Acer updates Aspire R7 with active pen and Haswell, brings touchscreens to the Aspire E Series

Acer's announcing a slew of new products today at IFA, but it's also updating a few existing models with a greater emphasis on touch. In addition to getting the mandatory upgrade to Intel's Haswell processors, the Aspire R7 will now come bundled with an Acer active pen for use on the 15.6-inch, 1080p touchscreen. Given that the notebook offers four usage modes (including an "Ezel mode" and tablet mode), having this additional input option certainly makes sense. To help you take advantage of the digitizer, the company is adding several apps to its pre-load: MemoryBinder for drawing on top of your photos, ScreenGrasp for capturing images with the pen and Scrapboard for collecting images and ideas, much like Evernote. There's also AccuFinger, which Acer says helps you select tiny items on-screen when you're using fingers rather than the pen. As for availability, the new R7 will hit Europe, the Middle East and Africa in late 2013, with the base price set at €999, though we're not sure when to expect it stateside just yet.

The Aspire E notebook series is also stepping up to Intel's fourth-gen processors, and Acer's adding in new AMD options as well. The biggest update, though, is the addition of 10-point multi-touch displays to upcoming models -- you'll appreciate having the option to navigate Windows 8.1 with your fingers, after all. Finally, the Aspire E will be offered in additional colors; you'll have your choice of Keyboard White, Misty Silver or Piano Black for the 14-inch model, while the 15.6-inch version comes in Cherry Red, Clarinet Black and Steel Grey. (Piano and Clarinet Black options, oh my!) The Aspire E1 will be available in mid-October with a starting price of €399 -- no word on US pricing just yet.

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A Touch More Touch Notebooks @ IFA

Editor's Summary:
• Designed for touch, the Aspire R7 now features a 4th generation Intel processor and Acer Active Pen to make the most use of its flexible design
• Touch-screen display models and new colours enhance the thin & light Aspire E1 series

BERLIN, Sept. 2, 2013 – Acer today announced its award-winning Aspire R7 notebook now includes the latest 4th generation Intel processor and an Acer Active Pen to further redefine the notebook touch experience. Designed to provide the best environment for both touch and typing, the R7 features a repositioned keyboard and high-definition touchscreen mounted on a revolutionary "Ezel hinge" that allows it to flip, reverse, lie flat or float.

Unveiled in May, the Aspire R7 has won several awards for its revolutionary design, including the best Choice Award at Computex 2013, the Red Dot Award for product design, and the Computex d&i Award.

Acer also unveiled additional trendy colours for the Aspire E1 notebook line as well as a 10 point multi-touch display option with a range of graphic solutions for everyday computing.

Aspire R7 – A touch more apps with active pen support

With four modes of operation, the R7 can easily be used as a traditional notebook, a table top pad, a display, or switched into "Ezel" mode, allowing the screen to float over the keyboard at various angles. Whether sitting or standing, at a desk or outdoors, users can always find the most suitable and comfortable way to use the R7, seamlessly transitioning from one mode to the other, from touching to typing, then from writing to drawing.

The Ezel Hinge makes it easy to flip the 15.6-inch full HD 1920 x 1080 touchscreen around to share visuals, games and more with others. The dual hinge technology allows for single-hand switching between modes and keeps the display rock-steady when touched. The keyboard is closer to the edge of the chassis, making typing more comfortable since there is no need to stretch your arms over palm rest and touchpad, keys fall naturally under the fingers and typing becomes more relaxing.

The Aspire R7 now comes with the new Acer Active Pen, so users can enjoy greater accuracy and a more comfortable feel when writing and drawing. The Acer Active pen uses electromagnetic induction technology and responds to varying degrees of pressure sensitivity like an actual pen, resulting in a greater range of pen strokes and more natural writing. The Acer Active Pen can be used with gesture controls at the same time, so customers can for example resize a picture with the pinching gesture and adjust fine details with the pen.

To make the most of the touch experience, the R7 packs a set of new useful and fun touch apps. There is always a story behind a picture and Acer MemoryBinder realistic paint brush effects helps users tell it, adding colour and feelings. With Acer ScreenGrasp any image can easily be captured, personalised and shared to social networks or pasted to office documents. Acer Scrapboard makes it easy to collect images and ideas from the web for future reference or for a project or to share them. Acer AccuFinger is designed to help users acquire tiny items on the screen more accurately when using their fingers.

Aspire R7 – A touch more performance

When the display is slid back behind the keyboard, you have a powerful, full featured notebook computer that is now available with Intel's 4th generation processor for great performance and efficiency. It also features up to 12GB of memory, up to 1TB hard drive (or up to 256GB SSD), and full-size backlit keyboard. Users can also take advantage of Windows 8.1 that offers new ways to personalize the PC and includes plenty of awesome new apps and services.

Aspire R7 – A touch more entertainment

Offering a superior audio visual experience, the R7's powerful features and high-definition display are complemented by a premium sound system with Dolby Home Theater and four 8-watt speakers. Because of its transformative design, the audio channels automatically reverse when switching modes, so stereo sound is always perfect.

In addition, the dual microphones have been placed at the front and at the base of the notebook below the keyboard. This provides for the best voice sound quality, and enhances the aesthetics of the touchscreen by eliminating the need for holes in the bezel.

Aspire E1- A touch of daily computing with ease

The Aspire E1 notebook series bundles the latest Intel 4th generation or AMD A-Series processors and graphics technologies to deliver customers rich entertainment and day-to-day productivity at an affordable price. New models in the series are now available with a 10 point multi-touch display to tap and swipe away through the web, apps, photos and more.

To maximize entertainment with colourful and crisp images, the Aspire E1 notebooks series is available in two high-definition display sizes – 39.6 cm (15.6") and 35.6 cm (14") – as well as with a choice of graphic solutions. The 15.6" model supports various discrete graphics options, such as NVIDIA GT720M, NVIDIA GT740M and AMD Radeon™ HD 8000M, while the 14" version is available with NVIDIA GT720M graphics. Favourite movies can be displayed on a bigger screen thanks to the HDMI port.

Thinner than previous generations, the Aspire E1 series has the slimmest form factor within its price segment. The updated notebook line is now available in a wide selection of colours to choose from: the 14-inch model comes in elegant Misty Silver, Piano Black and Keyboard White while the 15.6-inch comes in Clarinet Black, Cherry Red and Steel Grey. The chicklet keyboard provides comfortable typing, while the compact design makes these notebooks perfect to be carried wherever you go.
The icing on the cake is that the E1 series is shipped with M-DISC Ready Drive™, which means users can keep their priceless memories and data safe virtually for ever on M-DISCS™.

Pricing and Availability*

The Aspire R7 will be available in Europe, Middle East and Africa in Q4 2013 with a suggested price of €999.-.

The Aspire E1 will be available mid-October with a suggested price starting at €399.-.