When Acer CEO Jason Chen showed off the company's latest wearable, the Leap Ware, at Acer's annual conference, the slender looking wrist-wearable looked as though it had promise.
That's often been the case with Acer wearables, however, with the majority of earlier Leap products never then surfacing in the UK for us to get a thorough look in. But, having tinkered with the Leap Ware, that's probably for the best: this so-called smartwatch is a limp rather than a leap into the wearable market.
Acer Leap Ware preview: Design
Let's start with the positives. To look at the Leap Ware has got plenty right. Although there's no definitive specification available at the time of writing, the slender design doesn't protrude excessively from the wrist, making for an easy-on-the-eye appearance.
It's fairly well built, too, with a circular plastic body and metal edging sitting comfortably against the wrist thanks to that snug, slightly stretchy wrist band.
There are two control buttons - the right-hand one when facing which activates a little light to the side of the watch, which is pretty quirky - but the main way to interact with this watch is through its touchscreen.
The screen itself is fully circular, so there's no “flat tyre” black bar cut-off towards the bottom, which is good, but the resolution is low, the colours and dull and the brightness limited so it's not the easiest to see when outside (which is where we played with the preview model).
Acer Leap Ware preview: Software
The biggest issue with the Leap Ware, however, is the slow, slow software. Interacting with the touchscreen feels like dealing with a device many years old given the delay in accessing between screens.
There are plenty of options to select, including push alerts from your phone (iOS and Android) via the Liquid Leap app, music playback, and fitness - which utilises the built-in heart-rate sensor on the rear to assess your stamina, according to Acer.
Without employing a better-known platform like Android Wear, however, we don't think many people will have the patience to get past the slowness of the overall experience.
Sure, the Leap Ware provides plenty of features available at your fingertips - but when the company is delivering true innovations in products like the Predator Triton 700 laptop or Switch 5 2-in-1, it's almost bizarre to see such a low-end delivering in the wearables market.