Chromebooks have been a Windows alternative for a while and dependant on the tasks you want to carry out can be all you need. Certainly you would not get a Windows touch panel unit for anywhere near the price of this Chromebook offering.
It is 29x20x2cm and weighs 1350 grams. The viewable screen is 25.5x14.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 11.5inches. At the centre of the top above the screen is a camera. Bootup is 14.5 seconds and by default if you shut the lid it remains live – screen off – so unless you set a password on wake up then you can be working again at the point you left it as soon as you raise the lid.
This is a small but extremely powerful tower system. Acer does a number of different versions under the same name and model number both with and without an SSD drive, it also has various Intel and AMD processors so do think about all this prior to selecting where to purchase it from as certain models like this one are only available from two outlets.
It’s 35cm from front to back but add another 5cm for cables to be inserted. It is 16.5cm wide and 35cm tall. The top has a wireless charging plate towards the front. The front has a vertically mounted optical drive and towards the right near the base an SD card port, a USB ‘C’ and a USB3 port (always on) as well as 3.5mm headphone and microphone sockets. The back has kettle style mains lead, lower down are four USB2 sockets and below this two USB3 ports and an Ethernet port.
Size matters and here this is a small tower that can deliver as much as most large towers except of course take up far less desk space. So if you need expansion then this unit can give it as there are three slots although one is occupied in the setup sent to me by the graphics card. So what has Acer squeezed into this small format desktop tower.
It is 34cm deep, 16cm wide and 33cm tall. There is a vertically mounted optical drive 6cm down from the top just right of the centre of the front, above this is the turn on button. Towards the bottom of the front on the right edge a pair of always on connections USB ‘C’ and USB3 and below these 3.5mm sockets for headphone and microphone. On the front edges at the top are two small flip out handles to hold your headphones as for a gamer hearing tiny sounds can be life or death.
A powerful Windows 10 notebook for those who still need all the connections yes it even has Ethernet. So suitable for both work and dare I say the word PLAY. This is a solidly constructed offering that may even reduce the need for so many visits to the gym.
The Acer Nitro 5 measures 39x26x2.4cm and weighs 2.454 kilos. Going around the outside finds Kensington Lock Port, Ethernet, USB ‘C’, HDMI out, USB 3.1 and SD Card socket all on the left side. The front is clear apart from speakers at each of the chamfered corners. The right side has headphones out, two USB2 ports, two LEDs and finally DC input. The back like the front is clear apart from large heat outputs. The base has four structured rubber feet to also allow expulsion of heat.
All In One PC’s are not exactly new but here is a large screen offering that is equipped with lots of good features and even includes a Thunderbolt 3 socket as well as HDMI in the latter ideal for you to attach a PVR for those after work hours watching.
The screen is 63x39x2cm the stand is fixed and raises it by 10cm from your desk. The stand is in the shape of a ‘V’ with 13cm being behind the screen, the sides of the ‘V’ are 33cm long which means it needs a total of 25cm from back to front of desk space. The notional diagonal imperial screen measurement is 27inches.
While this is a Notebook as it has a keyboard it is more likely to be used as a Tablet as the keyboard folds back behind the screen and then you have an excellent touch screen Windows unit that even comes with a stylus for accurate work. If fact the keyboard can even be totally detached should you wish.
The Acer Aspire Switch 5 measures 28x20x.1.5cm and weights 1311grams with the keyboard being 390grams of the total weight. The viewable screen is 35.5x17cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 12inches, the screen display is 2160x1440 at the default 150% display.
Most people think of Acer for their comprehensive Aspire range which varies hugely from entry level to really powerful business machines, they also have the Predator range of gaming systems and as I recently found another range call Nitro, here I am looking at the Nitro 5.
The Acer Nitro 5measures is 39x26x2.5cm and weights 2.454kilos. This is of course a powerful machine likely to be used by gamers. This means that battery life may not be that great, the best I got streaming video was around four hours. I see the figure quoted is ‘up to 8.5 hours’. So going around the outside has a Kensington Lock port, an Ethernet port, USB ‘C’, HDMI, USB3 and SD Card socket. The front is clear apart from the speakers that are under the cut away corners.
This is part of a range of gaming notebooks from Acer. While I openly admit that I am no gamer other reviews will tell you what this and other units in the Predator range can accomplish in the gaming area I concentrate on its other features.
The Acer Predator is a 17.3 inch high performance gaming laptop measuring 42x28x2.5cm and weights just short of 3kilos at 2.94kilos. This is a powerful beast that has the whole rear to dissipate the heat a heady gaming session is likely to create. The left side has a Kensington lock socket, Ethernet port, USB ‘C’ port, HDMI out, USB3 port and an SD Card slot.
Combining the functionality of a notebook and tablet elements is a product from Acer
Adding to its extensive range of computer based products, Acer has released its Swift 3 offering. While classified as a notebook type device, the Acer Swift 3 adopts the more modern style of product by incorporating the ability to split itself into two separate units. A straightforward ripping motion is all that is required to turn the basic notebook format into a tablet and detachable keyboard arrangement.
The Swift range was launched a year ago in Glasgow and I have previously looked at a different model from the same range. This is a rather smart looking Notebook with the screen capable of going back to 180 degrees.
The Acer Swift 3 is an ultra-thin notebook measuring 33x23x1.5cm and weighing 1629 grams. The base has a 27x1cm strip of rubber and the two front corners a 3x1cm front to back strip to protect whatever you sit it on, this matters because the body is all metal. Looking at the Acer site finds 21 different Swift 3 models with various memory and processor combinations. The one I have has silver body an Intel i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD drive.
This is one of a range recently launched at Thorpe Park on what in some parts of the country was the hottest day of the year. While it was an event I was unable to make I have been kept up to date by the excellent Acer PR Company, here the first offering sent to me.
This laptop from Acer measures 37.5x24.5x1cm at the front and 2cm at the back, it weights 2304grams. It has a grey back, black elsewhere apart from a matt very dark grey screen surround so less finger marks will show. The viewable screen is 34x19.5cm and is refreshingly matt so quite good in strong sunlight. The screen is 1920x1080 and has a notional diagonal imperial measurement of 15.6inches. There is a webcam built into the centre of the area above the screen.
My second laptop, and third as well, were both Acer units and could almost be regarded as desktop replacements. The same could not be said of this next Acer unit.
While its title might give you the impression that this next product could be the top-of-the-range offering, in fact the Acer Swift 1 is the opposite in this particular brand line up in its portfolio with regards to specifications. My review sample is decked out in an obsidian black plastic casing, embossed with a silver Acer logo to add a touch of style to its brushed finish. The device has dimensions of 339.4 x 234.9 x 17.
It has been a while since I last took a look at an Acer device. This drought was ended with the arrival of the Acer Spin 5.
A long weekend in Glasgow in late November was not high on my list of places to visit, nothing against Glasgow or Scotland but the week previously it had been -10 degrees in Glasgow so armed with my long johns I ventured north of the border.
Let’s get the weather out of the way it was cold but not below freezing, it was dry with no rain or snow, some free time Saturday afternoon saw a visit to a Distillery not far from Glasgow, and while I do not drink alcohol I found the tour interesting and when we were returning to Glasgow after the visit there was the most amazing sunset. The nine notebooks come from four ranges Swift, Spin Convert, Detachable Switch and Cloud Book Aspire One 11.
This nice looking notebook is also powerful and has an Full HD 1080P screen although it is only 15.6inches. The surprising thing is that it looks the right size even though the majority of 15.6inch offering give a much lower resolution.
It is 38.5x26x2 and weights 2.2kilos. Most of the connections are on the right side so if you wanted this could be close to a wall or partition on your left if you wanted. The exception is the Kensington Lock port on the back left and an SD Card port on the front. So you have 3.5mm socket for headphones, three USB3 ports an HDMI port and an Ethernet port finally the DC power input. Often with notebooks speakers are an afterthought not so here as the sound is excellent from its four speakers.
A small Tower PC but with everything you need apart from a Panel and speakers and if you connect via HDMI you do not even require speakers. While they are no longer fashionable this is small and has far more connectivity than a notebook.
The Acer XC600 small tower system measures 37x10x26cm and while it will work horizontally it is designed to work vertically. The front has two USB2 ports and a multi card slot it also has 3.5mm sockets for microphone and headphones. Behind a flip open door is a DVD multi recorder drive. The right side and top have extensive ventilation slots.
It almost crossed my mind that I had been forgotten by Acer with regards to review products when an offer arrived to check out an Aspire model. I was reasonably impressed.
In the past I have had the opportunity to look at a number of Acer computers. These models have been exclusively laptop units belonging to either the Aspire or TravelMate family. Now it is the turn of another Aspire model to supply my computing needs but this time it is a desktop system. The Acer unit in question is the Aspire XC600_W.
Finally manufacturers seem to be releasing a good range of touch notebooks. As far as my tests are concerned this is the only real reason to upgrade to Windows 8. While I have reviewed large panels with touch why would you sit so close as to be able to use it.
This is probably a desktop replacement as it weighs 2.43kilos. It can work on batteries in my tests I got over four hours with a good amount of Wi-Fi use. It is 38x24.5x2.5cm. The last figure the thickness is at the back this reduces to 1.5cm at the front. The viewable screen is 35x19.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 15.6inches.
A powerful notebook with lots of memory and joy of joys no shiny black in sight anywhere as the whole thing is silver grey. The screen is of course reflective but not nearly as much as a lot of other offerings I have used.
This is an Intel Core i5 unit with a 500GB hard disc and a small SSD that helps make things quite a bit quicker in starting. It is 36x25x2cm and it weights 2.175kilos. The unit feels really sturdy probably because the screen back is aluminium. You will note from the dimensions that there is no increase in size towards the back – normally caused by an oversize battery.
A small notebook from Acer that I assume is aimed more at the office market as joy of joys no shiny screen surround to show your fingermarks. It also comes with a rather large battery that protrudes down at the rear of it.
The Acer TravelMate P- (TMP633) measures 32x22x1.5cm at the front but this swells as you go back culminating at 4cm at the back where the battery is, it weights just 2kilos. I assume there must be another configuration with a smaller battery as the back pair of rubber feet never sit on the desk. The left side has the Kensington Lock socket, DC power input, two USB3 ports, SD Card and Express Card ports.