Ever wanted a laptop that seamlessly transforms into a media tablet? Well then your in luck because Acer has designed just that. The Acer Aspire 1820PTZ is a netbook in which the screen can be turned 108 degrees and set flat to become a working digital tablet.
Everybody wants their netbooks to be compact and easily transportable. The Aspire comes in weighing 1.72kg and is a little thicker than many netbooks. But then again other netbooks don't have a tablet built into them. The battery in the back causes the machine to prop up in the back and that combined with the slight heaviness of the screen will cause the device to tip over if the screen is tilted back too far. Full dimensions for the Aspire come in at 11.22 x 8.22 x 1.12/1.36 inches.
The overall feel of the Aspire is solid which is good considering the whole thing is plastic. Reports show that there doesn't seem to be any keyboard flexing and everything appears aligned when the lid is closed. Some concerns with the screen rotation and flipping hinge have arisen with people concerned about how long the small piece of equipment will be able to handle the slightly heavy screen. But that is all just speculation for now.
Keys on the keyboard are slightly large and completely flat. This doesn't allow for much space between the keys which will take some getting used to. However, the overall feel of the keyboard will be usable for many users. The trackpad is slightly small though it did the best it could with the space it had to work with. The trackpad seemed to be quite responsive
The Aspire's screen the layer on top of the screen is very firm, most likely because of the digitizer. However, reports of poor color and contrast seem to be related to the top layer. Reports of bad viewing angles, especially in portrait tablet mode, have also been seen. A high pixel density gives the screen a nice, sharp look and while the default color profile is lacking, it can easily be fixed with some calibration.
The Aspire also comes with a multi-touch screen which supports both your fingers and a stylus. The device even tucked away a stylus for you in a slot below the screen. You are technically supposed to switch your tablet between finger and stylus mode depending on which on you are using but the Aspire doesn't seem to have any problems differentiating between both though your finger works best in finger mode as does your stylus in stylus mode.
The screen itself can only be rotated in one direction, indicated by a directional arrow on the central hinge. However, once you put the Aspire into tablet mode, the screen is rotated into the correct orientation by an accelerometer. Screen rotation can take anywhere from 1 to 3 seconds depending on the number of windows you have open at the time. Two magnets have been added to the device to keep the screen in place while in tablet mode which seems to be very helpful.
Considering the Aspire is small, the built-in sound is also small. But unfortunately the sound is also very soft, even when turned up to max volume. However, the sound does appear to be fairly good in a small room or office. The spdif out works very well based on other reports.
Performance wise the Aspire seems pretty quick and good for general use. It comes with Windows 7 64-bit pre-loaded. As far as video performance goes, the Aspire does pretty good. It runs standard definition videos with no problems and even high definition videos with no problems. The Aspire comes with a built-in webcam and mic which work decently. Built-in 802.11n WiFi works well and the Aspire even has Acer's Signal-Up technology which helps boost WiFi range.
The battery life on the Aspire seems to last a very long time, probably somewhere around 7 or 8 hours and the processor runs at 1.2GHz most of the time. There isn't a lot of heat distributed by the machine and some heat does resonate out of the vent located on the left side of the device but it isn't anything to worry about. Some slight whirring comes out of the aforementioned vent but it is nowhere near intrusive or disruptive.
Overall the Aspire 1820PTZ comes with tons of stuff loaded onto it and runs really well. The ability to transform into a fully-functional table makes it all that more useful and especially handy for people who need a good business device for traveling. If working on the go is something you do a lot, you may want to check out Acer's Aspire 1820PTZ.
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