The Acer Aspire R13 represents a well-thought-out attempt to marry portability and performance. And it’s a largely successful attempt. With several models to choose from, there’s not much to dislike here. The Aspire R13’s battery life is mediocre, but it should be good enough for most people. With the Aspire R13’s combination of portability and performance, it earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award. There aren’t many laptop computers that get the combination right, but this one does.
Portability & Display
At 3.3 pounds, the Aspire R13 is one of the lightest laptops on our lineup. This makes it easy to pack it up and take it with you wherever you go. Thanks to its slim size ??? only 0.7 inches thick ??? the Aspire R13 fits into most backpacks or messenger bags without much hassle. With a battery that lasted for 7 hours and 36 minutes in testing by our sister site Laptop Mag, you don’t have to worry too much about your laptop running out of juice. While it isn’t the longest battery life we’ve seen, it should be enough for most needs.
When you pick which model of the Aspire R13 you want, pay attention to the screen resolution. The least expensive model comes with a 1920 x 1080 display, whereas the most expensive comes with a 2560 x 1440 display. The difference between the two resolutions is easily noticeable. Higher resolutions give you crisper images ??? but, of course, they also cost more. Another aspect to consider is the screen’s brightness. The Aspire R13’s screen isn’t particularly bright, and it may be difficult to see what’s on the screen in brightly lit environments.
The Aspire R13’s performance is great. Based on the data from Laptop Mag, the Aspire R13 earns an A- performance grade. This is among the best-performing laptops on our lineup. However, we did notice one issue: The processor upgrade from the i5-5200U goes to an i7-4510U. That’s a processor from last generation. While this won’t have a major impact on performance, it would be nice to see the i7 upgrade give you the latest-generation processor.
The biggest difference between the i7-4510U and its fifth-generation counterpart is that you’re stuck with Intel’s HD 4400 integrated graphics on the fourth-generation processor. Intel’s HD 5500 integrated graphics are more capable than its earlier counterpart, and the difference is clear if you play any games. For most people, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal, but if you use any applications that use 3D rendering, you might want to look for a laptop that gives you the latest-generation i7.
A laptop with an SSD feels much faster than one with a regular hard drive. Happily, the Aspire R13’s base model comes with a 256GB SSD. That’s enough space for your operating system, a few applications and a music library. If you want to store more multimedia, you’ll definitely want to get a model with the 512GB SSD. Even then, that may not be enough storage space. In that case, you can look at external hard drives.
Most modern external hard drives use USB 3.0 to connect with your computer. That gives you access to very quick data transfer speeds. The Aspire R13 has two USB 3.0 ports and one USB 2.0 port. For most people, that’s enough USB ports to connect all of the important peripherals. You’ll also find an audio jack, SD card reader and an HDMI-out port on this laptop.
Laptop Mag didn’t rate Acer very highly in the latest version of its customer support test. With a grade of C+, Acer is among the lowest-rated laptop manufacturers for customer support in Laptop Mag’s test. This means that its representatives took longer to respond to inquiries and perhaps didn’t answer questions as clearly or readily as other manufacturers. Still, you get a one-year warranty when you buy the Aspire R13, and you can contact Acer’s support team through many channels, including social media.
The Acer Aspire R13 is a choice blend between portability and performance. While the battery life is mediocre, this laptop’s performance is among the best on our lineup. Its small and thin shape makes it easy to transport, and the included SSD ensures that the Aspire R13 feels snappy. The best i7 you can get is from last generation, which is a disappointment, but in the end, you’re still getting an i7. You should still get a nice performance boost from an i5.
Memory & Storage
Help & Support