Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-18R3 Highlights -
Pros: Slim and light-weight. Reliable processor for performing everyday tasks.
Cons: Lacks USB 3.0 port. Limited storage and memory. Display lacks Full HD resolution.
With the rise of the 2-in-1 hybrid laptops (where laptops can also be conveniently 'transformed' into a tablet), this market segment has progressively become very competitive. What makes hybrid laptops so appealing is that they offer flexibility. They are thin, light-weight and offer the features of a fully functional laptop along with the added features of a tablet. Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-18R3 is the latest offering from Acer that aims to compete alongside the likes of ASUS Transformer Book T100 or ASUS Taichi 21. As with most hybrid laptops, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 is designed to easily switch between tablet and notebook mode. The 10.1 inch screen can be easily flipped and detached from the keyboard with it's magnetic and latch-less design as per the user's requirement. The aluminium finish plastic body is just 0.35 inches thin and weighs only 1.29 pounds, which makes it look not only attractive but very thin, light-weight and portable as well. Powered by an Intel Atom processor with 2GB of memory, this machine delivers enough performance for daily office productivity and simple multimedia entertainment tasks.
Performance - At the heart of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 is the Intel Atom Z3745 1.33 GHz processor with a Burst frequency of 1.86 GHz. It is a relatively new processor launched in 2014 specifically designed for tablets and has 4 cores resulting in efficient multitasking when compared to dual core processors. You can expect this processor to be slower than a laptop or a traditional desktop with dual cores. Nevertheless, the processor is adequate for everyday tasks such as internet browsing or office productivity, but not for very resource heavy applications or playing modern games.
Storage & Memory - The laptop hybrid comes with a 2GB LPDDR3 memory and 32GB SSD (Solid State Drive) internal storage. The LPDDR3 is a type of memory specifically used in mobile devices and offers a higher data rate, greater bandwidth and power efficiency, and higher memory density. Devices using LPDDR3 include the 2013 Macbook Air, iPhone 5S and Samsung Galaxy S4. The 2GB of memory is sufficient for the types of activities a typical user would perform on this laptop (including light multitasking). The storage uses SSD technology which improves overall performance and boot-time. To some users, 32GB may not be enough but the laptop does have a micro USB slot for expansion and connecting to an external hard drive.
Display, Graphics & Sound - The laptop features a 10.1 inch touchscreen display with IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. The wide viewing angle of up to 178 degrees ensures images and color are bright and consistent even when viewing the screen from the side. However, the display is not full HD but it supports a resolution of 1366x768 pixels. Overall the display is pretty sharp and consistent. The processor integrated Intel HD Graphics is sufficient for a laptop hybrid. Video and movie playback is smooth and less demanding games will have no issues running on this laptop. Also, the front facing stereo speakers provide good sound quality.
Battery - The 2-cell lithium polymer battery is advertised as offering up to 8 hours of battery life. But some users have noted they get an average of 6 hours of battery life after typical use.
Operating System - Windows 8.1
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The left side of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 features a headphone/microphone jack, power button and volume button. In the front, there is a built in microphone and a two mega-pixel front facing camera. On the right side there is a microphone port, microSD card slot, micro USB 2.0 port, micro HDMI, and a separate charging port. Additionally, the detachable keyboard features a USB 2.0 port. The network connectivity options include 802.11a/b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 4.0. The laptop measures 10.30 x 6.97 x 0.35 inches and weighs 1.29 pounds.
Acer has done a great job with the Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-18R3. Although their selling point is the different modes with which you can use the laptop (laptop, tablet, tent and flip display modes), we think they are understating other great features this laptop contains. The processor is quick and fast, the design is modern and attractive and it will have no problems streaming videos, movies or even playing some 3D games. Our only disappointment is with the lack of a full HD screen and the lack of limited storage. Otherwise, for the price of less than $400, we think it's a winner. Please note, there is a 64GB version of this laptop available too, for users looking for bigger storage capabilities.