We’re seeing a resurgence of consumer notebooks with discrete graphics for a better PC gaming experience, but Acer took things one step further during IFA 2017 by revealing the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition, a 13.5-inch convertible 2-in-1 device with discrete graphics.
Apart from the discrete GPU, this completely black device (even the tiniest details like the kickstand hinges are colored black) comes with another unique characteristic for a tablet: a liquid cooling system. Acer’s use of that liquid cooling system along with the eighth generation of Intel’s quad-core Core i7 processor not only makes the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition exceptionally slim for a 13.5-inch device but also keeps it absolutely silent. Unfortunately, the combination of modern technological achievements is reflected in the price, which starts at a steep sum of $1,699 for the US market.
As far as discrete graphics go, Nvidia’s MX 150 chipset is questionable for serious gamers since it’s essentially a mobile version of the GT 1030 graphics card. This GPU will ensure a great experience for graphically demanding applications like video editing and video-based presentations but it remains to be seen if this device has the muscle to be considered a “gaming laptop.” That being said, it’s safe to say the Switch 7 Black Edition will exceed expectations compared to other 2-in-1 devices that use Intel integrated graphics.
The liquid cooling system is the most impressive feature of Acer’s new Switch 7 as it is based on clever physics which leads heat away from the components towards the aluminum body, where heat is passively removed from the notebook. The liquid cooling system relies on the power of thermodynamics to circulate hot and cool fluids instead of noisy cooling elements like fans or pumps. This also means the cooling system is much more energy efficient; Acer claims the Switch 7 Black Edition’s battery life is up to 10 hours.
The 13.5-inch IPS display has a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels, although we noticed the screen also offers exceptional brightness and rather vibrant color saturation. That being said, the screen in the pre-production sample at IFA 2017 didn’t offer the best contrast as we’ve seen darker blacks on the screens of other tablets. Still, working with the screen is more than comfortable, whether you are typing or using your finger. The stylus itself could be a bit longer – it resembles the kind that comes with smaller devices like the Galaxy Note. The stylus supports 4096 pressure levels, just like Surface Pro.
When it comes to design, Acer has made an effort to make the Switch 7 modern and innovative enough to suit its price. The built-in kickstand automatically unfolds from the device’s back when it touches a flat surface. Folding and unfolding the display towards the keyboard can easily be performed with just one hand, without the device sliding or shifting in an unwanted direction.
The keyboard has also been improved compared to previous Acer 2-in-1 devices, although we still say the keys are a little too small. Acer compensates for this fact by including much larger palm rest areas compared to other keyboards of this size. The magnets used for connecting the keyboard to the tablet are exceptionally powerful, which provides an important level of security in everyday use. Speaking of security, the fingerprint sensor is located on the display’s rim instead of the keyboard.
To sum up, this is one of the most attractive, powerful and surely the quietest 2-in-1 notebooks to challenge Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the premium price reflects this reality.