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Acer updates Aspire R7 with Active Pen stylus and Haswell processors in time for IFA debut

When Acer unveiled the Acer Aspire R7, the laptop's innovative design turned heads as well as raised eyebrows. This year, the new R7 is not quite as exciting, but it does update the CPU and bundle in the new Acer Active pen.

Acer also adds touch functionality to its budget Aspire E1 series.

The Aspire R7's updates are mostly internal. It's now available with Intel's fourth-generation (Haswell) processors. It can also be configured with up to 12GB of RAM, up to either a 1TB hard drive or 256GB solid-state drive, and a full-size backlit keyboard.

The laptop also comes bundled with Acer's new Active Pen. The Acer Active Pen is meant to be used on the Aspire R7's touch-screen display. It utilises electromagnetic induction technology, and according to Acer, it mimics an actual pen, which the company claims results in more natural writing.

Otherwise, like its previous iteration, the newest Aspire R7 still features the Ezel hinge design. The Ezel hinge is a flexible strip anchoring the display, which allows it to sit vertically on the base, lie flat over it, or be flipped 180 degrees to float over the keyboard in "Ezel" mode. The laptop also still features an auto-reverse audio interface that moves the sound in whatever way the screen is oriented. And the IPS (In-Plane Switching) display still has a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution and 10-finger touch functionality.

Acer has also updated the Aspire E1 laptops with Intel's fourth-generation CPUs or AMDs A-Series APUs and touch-screen displays. The E1 series is available in two screen sizes — 14in and 15.6in — and also offers a selection of GPU options. Acer also adds several colour options for the chassis, including Clarinet Black, Cherry Red, and Steel Grey. It features a chiclet-style keyboard and an HDMI port.

Pricing and shipping dates for the Aspire R7 and E1 Series were not available as of this writing.