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REVIEW Who Said A Tough Notebook Can’t Be Light & Durable, New Acer 14″ Enduro Urban

Who’s the target audience for a really tough ruggedised notebook that’s slim and stylish apart from the young who tend to hammer notebooks in backpacks at the best of times?

According to Acer who has a brand new 1.86kilo Enduro Urban notebook, it’s anyone who wants a really tough notebook that can stand up to water spills, be used in environments that are a million miles away from a home or an office desk, without it being a brick that is heavy to lug around.

This new Acer offering which is significantly lighter than other tough notebooks we have tested, is more at home in a trade’s truck, stuck down a manhole with a telco engineer, or out on a Woodside rig in Western Australia, according to Acer management, who believe there is a market for a stylish yet rugged notebook which is easy to carry around unlike a lot of other ruggedised notebooks.

The first thing I noticed with the Acer Enduro Urban was the ribbed lid and the weight along with the ice blue colour.

It’s significantly lighter than what I was expecting, and it looks good unlike a lot of other tough notebooks that tend to be bulky and in need of a handle to carry around.

This new Acer Enduro Urban N3, is a seriously rugged 14-inch notebook and the one I tested had an Intel 11th Gen Core i7 processor, Nvidia GeForce MX330 GPU, and 16GB of RAM. It also came installed with Windows 10 Pro.

The display is 1920 X 1080, it’s bright which is ideal for anyone who is using a notebook to run a video or follow instructions in poor light.

Take a naval or even a mining engineers who get instructions as to how to fix a problem via a video download.

The problem could be a pump in an awkward location, the speed of the processor in the Enduro Urban, coupled with the excellent display makes this product an excellent tool in this type of trade environment.

Or alternatively, you if are on and off construction sites every day and want to pull up the latest plans for a job along with a CAD overlay video, this notebook is an ideal solution without having to worry about the durability of the notebook you are using because it meets MIL-STD-810H durability standards and features IP53 dust and water resistance technology, it can also withstand a 2 metre drop, also offers 360 antimicrobial protection.

The waterproof design covers its ports, speakers, buttons, and Acer’s waterproof Aquafan drainage system. This means the laptop can get drenched via a spilt liquid without it affecting the device.

The i7 Intel process in this notebook is fast as we found out when streaming content and panning through a 50-page PDF of plans for a new building and when opening complex 3D CAD drawings that took one on a journey through a building.

I am still testing the battery life but so far we are looking at between 8 and 9 hours and this is with the 14-inch FHD display delivering 450 nits of brightness.

You can also recharge this notebook fully in 90 minutes.

I actually want to use this device for several days, because in the past we have found that the more you use a notebook the battery life can vary from day to day.

I am a writer, so a keyboard is important to me. With most trade professionals a keyboard is secondary to toughness and rigidity, despite this I was impressed with how good the keyboard is.

Also on board is a smart card reader, fingerprint login, and Windows Hello support.

Missing, and I found this annoying was a touch screen, which would come in handy for anyone using this notebook in a tight spot.

I recommend that you hook up a cheap Bluetooth mouse as using a touch keypad can a pain especially if you have greasy hands.

The 14-inch FHD touch display rotates 360 degrees and comes with LTE support for on-to-go connectivity.

Attach wise you get USB-C, Thunderbolt 4, and RJ-45 Ethernet as well as HDMI.

Most of the chassis is made out of plastic, and this is a big plus because it’s allowed Acer to deliver a tough notebook that is significantly lighter than their rivals without compromising on rigidity. I also suspect that it takes knocks better than, other materials such as magnesium.

Due to the MIL-STD-810H certification and an IP53 rating, coupled with the four corners of the laptop being reinforced with rubber impact corners to minimise damage.

Conclusion

At $2,299 for the Intel i7 model or $1,899 for the Intel i5 model you are getting an excellent notebook that ticks the box on several fronts. It’s not only durable as I did accidently drop it on a concrete floor with no problems.

it’s also a performance machine, that delivers a brightness to screen that makes looking at plans and drawing while also watching a video a lot easier than several other more expensive notebooks.

My biggest gripe is the lack of a touch screen which is not surprising considering the price of the 14” Acer Enduro Urban.

Rating 9/10

 



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