We test out Acer’s snazzy new tablet/laptop hybrid, the Aspire Switch 10, to see if it’s a worthy Windows 8.1 device.
If you’re always on the road and always swapping between a tablet and a laptop – or wishing you really had both – the Acer Aspire Switch 10 could be your perfect portable pal. This 10.1-inch tablet connects to a bundled keyboard dock in a variety of ways, giving you full flexibility – although the specs are pretty mid-range, so don’t expect anything to rival Microsoft’s Surface Pro.
Acer unveiled the Aspire Switch 10 at its huge New York launch today, and it was definitely the most intriguing bit of kit we saw, barring the Leap wrist band. At its beating heart is a 10.1-inch tablet running Windows 8.1, but it connects quickly and easily to a magnetic keyboard dock to form a whole new device.
The tablet and keyboard are formed of plastic, but feel rugged enough to take a good few knocks without worry. The tablet itself is just over half a kilo, so while not as lightweight as the Apple iPad Air or Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, the Switch 10 is still comfortable to clutch one-handed.
That 10.1-inch screen is pleasingly bright, producing natural colours, although the 1366 x 768 pixel resolution won’t make the most of any high-def movies you watch. The Microsoft Surface 2 is a better bet if you’re a movie fiend looking for a hybrid, as it boasts a Full HD display. Still, viewing angles are strong enough for two of you to crowd around and watch a movie, helped by the size of the screen. The ‘zero air gap’ design means that the screen doesn’t seem sunken either, and lies almost level with the glass.
The four guises of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 tablet/laptop hybrid
The tablet is a bit of a chunky beast despite being easy to carry, but that leaves plenty of room on the edge for ports – you get the usual memory card slot and micro USB ports, plus mini HDMI for hooking up to a telly, projector and so on. Great news if you like giving presentations, or simply boring friends to death with holiday slideshows.
So what about that keyboard dock? Well, as long as you don’t mind typing on a compact board, it’s comfortable enough to get a decent typing speed up. There’s enough space dedicated to the main keys so they’re difficult to miss, and we think we could bash away on this board for a few hours without suffering any major hand cramp.
Our full Acer Aspire Switch 10 review is coming soon!