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Acer Aspire Switch 10

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What's Hot: Great value for the price, sharp display, versatile keyboard dock, runs full Windows 8.1.

What's Not: It's a small Intel Atom machine, performance is more fast netbook than laptop replacement. Not a lot of internal storage.

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Reviewed June 23, 2014 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Is it just a coincidence that Acer and Asus, two companies that were the gorillas of netbook sales are back with the two most affordable and portable Windows 8.1 transformer style hybrids? We reviewed the Asus Transformer Book TF100 several months ago, and it was then the most affordable 10" to 11.6" tablet with keyboard dock on the market (among current generation full Windows machines). Acer's answer is now shipping: the Acer Aspire Switch 10-- catchy name for a great little PC companion. The Switch 10 starts at $379 for the 32 gig model and you get some nice stuff for the price: a 10.1" IPS touch screen, included keyboard dock, the latest quad core Intel Atom Bay Trail CPU inside and decent looks. We recommend the 64 gig model if you can afford it at $429 list.

Acer Aspire Switch 10

The Switch 10 runs Windows 8.1 32 bit, and that means it can run any PC programs you wish; you know--those .exe programs like Photoshop, Visual Studio and MineCraft. Keep your expectations reasonable though, this isn't an Intel Core CPU and it's not up to the task of compiling 2 million lines of code or encoding 1080p video for export unless you have lots of patience. The Switch 10 is fine for everyday leisure and productivity work with the included MS Office 2013 Home and Student edition, web browsing, streaming video playback, email, editing photos and playing games from the Windows Store. No, it doesn't have the resolution or processing power of Microsoft Surface Pro 2 or Pro 3, but it's around one third the price.

Acer Aspire Switch 10

The tablet has two gigs of DDR3 RAM, a 1.33GHz CPU with Intel HD graphics, 32 or 64 gigs of storage, dual band WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 1366 x 768 display. The tablet has a microSD card slot, micro HDMI, 3.5mm stereo audio and a micro USB port that supports USB host (dongle adapter for USB peripheral not included). The keyboard dock has a full size USB 2.0 port, trackpad... and nothing more. There's no secondary battery, but Acer says they plan to release a version with a hard drive in the dock, which would be handy because internal storage is in short supply.

Acer Aspire Switch 10

 

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Acer Aspire Switch 10 Video Review

 

The display won't win any awards for resolution, but it's actually a very good looking display that's as sharp and colorful as you'd expect from IPS. The zero-gap bonded glass is supposed to reduce reflections, but there's no getting around the fact it's a typical glossy touch screen that does have glare. It's certainly no worse than average, but I wouldn't call it wildly better. It responds well to touch, and given the relatively small size relative to resolution, text is clear and images look good. HD videos likewise look lovely on the panel, and the tablet has enough horsepower to play full HD 1080p video out through HDMI or Miracast wireless display. The panel is also very bright, another bonus for a budget tablet. Sorry, there's no digital pen option with Wacom or N-Trig digitizer, which would raise the cost too much.

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Benchmarks

PCMark 7: 2501

wPrime: 36.05 sec.

Geekbench 3 (32 bit): 958/3061

PCMark 7 benchmark comparison table:

Acer Aspire Switch 10 2501
Asus Transformer Book T100 2323
Lenovo ThinkPad 10 2467
Sony Vaio Tap 11 (1.2GHz Pentium) 3058
Dell Venue 8 Pro 2306
HP Split x2 (Core i3) 3054
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Core i5) 3837
Acer Aspire S7 (Core i7-4500U) 5075
Sony Vaio Duo 13 (Haswell Core i7) 4800
HP Envy x2 Intel Atom dual core 1424
Asus VivoTab TF810C 1256
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 (Core i5) 4427
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 4905


It's hard not to like the Acer Aspire Switch 10: it's reasonably attractive and light, has the latest quad core Intel Atom CPU and a really well designed keyboard dock so you can use it like a netbook or in presentation and tent modes like a Yoga. Better yet, when you just want to use the tablet, you can detach the keyboard for less bulk and weight. While the Switch 10 offers a lot of value for the money and a classier, more versatile design than its direct competitor the Asus Transformer Book T100, it's not an ideal primary PC given the Atom's low-key performance. It does make a great affordable travel buddy for those who don't need to do heavy lifting on the road.

Price: $379 for 32 gigs, $429 for 64 gigs

Website: www.acer.com

Related:

Asus Transformer Book T100 Review

Lenovo ThinkPad 10 Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Review

 

 

Acer Aspire Switch 10

 

Acer Aspire Switch 10

 

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Specs:

Display: 10.1", 1366 x 768 IPS multi-touch display. Intel HD integrated graphics. Micro HDMI port and Miracast wireless display.

Battery: 2 cell Lithium Ion rechargeable, sealed inside. Claimed runtime: 8 hours.

Performance: 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail CPU with Turbo Boost to 1.86GHz. 2 gigs LPDDR3 RAM (not upgradable) and 32 or 64 gigs of eMMC flash storage.

Size: 10.3 x 7.0 x .40 inches. Weight: 1.29 pounds (tablet only), 2.58 lbs. tablet + keyboard.

Camera: 2MP front camera.

Audio: Built-in front-facing stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 + HS.

Software: Windows 8.

Expansion and Ports: 1 microSDXC card slot, micro USB, micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio. 1 USB 2.0 full size port on keyboard dock.

 

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