PC & Servers

Acer Aspire Convertible, Portable AIO Run Windows 10

The Aspire R 14 notebook and Aspire Z3-700 AIO offer features to help maximize Windows 10 applications like Cortana and Continuum.
Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Lumia 950: Microsoft's New Hardware Push
Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, Lumia 950: Microsoft's New Hardware Push
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Acer is rolling out two new Windows 10 devices, the Aspire R 14 convertible notebook and the Aspire Z3-700 portable all-in-one (AIO) PC. The two new PCs come at a time when the worldwide market for computers continues to slip.

In an effort to improve the user experience with Cortana, Microsoft's digital concierge, both devices come equipped with dual-digital microphones that feature Acer Purified.Voice with enhanced digital signal processing (DSP), which cancels background noise and improves speech accuracy.

In addition, both devices also feature Acer's TrueHarmony Plus technology with Dolby Audio and BluelightShield, which can lessen eye strain by reducing blue light emission from the screen, allowing users to choose from four professionally tuned modes.

The Aspire R 14 incorporates 6th Gen Intel Core processors, up to 8GB DDR3L system memory, and solid state drive (SSD) storage packaged in a thin and lightweight frame for improved portability.

The R 14 also includes Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) wireless technology, which is designed to improve download speeds, particularly on crowded networks.

The convertible notebook, which features a 360-degree dual torque hinge for improved flexibility between four usage modes, sports a hairline-brush metallic finish and diamond-cut edge design.

Scheduled to be available in North America in late October with prices starting at $699, the R 14 boasts a magnet design that allows the device to be fully converted into tablet mode without and gaps. The three other modes include laptop, display, and tent positions.

The Aspire Z3-700, which will be available in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region by the end of the year with prices starting at around $860, is powered by Intel Pentium or Celeron processors, up to 8GB of DDR3L system memory, and SSD or hard disk drive (HDD) storage options.

The 17.3-inch AIO sports two kickstands allow it to stand or lie flat like a jumbo tablet. It features a built-in battery that Acer claims will last for five hours.

Other features include a full HD 10-point capacitive multi-touch screen, which also supports input through a dedicated stylus for more precise control.

"We worked closely with Acer to help ensure their devices would make the most of Windows 10," Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and devices group for Microsoft, said in an Oct. 12 statement. "With Cortana, the personal assistant that helps you get things done, Continuum, which enables Windows Phones to act like a PC when paired with a larger display, great gaming with Xbox, and our new browser Microsoft Edge, we are excited to welcome these Acer devices to the Windows 10 family."

[Read about the improvements we want to see from Microsoft.]

The new products were unveiled today at Acer's Windows 10 press event in Taipei, where the company also demonstrated the Liquid Jade Primo smartphone, a 5.5-inch device with Windows 10 mobile featuring Continuum, allowing Windows 10 universal apps to provide a PC-like experience when the device is connected with a secondary display.

"Acer has a heritage of delivering the best user experience through innovation in technology and design," Jason Chen, corporate president and CEO of Acer, said in a statement. "With Windows 10, we can now deliver a unique and consistent experience across our comprehensive product portfolio, be it notebooks, desktops, tablets or smartphones, and empower users to do great things with more personal and human technology."

Despite the hype, the PC market continues to struggle. Earlier this month, IDC reported a 10% decline in PC shipments from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of this year. Acer did rank in the top five PC makers for the quarter.