Acer and Hewlett-Packard are definitely working from a different calendar from the rest of us mere mortals. Back-to-school season usually starts in late summer, but HP dropped a truckload of student-oriented notebooks and convertibles on us yesterday. Acer is jumping onboard today with the announcement of a wide portfolio of back-to-school products ranging from tablets to notebooks to 2-in-1 notebooks to convertibles.
The first of these new products that we will cover is the new Aspire Switch 10 E 2-in-1 notebook. The Switch 10 E comes equipped with a second generation Acer Snap Hinge 2 and a plentiful 30 Whr battery which gives it 12 hours of runtime per charge. The Switch 10 E’s screen features a resolution of 1280x800 and supports 10-point multi-touch. Dual cameras are included (one up front, one in the rear), but both are relatively low-resolution 2MP units. The Switch 10 E weighs 1.39 pounds by itself (tablet mode) and bulks up to 2.82 pounds when the keyboard dock is attached (an optional HDD can also be added to the keyboard dock).
The Aspire Switch 10 ups the 2-in-1 notebook game with a Zero Air Gap Full HD (1920x1200) display. The Switch 10 also includes a 2MP front camera for video conferencing, can be equipped with an optional Acer Active Pen that supports passive and active input, and features 22 Whr battery which is good for 7 hours of uptime. The Switch 10 weighs in at just 1.31 pounds by itself and 2.64 pounds with the keyboard dock.
Both the Switch 10 E and Switch 10 are equipped with quad-core Intel Atom processors paired with 2GB of RAM. They both also include 64GB of onboard storage, two USB 2.0 ports, a micro HDMI port along with Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11n wireless connectivity. The Switch 10 E and Switch 10 come with Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Office 365 Personal preinstalled.
The Acer Aspire Switch 10 E will be available in mid-July at a starting price of $279, while the Aspire Switch 10 will land in August with a price tag of $399.
Moving on to traditional notebooks, Acer is launching Aspire V, E, and ES series products. The Aspire V 15 brings with it a Full HD display, fifth generation Intel Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics, a DVD-RW drive (wait, people still use those?), up to 16GB of RAM, and up to a 2TB hard drive or a 1TB Solid State Hybrid Drive (SSHD).
The Aspire E series is available in 14-inch, 15.6-inch, and 17.3-inch screens sizes and brings with it the latest Intel processors and your choice of NVIDIA GeForce 940M or AMD Radeon R8 graphics (depending on the model selected). Like the Aspire V 15, the Aspire E series can also be equipped with up to 16GB of RAM and a 2TB HDD or 1TB SSHD.
The Aspire ES series is available in five screen sizes ranging from 11.6-inches to 17.3-inches and is powered by Intel Pentium and Celeron processors. They can be configured with up to 8GB of RAM and with up to a 1TB HDD. A DVD-RW is optional with this series.
The Acer Aspire V 15, E series, and ES series will all be available in July starting at $599, $379, and $229 respectively.
Acer is also upping its game in the convertible market with the Aspire R 11. As its name implies the R 11 comes equipped with a 11.6-inch Zero Air Gap display (HD resolution only, no Full HD here). The R 11 features a 360-degree hinge and promises up to 8 hours of battery life. Given its small stature, don’t expect a performance powerhouse — you’ll find an Intel Pentium processor under the hood which can be paired with up to 8GB of RAM and up to a 1TB HDD. You’ll also find an Acer Crystal Eye HD webcam, SD reader, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports along with a full-size HDMI and VGA port (man, that port just won’t die!). The R 11 will ship with Windows 8.1, but of course will receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 once it’s released.
The Acer Aspire R 11 will be released in July with a starting price of $249.
Acer Iconia Tab 10 for Education (L) and Iconia One 8 B1-820 (R)
Finally, we move on to tablets, and Acer has two new models to introduce today. The Iconia Tab 10 for Education comes with a 10.1-inch Full HD display and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop (so long, KitKat) and can last 7.5 hours on a charge. The 1.19-pound tablet is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor (2GB of RAM) and can be preconfigured with 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of onboard storage — a microSD slot can accept an additional 64GB of storage.
Finally, we come to the Iconia One 8 B1-820 which includes an 8-inch HD display that supports both touch input and the optional Acer Accurate Stylus for precision writing/drawing. Like the Iconia Tab 10, the Iconia One 8 B1-820 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, is powered by an Intel Atom processor, and can be had in 16GB and 32GB models. Battery life for the tablet is rated at a respectable 8.5 hours.
The Acer Iconia Tab 10 for Education will arrive in May with a starting price of $299, while the Iconia One 8 B1-820 will be available in July with a low, low starting price of $149.