Acer Aspire Switch 10 Hands-on Preview: A Magnetic Convertible

by Reads (8,323)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAcer showcased its 2014 back to school line this week at its global press conference in New York. Standing out amongst the recently revealed devices was the company’s new convertible laptop, the Acer Aspire Switch 10. Living up to its namesake the 10-inch two-in-one hybrid features a flexible form factor — not unlike Lenovo’s popular Yoga line — with the ability to switch between various modes at a moments notice.

While there are plenty of hybrid convertibles currently on the market , the Acer Aspire Switch 10 sets itself apart with its detachable hinge design. Acer refers to the new design as “Snap Hinge”, which employs magnetic connectors that allow the display and dock to attach without the need of a lock latch. The display can detach to act a standalone tablet; or it can be turned around and placed backwards on the keyboard dock to enter stand mode. From there the device can be turned on its head to enter tent mode or the display can be pushed all the way back to enter tablet mode (while attached to keyboard dock).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANotebook Review’s time with the Acer Aspires Switch 10 was limited, but the new magnetic hinge feels like a marked (and much needed) improvement over other detachable devices. The two prongs securely hold the tablet in place, producing a nice audible pop when locking. Despite the latch-free design the hinge appears sturdy enough to hold the device in place. I was able to hold the Switch 10 from its display and even shake it repeatedly while the dock remained securely attached. Removing the display proves just as easy. Placing light pressure on both the dock and display simultaneously allowed the device to easily separate. Reconnecting the display can a prove a bit trickier, but once the prongs are lined up the pull from the magnets will handle the rest.

The only issue with the magnetic hinge is that it adds weight to the rear-end of the keyboard. With the magnetic hinge and the tablet situated at the back-end of the device, all of the device’s weight is located at its back-end and the Switch 10 feels off-balance in its standard clamshell mode as a result. This shouldn’t prove too serious a problem, but it may make using the Switch 10 as a laptop a bit uncomfortable.

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Minor weight balancing issues aside, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 appears to be a fairly well built machine. Save for the attractive horizontal brushed textured on the display lid, the design is a bit bland sporting a squared uninspired build. While the device may not feature the most eye-catching design, it’s incredibly portable at only 2.54 pounds (1.29 pounds as a standalone tablet) and the tablet felt solid in my hands.. Even when applying solid pressure to the display it held it’s form.

As a budget device the notebook offers components more in line with a Windows 8 tablet than a traditional laptop. The device features an Intel Atom Z3745 processor, with 2GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics and up to 64GB of eMMC memory. Acer will also offer an option with a built-in HDD in the dock, for those that want more storage. With these components users will be able to handle basic word processing and web functions along with less taxing applications like watching movies, but anything more trying will likely push this device to its limits.

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The Acer Aspire Switch 10 features a standard HD resolution (1366 x 768) 10.1-inch display. While the resolution is lower than NBR would have liked , the display still offer IPS quality with Acer’s new “Zero Gap” bonding, which supposedly helps to reduce on-screen glare. Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to test the Switch 10 fully, but the display held up admirably under the various lights and flashes on the conference floor. The display also afforded solid viewing angles with images holding up well past 100 degrees.

With it’s fluid magnetic hinge design and affordable price point the Acer Aspire Switch 10 is shaping up to be a great option for user with limited computing needs who want the flexibility of both a tablet and laptop.

The Switch 10 will be made available starting in late May for $380.


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  1. HiDesertNM

    Hopefully the Atom will give it enough performance. I bought an Acer quad core A6 AMD V5 122P and what a major disappointment. That machine is horridly slow. Had to send that into repairs and they take a long time to get it back to you. Plus they make you pay for shipping for warranty work. In short, Acer has the worst support one could imagine. I thought Toshiba was bad. But Acer takes the cake. I’ve read its a Taiwanese Cultural thing why the support is so bad. In their minds, they sell you a cheap device and expect you just to buy another device once it fails. RMA’s go to a repair site in Temple Texas and once you send it there, you have ZERO control to find out how long etc.. I’ve read too many issues where they take a month and when they send the device back, it’s still has the same problem. This is not just their cheapo stuff either. Many folks with the 1600 dollar S7’s have nightmarish stories with their broken machines. Yes, even 1600 dollar S7’s they will make you pay for shipping for RMA’s even if the device is DOA, brand new.

    Acer can be a great cheap device for many. They are generally a hundred bucks less then a like product from the competition. But that cost savings comes from reduced support. Asus is just as bad which is also a Taiwanese company. Even NBR had issues with the Asus Transformer poor build quality and had to pay 100 dollars under warranty to get a poorly designed power button fixed from Asus. Apparently NBR’s device had the power button jam which keep it powered on. Its a widely reported problem and Asus said it was physical damage not covered under warranty. This is how the Taiwanese support rolls. Believe me, once you buy a Taiwanese device and use their support, you will never purchase from them again. Just read the reviews on the S7 top of the line ACER on Amazon. For me, if companies refuse to stand by their products its better to pay a bit more and move on. But unfortunately, they hit the right price point, and have distributions in places like Walmart so they have no problem selling cheapo systems. They literally don’t care what happens to you once you have a device failure. They just keep selling cheap junk.

  2. HiDesertNM

    After my V5 came back from repairs the extended battery quit working and would not charge. Pretty sure they screwed up the MB when they fixed the device. However, Acer said contact Acer accessories to get a new battery. Well, I just got off phone and they say they don’t make it anymore.. I mean, its only been 6 months since I bought it. I know the battery is still good but I would have to had got a new battery to prove that before Acer would take the machine back. But Accessory support surprised me and will send me a RMA label and will refund the 100 dollars… which surprised me. I know they don’t do that for notebook RMA’s to Texas. Without the extended battery the V5 has horrid battery life. I’m done with it, I will give it to my niece. Worst choice I ever did was buy an Acer product. Again, as I said on the post below, support is so bad with Acer it negates the benefit of saving a few bucks.

  3. icebergwtq

    Nothing here that Asus didn’t do cheaper, lighter, and with at least as high a quality six months ago.