Acer is all set to go with its new Travelmate X313. Packing an Intel Core i3-3229Y processor, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD, this tablet looks impressive on paper. Is there really room for another expensive Windows tablet, or does the X313 share the failings of its competitors?
The Travelmate X313 convertible includes a bundled wireless keyboard case designed to look like a leather journal. Snapping the X313 into the case is a cinch, but removing it can be a pain, as there’s no easy way to pry the device away from the plastic tabs holding it in place. The case also acts as a stand, propping the tablet up to create a pseudo-laptop mode.
The tablet can be used outside the case, of course, but once free, the X313 offers little to distinguish itself. In fact, its unibody chassis looks almost identical to the Iconia W700. The Core i3-3229Y found in the Travelmate X313 is clocked at 1.4 GHz and, like other Core i3 processors, but doesn’t feature Turboboost.
The X313 features three buttons on its chassis. One is the Windows button, located front and center below the display. The other two are power and volume, which are located on the right flank when the tablet is held in landscape mode. We found that users with large hands sometimes can accidentally activate the extremely large volume control when holding the tablet in a comfortable position, but discovered no other ergonomic issues.
As for ports, USB 3.0, mini-HDMI and a headphone jack can be found on the Travelmate’s left side. While the X313′s case includes a keyboard, Acer has opted for an extremely thin design to minimize bulk and weight. A good keyboard provides keys that offers tactile feedback when a key is pressed, a layout that makes keys easy to use without looking at them, and a back-light with several brightness settings. The Travelmate’s case offers none of these qualities. While certainly usable in a pinch, the keyboard case is inferior to virtually every laptop ever made. It doesn’t even include a row of function keys.
There’s no touchpad, either, so Windows must be navigated via the touchscreen, you plug in a mouse. An external mouse is highly recommended when using the X313 as a laptop.
The first thing we noticed about the X313’s 1366×768 display is that it’s bright. In fact, it’s reallybright. The backlight outputs up to 433 lux, the third-highest result we’ve ever recorded.
This means the display can be used in a wide range of conditions, as any reflections visible on the glossy panel are simply overpowered. The bright backlight also contributed to an excellent contrast ratio of 710:1. Black levels are just average, though, so dark scenes suffer from a grayish hue.
The built-in speakers generate a surprisingly high level of volume and reasonable sound quality as well, though the mid-range is distorted at higher volumes.
Packing the Travelmate is a cinch thanks to the case, which bundles the X313 and its keyboard into one small package that weighs a tad more than two pounds combined. A backpack can easily swallow this system, power adapter included. Even a large purse would be more than up for the task.
At idle, the Travelmate X313 behaves like most convertibles and Ultrabooks. The fan is barely audible, and external temperatures hover around 85 degrees Fahrenheit. External temperatures drop by a few degrees when the tablet is taken out of its case.
Putting the system under heavy load with the tablet inside its case increased fan noise to a moderate 44.2 decibels. Heat increased to 95.3 degrees, which is warm enough to notice but not hot enough to make the X313 uncomfortable to use.
- Thin and light
- Keyboard case included
- 128GB hard drive
- Only one USB
- Performance does not impress
- Display is only 1366×768
- Merely adequate battery life four hours and forty-two minutes..
- $949 base MSRP is too much