Netbooks have proven to be a compelling choice to consumers since their introduction thanks to their small size and even smaller price. They were designed to do simple tasks, and that’s what they did. But eventually tablets came to challenge Netbooks, and the battle has been interesting to say the least.
Various results have come out of this, and the laptop we’re reviewing this time is most likely the evolution of the Netbook for a more touch-friendly approach. That is to say, a convertible. This is the review of the ultra affordable Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA
Pros: great battery life (up to 8 hours), includes HDMI port, expandable RAM and swappable HDD
Cons: hard drive is on the slower side, screen has a lower resolution
The Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA is an 11.6 inch convertible that weighs 3.3 pounds. That classifies the Aspire as a small laptop and a slightly bigger tablet at the same time, which defines the versatility of the product. The resolution sticks to a high definition 1366x768 configuration that will get the job done, especially for multimedia consumption.
The laptop goes for a more colorful design, as it is usual with netbooks. The inside body, including the keyboard, is all black; but the outside goes for a more vivid electric blue with a matte-finish. Lastly, the convertible capabilities will offer several positions, from tablet mode to standing screen and regular laptop.
Low consumption for better portability
Thanks to the big leaps in leap technology, cheap processor are getting better and better with each new generation. In this case, we’re looking at a quad-core Intel Pentium N3700 clocked at 1.6 GHz from the Braswell generation.
This is a small chip especially designed for the smallest of laptops, and as such offers low energy consumption for more battery life, less heat emission and lighter bodies like this one. As such, the Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA performs well in simple tasks like web browsing, office work and watching videos (be it YouTube or Netflix), though complex tasks will not perform as well, as that is not the focus.
Multitasking comes with the 4GB DDR3L SDRAM present. A standard for netbooks, but a higher-than-average for tablets without question. In other words, you’ll handle tabs in your browser and a couple of programs running at the same time comfortably, though heavier sessions will probably give you a bit of loading times. Additionally, it’s expandable. So there’s the option for more.
Not made for gaming
Gamers are essentially power users, so they are not going to find what they want here. We are definitively looking at integrated graphics, the HD Graphics 405 from the Braswell generation, which improved GPU performance.
Modern 3D games are definitely not an option, but if you stick to simple indie and classic titles like Spelunky, Undertale or even Minecraft, you should be fine. The short version? Not made for gaming.
Excelling at battery life
Gaming not be an option, but the Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA will excel at battery life.. Acer claims up to 8 hours of battery life thanks to the 4-cell Li-Ion (3220 mAh) battery present. Even if you expect a bit less, that’s still a great result. This is a must for small and particularly convertible like this one, so it’s nice to see that Acer got it right.
Great connectivity, decent storage
On the review of the Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA, connectivity is surprisingly better than expected. We start with two USB ports (one 2.0, one 3.0 each) and the ever present audio and microphone jack, but the presence of HDMI and Ethernet is what really stands out, as most of these machines don’t tend to have those useful options.
Storage is standard. The Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P7HA comes with a 500 GB mechanical hard drive (5400 RPM). While it doesn't have the fastest speeds, it will still offer lots of space for anyone who needs it. The good news here is that the hard drive is easily swappable, so those looking for better performance do have an option.
After reading through the review of the Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P344, we can come to the conclusion that it qualifies as a compelling convertible. It has the internals of a standard netbook and, thanks to the versatility of Windows 10, it can comfortably act a tablet or even a screen for surfaces like a kitchen.
The expanded connectivity especially makes it a useful machine to have, but the real star is the battery life, without a doubt. If you need lots of time without plugging to a wall, this is your choice.Otherwise, looking for small laptop and a neat tablet? This will probably do both of those with good results.