This is either brilliant or absolutely insane. Acer's new R7 ultrabook is the weirdest change to laptop design in years.
For our hands-on look at the R7 today, head here.
The R7 switches the touchpad and keyboard placement on laptop's body, with the keyboard in front of the touchpad. This is to make using touch with Windows 8 easier, with the hinge actually working like an easel, sort of like the Sony Duo 11 or an old iMac, so it can come closer to you, covering up the touchpad at times, and make itself more touchable.
The guts are standard Ultrabook. It's got a "Full HD" screen (1080p) and since it's out in May, will be shipping with third generation Intel Core chips, but will presumably get a bump to 4th gen Haswell once those are out.
Acer's design has been right near the top of the industry for a little bit now. The S7, the 13-inch but especially the 11-inch, was beautiful. It had a few usability issues, but it was hugely encouraging as far as good design coming to Windows goes. We'll get a chance to use the R7 a bit after Acer's press conference wraps up, so we'll let you know if this is a good design shift or just batshit insane, but just the creativity alone is refreshing.
Acer also announced the P3, which is an ultrabook/tablet convertible, and an update to its Iconia tablet line with a 7.9-inch IPS screen.
The R7 will be out on May 14th in the US at Best Buy. For a more detailed look, check out our hands-on here.