Since the arrival of tablets, the existence of netbooks has been a little more difficult to explain. But the companies behind this machines eventually realized they had to come with a competitive solution, and that’s exactly what they are trying to do. You can’t beat the presence of a physical keyboard, after all.
In any case, laptops can change and offer different form factors even though they follow basic outlines to be considered a laptop in the first place. Like a convertible, for example. This is the review of the Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P0KR
Pros: Great battery life (up to 8 hours), includes HDMI port, expandable RAM, low price tag.
Cons: 64 GB of storage might put some people off, screen has a lower resolution
Small laptop, big tablet
The Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P0KR is an 11.6 inch convertible with an HD touchscreen. That is a standard for netbooks, which are often smaller laptops. When thinking about it from a tablet perspective, though, things get a little bigger. With the size and a 3.5 pound weight, this proves the laptop looks to strike a nice balance between both form-factors.
In terms of overall aesthetics, this particular notebook packs an attractive design with an electric blue colouring on the exterior and a full black matte on the inside. As expected, there's no dedicated numeric pad, which would cramp up the typing space considerably.
Light performance for a light body
Thanks to the advancements in mobile products, smaller and lighter processor have improved dramatically in a very small time. In this case, the Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P0KR packs a quad-core Intel Pentium N3710 clocked at 1.6 GHz. This is a chip from one of Intel latest generations; the fifth one, Braswell.
Multitasking comes with the 4 GB DDR3L SDRAM present. Again, when looking at it from different angles, we find that this is the standard for netbooks, but a higher-than-average spec for tablets. The good news is that it is expandable if you think you’ll need more than that.
Gaming is not impossible, but is not recommended either
This probably doesn’t even need mentioning, but we’re talk about it nevertheless. Gamers might want to look at other options. As this is a small and light machine, we are of course looking at integrated graphics, the HD Graphics 405 from the Braswell generation, which improved GPU performance when it was introduced.
Modern 3D games are definitely not an option with the Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P0KR, but if you stick to simple indie and classic titles like Spelunky, Undertale or even Minecraft, you should be fine. 2D gaming is a go, basically, and 3D gaming only for old titles.
To infinite, and more battery
If you could game in this thing, it would certainly kill the battery, and very fast. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Acer claims up to 8 hours of battery life thanks to the 4-cell Li-Ion (3220 mAh) battery present. Even if you where to adjust your expectations and expect a tad less battery life, that's still pretty good for most users.
Great connectivity, decent storage
Connectivity on this model isn't half bad as it includes both a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port. There's also an audio jack (this isn't an iPhone 7 after all) as well as an HDMI and ethernet port. This last set of ports are particularly rare amongst portable notebooks in this size so that's really refreshing.
Closing arguments : Do the pros outweigh the cons?
This isn't a professional grade laptop, that much is clear. However, once we jump past that in our review of the Acer Aspire R 11 R3-131T-P0KR, it becomes increasingly clear that we're looking at an affordable work station for both student, domestic users and people who want an ultraportable laptop for long commutes and trips.
Overall, taking into account the very low price tag on this laptop, we're pretty convinced that it won't take all that much to convince you if you're hardware needs aren't that great and you'd like to go down the convertible route.