Touchscreen tablets are undoubtedly going to be huge this year, and convertible laptops such as the Acer Aspire 1825 are taking advantage by offering a touch-based interface in addition to the standard laptop keyboard and touchpad.
It's not a perfect solution by any means, but one that offers something for everyone.
As a standard laptop, the Acer Aspire 1825 is a well-built and highly-usable machine, with a great keyboard for touch-typing and a sharp, bright screen that is perfect for viewing documents and media.
Conversion to a tablet-like device is quick and simple, with the screen twisting 180 degrees and folding back over the keyboard. Controls in this mode are well implemented, while Acer's TouchPortal software makes great use of the responsive touchscreen.
The low-voltage processor and integrated graphics processor has allowed Acer to build a firm, compact chassis that weighs just 1.7kg, and is great for carrying around.
The excellent battery life reaches almost nine hours, further enhancing the Acer Aspire 1825's portability.
The laptop's compact chassis is unfortunately light on features, with no room for an optical drive.
That low-voltage processor means performance is limited to simple office tasks and resource-light applications, while the integrated graphics rules out any gaming or intensive multimedia action.
The Acer Aspire 1825 may be light, but it's still 1kg heavier than the iPad and consequently a strain to operate one-handed.
Outdoor use is hampered by a reflective screen coating, and the TouchPortal software is no substitute for the thousands of apps available for Apple's device.
In some respects, the Acer Aspire 1825 offers the best of both laptop and tablet worlds.
The device can be held in both hands to watch films, and anyone who hates touchpads can browse their files and media by stroking and prodding the screen directly. Then, when a lengthy email needs to be churned out, the screen can be raised to access the physical keyboard.
However, the huge variety of upcoming tablets offer slimmer, lighter, more desirable options for browsing the web on the move, with the iPad proving superior thanks to its excellent operating system, flawless controls and huge range of apps.
Despite this, the Acer Aspire 1825 is one of the best convertible laptops you can currently buy, and anyone looking for this sort of portable solution should look no further.
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