Acer is a company that historically makes value-focused computers and accessories. What does this mean? Well, its products offer acceptable performance at affordable prices.
While some manufacturers put the emphasis on chassis materials or elegance, Acer often opts for cheap-feeling plastic. Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad thing - it gives consumers a choice as to how they spend their money.
Acer has announced a premium Skylake Core M-powered Windows 10 laptop - the Aspire Switch 12 S. On this 2-in-1 notebook, Acer is opting for an anodised aluminum chassis, with integrated 2x2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna. Even the hinge has been updated from prior "Switch" models, with a more aesthetically pleasing design and zinc-alloy charging connectors. Beauty is more than skin deep here, however, as Acer has packed a whole bunch of awesomeness inside too.
"The Aspire Switch 12 S features Thunderbolt 3 on USB-C for ultra-fast charging as well as data and video streaming of up to 40Gbps between devices or to an external HD display, including up to two 4K models simultaneously. Thunderbolt 3 also allows consumers who need even more powerful graphics for gaming to connect an optional Acer Graphics Dock to boost the performance of the Switch 12 S. The advanced Intel RealSense Camera R200 on the rear of the tablet allows Aspire Switch 12 S customers to capture movements for 3D model generating, or 3D scanning for objects or even a whole room", says Acer.
The value-focused manufacturer further explains, "the stunning 4K (3840x2160) or Full HD (1920x1080) 12.5-inch display on the Switch 12 S keeps text, graphics, charts and video sharp and crystal clear. The display also utilises Zero Air Gap and IPS technology for rich and crisp visuals supported by reduced glare and wide viewing angles. Plus, Corning Gorilla Glass delivers a premium visual experience that is strong and scratch-resistant. Acer Vision Care includes Acer BluelightShield for reduced eye strain and Acer Lumiflex for optimised viewing in different lighting conditions.
"In addition, the precise and well-designed keyboard is backlit, so it complements the display and allows it to be used in dim and dark locations easily and accurately for increased productivity".s
As far as memory, only 4GB or 8GB are available. This is a bit disappointing, as power-users buying a premium laptop will probably want 16GB nowadays. Since this is essentially a tablet with keyboard dock, however, upgrading RAM will not be an option. Storage is either 128GB or 256GB which is typical; hopefully Acer adds a 512GB option in the future, though.
For connectivity, the Aspire Switch 12 S also has two USB 3.0 ports and surprisingly, a micro SD card reader. I say surprisingly, because this limits its usefulness with photographers. While some cameras do use micro SD cards (as do smartphones), most use the full-size variant. Of course, you can connect a dongle reader by USB if needed.
The 3.09 pound laptop (1.76 pounds, sans keyboard) will be available in February starting at $1,000. This is only in North America, however, as pricing and availability for other regions will be made available at a later date.