Is it a tablet, is it a desktop? No! It's the Acer Aspire Z3-700
Acer has revived the concept of the portable all-in-one with Aspire Z3-700. The device, announced today at a press conference in Taipei, is an intriguing addition to Acer’s consumer lineup.
All-in-one might be a bit of a misnomer, however. The device takes the form of a surprisingly svelte tablet with a kickstand. Weighing in at 2kg, this is laptop-spec portability, and while at 17.3 in screen isn’t exactly something you’ll take with you on holiday, it certainly has the potential to be an around-the-house sort of device for watching Netflix and using Windows 10 apps. At just 15.6mm thick, it won’t take up to too much space, either.
Craziest of all, the Acer claims a battery life of five hours. The reason for this isn’t because of a huge battery as is more likely down to the low-power processors Acer has chosen. Either Intel Celeron or Intel Pentium chips will be used, depending on your region and retailer.I got hands-on with the new device at the event and, all things, considered, it’s an impressive product. Of course, the first thing I had to do was pick it up and use it like a tablet, which is exactly what it’s not designed to do. Indeed, a 2kg tablet is far too heavy.
Laying it reluctantly back down onto the desk, popped out the two kickstand arms at the rear of the chassis. These operate independently, although you’ll never be able to use just one at a time as the Z3 700 will tip over. Standing it upright with the keyboard and mouse and it’s an effective PC. The device I was using had an Intel Pentium N3700 running a 1.6GHz and, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. I was therefore pleasantly surprised when it loaded the media-heavy Expert Reviews home page in just a couple of seconds, and capably handled both scrolling and zooming without fuss or stutter.
I then switched it into its more relaxed, laid back mode. In order to tell the device you’ve put it into this mode, you have to first turn it upside down and wait for Windows 10 to flip over the display. It’s a bit clunky, but once it’s done, it’s done. This laid-back mode uses the same kickstand arms and feels well grounded in this mode.
^ There’s a small pull-out holder for a stylus, although one isn’t supplied
The Full HD, IPS screen is bright and I was impressed by the vibrancy of the colours, although I’ll have to put it up against my trusty calibrator to see exactly how it stands up to the competition.
I took a sneaky look at the battery readout, and with 91% remaining, Windows 10 reckoned there was 3 hours and 12 minutes of juice left. Windows 10 is pretty good at predicting battery life, so it’ll be interesting to see under what circumstances the device manages to reach the claimed five hours.
All the ports are on one side, and include 2 USB3 ports, an HDMI port and a MicroSD card slot. The inclusion of a MicroSD card slot means that even if the SSD models don’t have much storage, you’ll be able to expand it effectively.
The machine will be available with up to 8GB of DDR3L memory and, depending on region and retailer, will come with either an SSD (32GB to 256GB) or a hard disk (500GB). Some models will come with an Intel Celeron N3150 or 3050 instead of the Pentium. UK pricing starts at £400.
It’s an impressive and, more importantly, interesting device that could find a happy home in many households where a stationary PC or small-screen laptop isn’t ideal. I look forward to giving it a full going over in our Labs.