Acer Aspire Switch 10 Hybrid Review

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Design and User Experience

As is the case with most 2-in-1s, the Acer Aspire Switch 10’s main discerning feature is its detachable keyboard. The connector, which uses magnets to hold the display in place, is excellent. We usually avoid marketing speak like “seamless” and “effortless,” but they apply here. We pulled the display off the keyboard and slapped it back on daily during our review process without any trouble. Once the two pieces are attached, the display is as solid as any laptop: you can open and close it without knocking the display loose. 



Another option is to flip the display around and attach it to the keyboard, which makes the Aspire Switch 10 capable of several positions it wouldn’t ordinarily be able to take. With the display flipped, for example, you can put the Switch 10 in “tent mode,” which is an easel-like position. You can also stand the device upright, say on an airplane tray, so that the screen is angled and closer to you.

You can also close the laptop while the display is facing outward (like the Yoga), but that makes for an unnecessarily heavy tablet. After all, you can just yank the display off and it’s now your tablet. As a tablet, the Acer Switch 10 gets the job done. It’s not a fancy device, and the large bezel doesn’t make for as clean a look as you see in some tablets, but the display is responsive and reasonably resistant to fingerprints.


The keyboard is necessarily small, but Acer manages the space well, for the most part. The keys have some space between them, which makes the keyboard feel roomier than it is. The keys themselves provide just enough resistance and make for reasonably comfortable typing. Our only beef is with the space bar, which sits very close to the (slightly elevated) touchpad. We found it a little difficult to press the spacebar without banging our thumbs against the edge of the touchpad.



The Aspire Switch 10 isn’t sexy, but it doesn’t have a cheap look (or feel, for that matter). Acer opted for an aluminum cover and plastic body. Overall, the convertible feels more solid than we expected from such an inexpensive system. That goes for the display when it’s in tablet mode, too. We’re not wild about the port for the power cord. It’s on the side of the display by necessity, but it means that the power cord is up in your field of view when you’re working with the Switch 10 at a desk.


Acer loaded several of its own programs onto the Aspire Switch 10, along with some third-party applications and shortcuts to the download pages for a few more. The Allthecooks Recipes app is interesting (if you cook) and is well-designed for touch devices like the Switch 10. And it doesn’t hurt to have apps like Kindle and Evernote ready to go. But few apps struck us as really sweetening the deal. Acer’s apps, which provide tools for managing files and storing them online, aren’t bad, but again, you probably won’t buy the laptop for any of these apps.
 

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