The Acer Aspire Switch 10 E offers more than 8 hours of battery life, four modes of use and solid performance.
The Acer Aspire R 14 is a fast 2-in-1 with powerful audio and long battery life for a great price. Shopping for a laptop can certainly feel like buying an automobile: It's easy to get charmed by a sleek, stylish convertible that has power to spare.
A powerful business workhorse, the Dell Latitude E5570 pairs fast performance with strong build-quality and a comfortable keyboard.
A business powerhouse, the 15.6-inch Dell Latitude E5570 offers a compelling combination of performance, security and usability. The E5570 dominated its competition in the GeekBench 3 benchmark test, which measures overall performance, notching a score of 12,148. The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260 is a strong business ultraportable with a top-notch keyboard and an included stylus for the touch display.
Lenovo's ThinkPad Yoga line has long been known for pairing a flexible, bend-back design with ThinkPad-level durability and usability. Boasting more than 8 hours of battery life, this 2-in-1 is a lightweight solution for students or mobile pros who work from 9 to 5, and leaves a little left over in the tank for overtime.
With its long battery life, powerful speakers and 6th-generation Core i5 processor, the 14-inch Acer Aspire R 14 (starting at $430, reviewed at $700) has all of the makings of a great notebook. Armed with a 6th Generation Intel Skylake processor and customizable to a high degree (starting at $779, tested at $2,096), the E5570 wowed us with its blazing speed, colorful full-HD touch screen and strong audio. You can buy added security with an optional Smart Card reader ($7) or Smart Card reader with fingerprint reader ($21). You can save $140 by opting for a nontouch display, and $105 by moving down from the 256GB drive to its 128GB counterpart. Powered by an Intel Atom processor, the 10-inch hybrid is on the small side, but it can handle most productivity chores and multimedia tasks aptly. In that time, she's reviewed more than her share of laptops, tablets, smartphones and everything in between.
But just as some sports cars have touchy steering, this hybrid's keyboard was uncomfortable for extended typing sessions. Dell's workhorse handily beat its competitors in our OpenOffice Test, matching 20,000 names to their addresses in 3 minutes and 29 seconds.
Some versions of the E5570 have a three-cell, 47-watt-hour battery, which you can upgrade to a four-cell, 62-watt-hour battery for $34.30. The Switch 10 E also separates from its dock to become an independent tablet or create several modes, making this convertible more versatile than flip-around models.article continued below Hardware Maybe it's the cat-vomit puce color of my unit, but there's something about the Switch 10 E that makes it look like a bucket of fail. Otherwise, the Aspire R 14 provides plenty of reasons to convince you to take it home.article continued below Design From its black, brushed-metal aluminum lid to its silver, diamond-cut edges, the Aspire R 14 is sleek and sophisticated. Other models start with that four-cell battery, and offer an upgrade to the six-cell, 84-watt-hour battery that our review unit came with, selling for $35.00.
The square, raven-black chassis gets small splashes of color from a flashing red light in the ThinkPad logos on the lid and deck, along with the red TrackPoint nub and buttons. Thankfully, the convertible is available in more palatable colors, such as white, gray and turquoise, with coral and magenta to follow. A thin plastic strip runs across the top of the lid, but it's so slight and dark that it doesn't attract any attention. Docking Options The Latitude E5570 has a proprietary docking connector on its bottom, which lets the notebook snap into Dell's E-Port docks. At least the faux-linen cross-stitching pattern lining the exterior provides a sturdy grip. The notebook's touchpad has a sparkling finish that gives it the look of a clear and starry night's sky. Specs Design A big, matte-black slab, the Latitude E5570 looks like it's ready to get things done. These tools should help your IT department secure sensitive information, no matter if it's stored locally, in the cloud or on external media. It took the Latitude 32 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed-media files, resulting in a transfer rate of 159 MBps. The screen remained stable in the different modes, but it bounced a bit when I touched it in laptop mode; the screen on the Lenovo Yoga 900 was more stable. We classify the Aspire R 14 as a thin and light notebook, but everything about the 2-in-1's build feels solid and durable. This notebook is also built strong, with carbon fiber reinforcements, a spill-resistant keyboard and an optional scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass touch-screen display ($140). Our configuration offered more power than we knew what to do with, along with an excellent keyboard, colorful full-HD display and high-quality audio.
To help you grip the back of the ThinkPad Yoga 260 in tablet mode, it uses Lenovo's "lift-and-lock" keyboard, which makes the keys sink beneath the base and become unpressable when you rotate the screen back. From its strong hinge (more on that later) to its soft rubber underside, this hybrid inspires confidence.
The E5570's speakers are hidden underneath the notebook's front lip, and a 180-degree hinge allows you to bend the lid back until its flat on a table. The notebook's responsive keys have a comfortably deep 2 millimeters of travel and require 60 grams of force to actuate. Graphics Our configuration of the Latitude E5570 offers discrete graphics with its AMD Radeon R7 GPU, which gives it more 3D oomph than the typical business laptop has. Only the relatively heavyweight and warm-running bottom prevent this system from earning an Editors' Choice award.

Heat The brawny performance of the E5570 comes at a price, but one that you'll only feel if you use the notebook on your lap.
If you want to save some money, you can spend $434 less by opting for 8GB of RAM rather than 16GB, and  choosing a dual-core Core i7-6600 CPU rather than the quad-core i7-6820.
The touchpad was also quick to respond to my scroll, zoom and swipe multitouch gestures, without a hint of lag. After streaming 15 minutes of full-screen HD video, the notebook's underside spiked to a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit, well above our 95-degree comfort threshold. If battery life is your priority, we suggest you consider the Lenovo ThinkPad W550S, which lacks a quad-core CPU option but can provide twice as much juice with its optional six-cell, 72-watt-hour battery, and costs $1736 when similarly configured to the Dell.
2-in-1 Experience Acer has given the Aspire R 14 a strong 360-degree dual-torque hinge that allows you to rotate its display into the standard laptop, display, tent and tablet modes. With nary a shake in any contortion, this hybrid provides plenty of confidence that it will stay exactly where it's parked. Battery Life Road warriors should be able to get through most of a workday on a charge with the Latitude E5770.
The hybrid is lighter and slimmer than 11-inch convertibles, but it should be because it has a smaller screen.
Display When I watched the 1080p trailer for The Hateful Eight on the Aspire R 14, its 14-inch full-HD (1920 x 1080) display rendered Quentin Tarantino's vision of the Wild West with crisp details and slightly off colors. Each and every wrinkle on Kurt Russell's face appeared clear enough to have been hand-inked; but spilled blood appeared too dark, and I saw a hint of blue in untouched snow that didn't belong. When I brought the 2-in-1 up to our rooftop on a sunny day, I could read the Aspire R 14's user manual on its display, even with the sun shining brightly down on the screen. As I watched the 1080p trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse on the Latitude E5570's 1920 x 1080 display, I was impressed by the preview's strong colors and sharp details. Our test unit of the Latitude E5570 came with a six-cell, 87-watt-hour battery, which is available as a customization option on the higher-end versions of the E5570. The island-style keys are smaller than those on other laptops due to the dock's relatively small dimensions. Mystique's blue skin looked rich and accurate on the display, and Psylocke's purple blade appeared bright and vibrant as it sliced through a car.
That's dimmer than the average thin-and-light notebook (248 nits), the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 (299 nits) and the Toshiba Satellite Radius 15 (263 nits), but brighter than the Lenovo Yoga 700 (197 nits). The display also did a fine job showing the details of that bisected vehicle, as I noticed the glowing singe marks, tire treads and various pieces of flying debris. Configurations Dell offers the Latitude E5570 in a variety of configurations, and some of them are customizable.
I had no problem executing gestures, such as pinch-zoom and two-finger rotate, on the 3.5 x 2-inch touchpad. According to our colorimeter, the E5570's display can produce 107.4 percent of the sRGB color spectrum. The E5570 also earned high marks for color accuracy, earning a score of 0.72 in the Delta-E test (where best scores are closer to zero). It costs $70 to upgrade to a nontouch 1080p display but a full $210 to get the same resolution with touch.
Keyboard, Touchpad and Touch Screen The Aspire R 14's keyboard doesn't make a good first impression, because its keys feel pretty shallow. Unfortunately, the E5570's display produced only 242 nits of brightness, which is dimmer than the category average (252 nits), as well as the ZBook 15u (307 nits), ThinkPad W550s (312 nits) and the Tecra Z40t-B (265 nits).
Despite its modest brightness numbers, the screen offers wide viewing angles, with colors staying true even when we moved up to 70 degrees to the left or right. Those scores are both below my average (69 wpm, 99 percent), and I attribute that to the notebook's keys, which have only 1.2 millimeters of travel and require 51 grams of force to actuate. Audio With the MaxxSense audio software presets enabled, the full bass of Kanye West's "Gorgeous" reverberated with a strong warmth through the Latitude E5570's speakers. The ThinkPad Yoga 15's keys have only 1.25 mm of travel, but we found them much more comfortable to type on. Typists fond of using their notebooks in the dark may prefer the Aspire R 14 to the Yoga 15, as the Acer hybrid's keyboard has a more even backlight. The myriad of drum cymbals in Future's "Xanny Family" hit crisply, and the track's high-pitched synths sounded sweet to my ears.
Webcam The Latitude E5570's 2.0-megapixel webcam captured a fairly attractive and accurate selfie in our office.
As I pinched, zoomed and scrolled through Web pages with the touchpad, the system had no trouble responding to my gestures.
While the images have some noise, you can clearly pick out details, such as the black-and-white flecks of my sweater.
Doodling in MS Paint, I found that the 2-in-1's 14-inch display features 10 points of touch input, and that the Aspire R 14's display has excellent palm rejection to avoid accidental input. The pen charges its internal battery when docked, and Lenovo claims that it will get 19 hours' worth of charge in just 20 seconds; I had no problems with its endurance. The screen also has an anti-smudge coating that does wonders for keeping your screen free of fingerprints. The E5570 did not lag as I edited a document in Microsoft OneNote, started a round of Candy Crush, used Weather to check the forecast and then started a race in Asphalt 8, all with a dozen tabs open and a video streaming. With MS Paint, Candy Crush Saga, the Windows camera, and a full system scan by McAfee running in the background, the Aspire 14 R suffered no lag as I split my screen between two Google Chrome windows so I could edit a document and stream a video at the same time. When I wanted to take a break from writing, I speedily jumped between the dozen tabs open in Chrome, which included Dropbox and Gmail.

The Aspire R 14 scored 6,266 on the synthetic Geekbench 3 test, which measures overall performance. It took 31 seconds for the 256GB SSD drive to complete the Laptop Mag File Transfer Test (duplicating 4.97GB of multimedia files), resulting in a 164 MBps transfer rate.
That is much faster than the 112 MBps average, as well as the speeds reached by the SSD drives in the ThinkPad Yoga 15 (103.7 MBps) and the Yoga 700 (145 MBps). On the 10FastFingers typing test, I managed a speedy 99 words per minute, which is a bit better than my typical 94 to 95 wpm, with a reasonable 1.9 percent error rate. Graphics When we tested the Aspire R 14's gaming prowess in World of Warcraft, the Intel HD-graphics-powered notebook could only achieve a playable frame rate at a fairly low 1366 x 768 resolution and automatic settings, where it ran at 32 frames per second. The spill-resistant keyboard also has a backlight that was more than bright enough to let me see the keys at both its high and low settings.
The touchpad, space between the G and H keys, and bottom measured 80, 81 and 83 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. When we changed the settings to 1080p and automatic graphics, the 2-in-1 dipped below our 30-fps standard for smoothness, running at only 23 fps. The Intel-powered Yoga 700 (49 fps, 31 fps) ran the game at higher frame rates at both sets of settings. The system responded immediately and consistently to multitouch gestures, including pinch-to-zoom, three-finger swipe for switching apps or minimizing windows, and two-finger swipe for browsing through images in Windows Photo Gallery.
The Aspire R 14's result in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark were more positive, with a score of 51,763. The hybrid lasted 8 hours and 28 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi at 100 nits of brightness). That's better than the Intel-integrated-graphics-powered ThinkPad Yoga 15 (40,757) and the Yoga 700 (41,296), but below the average thin-and-light notebook (59,018).
Audio With its powerful, Dolby-enhanced audio, the Acer Aspire R 14 can easily fill a large conference room with quality sound. I found 75 percent of its volume loud enough for my tastes as I blasted Hudson Mohawke's "Scud Books" from its speakers, which are located on its underside. The highs of the song's pulsating synths and rumbling lows of its bass came through clearly and powerfully. The Dropbox app is one of the better options, as the company has teamed with Acer to give users 15GB of space free for three months when they log in or create a new account. When I moved the Aspire R 14 between laptop, display and tent modes, Adele's "Hello" sounded strong and clear at all times. Even in tablet mode, with its display against its underside -- where its speakers are placed -- the moving ballad still came through clearly. There's also Acer Screen Grasp, which offers a small cache of editing and aggregation features for capturing screen shots.
The Dolby Audio tuning utility that comes with the Aspire R 14 defaults to the Dynamic setting, which provides good sound throughout a variety of listening experiences. When you're sitting down to watch a whole movie or play hours of music, we suggest switching the preset from Dynamic to Music or Movie, as you'll get a more finely tuned experience. If you're constantly switching between kinds of content, leave Dynamic on, as the difference between it and those other settings isn't drastic enough to warrant constant fiddling.
For starters, there's the nearly 8.5 hours of battery life that will get you through a full workday or school day. The hybrid is also highly versatile, transforming among four modes with a quick snap and a twist. Our heat gun recorded 77 degrees Fahrenheit on the touchpad, 81 degrees on the keyboard and 89 degrees on the bottom of the system. If you're willing to spend more and you prefer a bigger display, get the 11-inch Dell Inspiron 11 3000. But if you're looking for a detachable 2-in-1 that has passable performance with great battery life for less than $400, the Switch 10 E is a good bet. Webcam The Aspire R 14's 0.3-megapixel webcam shot dark, noisy photos of me in our well-lit office. My light-pink shirt looked white in the webcam's photos, but the red wall behind me looked accurate.
Battery Life On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous Web surfing over Wi-Fi with the screen at 100 nits of brightness, the Aspire R 14 lasted a solid 8 hours and 37 minutes. We don't necessarily mind that Twitter, Kindle, Netflix and Candy Crush Saga come preinstalled on the Aspire R 14.
But we could do without such bloatware as the WildTangent digital games store, audio editor Music Maker Jam and the Dashlane password manager. Bottom Line More than just a seductive design, the Acer Aspire R 14 ($700 as reviewed) is a solid hybrid with a lot of power under the hood. This 2-in-1 boasts a 6th-generation Core i5 processor that delivers great performance and speakers that pump out excellent audio, and it has enough battery life to outlast its competitors. People looking for a better typing experience should take a good look at the Yoga 700 ($900 as reviewed), which also has a more colorful screen.
However, the Aspire R 14 lasts considerably longer on a charge, and comes with twice as much storage, for $70 less. Acer's stylish 2-in-1 provides a rare opportunity to get more power for less money, and still take home a versatile laptop.

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