly tiring over an extended period. As for the touchpad, it’s on the smaller side, but the tracking is decent. Configuration-wise, although this laptop is available with various Intel 12th Gen. CPUs, you might have trouble finding the configuration you want due to low availability. The Core i5 model with 8GB of memory and 128GB of storage seems the easiest to find. The Core i5 is plenty fast for anything you’d need to do on Chrome OS, but with 8GB of memory, you might experience some stutters if you’re a heavy multitasker. Battery life sits around 13 to 14 hours of light use, and it takes about two hours to charge to full. Ports include one USB-A, two USB-C/Thunderbolt 4, and an HDMI port. For Windows users, check out the Dell Inspiron 16 2-in-1 (2023). Its 16-inch display gives you more room for split-screen multitasking, and this model has more room on the keyboard deck to rest your wrist. The battery lasts a little over ten hours of light use, which isn’t as good as the Acer but still enough to get you through a typical workday. The tradeoffs are its lack of Thunderbolt 4 and pen input support, as well as its higher price tag. As for portability, it’s fairly thin and not too heavy, but it’s still a 16-inch laptop, so it might not fit into smaller bags.

Best Budget 2-In-1 Laptop

Lenovo Chromebook C340 15 (2020)

The Best Laptop Under 500

We’ve tested two new models and added them to the Competition section.

Lots of laptops cost less than 500, but it’s hard to find a cheap one that doesn’t totally suck. We’ve researched and tested hundreds of cheap Windows laptops and Chromebooks over the years to find decent models, and we also have advice to help you shop Smart when change and our picks go out of stock.

Choosing a budget laptop is tricky because you can find dozens—even hundreds—of options at a given time. Their fluctuate constantly, too, and companies release and discontinue models with no warning. We have picks for Chromebooks and Windows laptops under 500, and some other good options if those picks are unavailable. If you can’t find our picks anywhere, check out our tips on how to shop for a budget laptop, or consider a used laptop instead.

Choosing a cheap Chromebook vs. a cheap Windows laptop

Our picks are for anyone who doesn’t want to or can’t spend more than 500 on a laptop. These models are good for anyone who just wants to browse the web, students who don’t need special software, and people who work at home only occasionally. If you need a more powerful laptop, take a look at our guide to the best laptops.

The Best Laptops

From budget-friendly options to thin-and-light ultrabooks to powerful gaming laptops, we’ve spent hundreds of hours finding the best laptops for most people.

At this price, Chromebooks are better than Windows laptops because they’re faster at the things most people use a laptop for. They also tend to have better build quality, longer battery life, and superior screens, keyboards, and trackpads. Chromebooks don’t need antivirus software and don’t come with bloatware (unnecessary, manufacturer-loaded software that clutters the computer and slows it down). If you spend your computing time in a browser—checking email, using Google Docs, watching Netflix, or making Zoom calls—Chrome OS is all you need. But if you need specialized software for work or school, if you want to play Windows-specific games, or if you need to be able to work offline, you’re better off with Windows.

A great Windows laptop under 500 can handle web browsing, video calls, and media consumption, but they’re rare—many cheap Windows laptops buckle under the load of running more than a couple apps at a time. And buying a bad laptop may cost you more in the long term: Compared with a 700 laptop, it will feel worse in everyday use in two years, and you’ll need to replace it sooner. Even 550, if you can swing it, will more reliably buy you a faster computer that will last longer.

If you don’t need Windows, if you prefer Apple’s platforms, or if you mostly watch videos and play games, consider an iPad with a keyboard. Compared with a cheap Windows laptop, this combo is snappier when you’re banging out emails, watching movies, or taking notes, and whereas a Chromebook forces you to rely on web apps and Android apps designed for phones, you can find thousands of iPad-optimized apps and games. But an iPad-and-keyboard combo is not a complete replacement for a laptop.