Tablet PCs have been around for many years now, and it's fair to say that they haven't exactly taken the corporate market by storm. However, with Apple's iPad breathing new life into touch-based devices, that could all be about to change.
The Acer Aspire 1825PT is Acer's latest attempt at a tablet, and aims to offer laptop and tablet functionality in one neat package with a flip-and-twist screen.
First impressions are good. It's small and tastefully designed, and the screen swivels 180 degrees on a small hinge, allowing it to be used as a standard laptop complete with keyboard or in pure tablet mode. When the screen is flipped back on itself, it's not totally dissimilar to the iPad in terms of appearance.
One thing we noticed immediately was that the hinge doesn't hold the screen particularly well. It's not wobbly and swivels smoothly enough, but it takes only a small bump for the screen to fall back on itself when in laptop mode, which could prove awkward when commuting on a bumpy train journey.
Furthermore, it doesn't always lock securely when swivelled round into tablet mode, meaning that it's all too easy to accidentally swivel the display out of position. There is a locking mechanism that's supposed to stop this happening, but it often doesn't engage properly.
And while the screen's glossy coating might make finger swipes blissfully smooth, it also shows up the resulting smudges and attracts reflections, particularly when outdoors.
A nice touch is the built-in accelerometer, which detects how you're holding the tablet and automatically orientates the screen to suit. This can become a little frustrating, however, since it takes only a brief slip of the hand to activate. Returning to the original orientation can then take around five seconds.
The 11.6in widescreen display has a native resolution of 1,366 x 768, and it was somewhat surprising to find that it would recognise only one or two fingers at a time; the majority of new touch-screen laptops are able to handle four-fingered gestures.
This isn't a huge issue, since there are precious few applications that actually make use of three-fingered gestures, let alone four-fingered ones, although this is likely to change in the future.