The market for 2-in-1 convertibles (tablet and laptop) continues to grow thanks to the increasingly powerful and versatile proposals of manufacturers such as Acer. They are devices that no longer only offer the option of carrying our documents and managing them anywhere. Now they also offer better features for leisure, more comfort to work on any surface and options for any type of user. Whether you need a keyboard or not. The Acer Switch 5 is one of those convertibles that manages to carry all this in a really portable device , elegant and, most importantly, powerful enough.
We find a 12-inch tablet-laptop with metallic finishes and an elegant design. It is powerful for browsing multiple Internet pages while writing documents like this review and taking advantage of photo editing programs, all at the same time. Something to thank for its latest generation Intel Core i7 processor and its 8 GB of RAM . All this with an autonomy of about 10 hours. A silent device that makes use of liquid cooling technology that makes it silent.
And we do not forget the peripherals that accompany it: an ergonomic keyboard-sleeve on which writing has little or nothing to envy a larger laptop, and a stylus that further expands the possibilities of this device. Slides, design, drawing or writing are carried out in a really comfortable way, with a work rhythm that is not disturbed by detaching or connecting the keyboard.
Acer Switch 5 datasheet
|screen||12 ″, 2,160 x 1,440 pixel QHD (10-point multitouch)|
|Main chamber||1 megapixel (1,600 x 1,200 pixels) AF|
|Camera for selfies||1 megapixel|
|Internal memory||512GB solid hard drive|
|Extension||Via USB or external hard drives|
|Processor and RAM||Two cores 2.7 GHz, 8 GB|
|Battery||Two 4,870 mAh cells, full charge in about two hours|
|Operating system||Windows 10 Home|
|Connections||Bluetooth, GPS, USB Type-C, USB 3.0, fingerprint reader|
|Dimensions||292.90mm x 201.80mm x 9.60mm (0.9kg in tablet mode and 1.27kg in laptop mode)|
|Featured Features||Fingerprint unlock, liquid cooling, retractable folding stand, use of stylus, brightness sensor|
Now, all this equipment, in addition to other issues that we detail in this analysis, has a cost. Its price is 1,400 euros . One more sign that the product is focused on the professional area or those users who need a really comfortable, small and capable device to work, draw or enjoy leisure anywhere. But we are going to tell you about our experience with the Acer Switch 5 ...
Elegant and useful design
It is the key point of this device, we have no doubt. And it is that years ago nobody would have imagined that typing on a keyboard-case would imitate the sensations of a complete and robust laptop so well. Or that a thin and light tablet offered enough power to work like an office desktop computer. The Acer Switch 5 does all of this, and also does it elegantly for many of its design details.
We appreciate issues such as the rough finish of its edges, its bevel and its metal body . Its back is simple, flat and without drawings or marks beyond the Acer logo. Only the camera in the upper left corner breaks the minimalism of the design, although it fits perfectly. Its front has the 12-inch screen with frames less than 2 centimeters and the classic look of a tablet. All this in a body of 292.90 mm x 201.80 mm x 9.60 mm and that does not exceed 0.9 kg in weight in its tablet version . That is, without the keyboard. And of 1.27 kg if we add all the peripherals that arrive in the box (pencil and keyboard).
But the design stands out, above all, the tab that acts as a base for the tablet. It is U-shaped and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the body of the device. So much so that sometimes it can be difficult to find a burr to pull said support and extend it. It is retractable and automatic. That is, it has a standard position that keeps the screen upright and almost vertical, but we can gently push it to tilt it up to 165 degrees. All this with a robustness that has conquered us. And is that the screen moves and shakes less than in a laptop to use, and the position is fixed despite being able to retract this base just by pulling the screen towards us to that fixed initial position. You just have to push the base with some resistance towards its initial position to incorporate it into the body of the tablet, whereit does not stand out or break from the overall design .
In our experience we have been able to write on any type of flat surface without problems. Glass, wood, plastic ”¦ nowhere does it slip or make us fear for the integrity of the device. It has been especially useful for us to write on low tables, or to watch movies on any surface with comfort. By tilting it at any angle, we've avoided reflections and incomplete viewing. We are not dedicated to drawing or design, but having a screen with such versatility in terms of inclination and with positions that do not alter slightly , has to be really comfortable for this work.
Peripherals to match
This 2-in-1 from Acer arrives prepared for any type of task right out of the box, and it is accompanied by the aforementioned keyboard-cover , very useful for moving it anywhere and to use it in laptop mode, and a pencil optical or stylus capable of taking advantage of its easel position to draw or write as if it were a canvas. But let's take a closer look at our experience with these elements.
There are few negative things to say about the keyboard. It is a semi-rigid cover that is used as a full keyboard and as a protective surface for the screen of the Acer Switch 5 when it is transported folded . The surface of this keyboard is velvety, which makes it soft to the touch and adds personality to the finish of the device. But what we have enjoyed the most have been its chiclet-type keys. It is a complete keyboard that allows us to write as if we were in front of a laptop in use.
The keys have some travel, and their stiffness means that we almost always know if we have pressed hard enough to make the letters appear on the screen. All this, in addition, backlit, allowing us to write in any situation without problems or errors in the keystrokes. Its touchpad or trackpad is also up to the task , with the option to customize and adjust its sensitivity from Windows settings. After making some changes to the menu, we can forget about the physical mouse.
If we have to take any problem with this keyboard, it is that, after a few seconds in disuse, it automatically turns off. This forces us to press a key or the trackpad and then use it again. An experience that can frustrate us if we use this element intermittently, since sometimes we will lose keystrokes in our writing just to activate it again. For the rest, the sensations are those of being in front of a laptop keyboard in use , with function keys to control the entire device without pressing the touch screen. Even more so when its double magnetic bar allows the upper part to be raised slightly to offer a more ergonomic position for writing.
Regarding the touch pen, it is necessary to highlight the fluidity with which it travels and transmits the line to the screen . It's a very similar feeling to using a really fluid gel pen on paper. The stylus that Acer includes in its computer has two buttons, and we are struck by the fact that it includes a small AAA battery to provide power to this peripheral. With these two buttons, depending on the drawing tool used, we are allowed to switch between different types of brushes, pencil and eraser or other similar options without wasting time. It is an elegant pencil in design, simple and very robust, so it perfectly matches the general appearance of the device. In addition, in the box, it comes with a replacement tip in case an intensive use wears out the original tip that comes standard.
By the way, the keyboard has a side support in which to insert and anchor the stylus to carry all the equipment together comfortably. A success for the design and the experience in the transport of the Acer Switch 5.
Work and leisure, two in one
Although the Acer Switch 5 is focused on the professional field, both for product price and for design and power, it is still a tablet with support to take advantage of it as a screen for playing movies and series . And it is that its 12 inches of panel give rise to a most satisfactory experience when used individually, falling somewhat short if we want to see films or slides with more people. The technology is IPS, which offers us great brightness, something that has surprised us in our own experience. And is that raising the brightness to the maximum indoors can even be annoying, so that, outdoors, it solves without any problem. We remember that it is a touch screen that detects up to 10 keystrokes at the same time.
The screen is one of the strengths of the Acer Switch 5, not only for being one of the basic tools in case of using this 2-in-1 only as a tablet, but also for the image quality achieved. Its 12 inches offer images at a maximum resolution of QHD, that is, 2,160 x 1,440 pixels, twice the FullHD quality, something that those who are dedicated to design or drawing will appreciate especially. Of course our experience has been more than satisfactory for the reproduction of documents and films, with plenty of brightness for their correct viewing both indoors and outdoors. Although we have not liked so much that the Windows interface is so reduced, since it makes it difficult for us to click on icons in the toolbar, or discern the notifications and warnings that may arise from a distance.
But to be able to enjoy the whole experience, a team like this needs a processor capable of moving all this content without getting stuck with that high screen resolution. And the Intel Core i7-7500U dual-core processorthat incorporates the Acer Switch 5 model that we have tested has shown it. Yes, only two cores, but they move at 2.7 Ghz clock speed, which goes well with the notebooks themselves. And it gives you enough potential to move office programs like Word, Excel or PowerPoint, but also to take advantage of more demanding tools like Photoshop. In our experience we have hardly suffered stoppages. Only in some occasions when we have detached or attached the keyboard and the system has had to adapt to tablet or computer mode. But we have been able to carry out the work of a newsroom without problems or traffic jams. Now, it's not a gaming device, so rule out video games as a viable option that works smoothly.
Of course, having 8 GB of RAM offers a smooth experience. Something that we verify when navigating through the folders and menus of the Windows 10 Home system that comes standard. There are no stalls, no maddening charges, and no sharp slowdowns. Something that is to be appreciated. In addition, its solid-type 512GB hard drive also helps speed up the device itself. It is only necessary to wait two seconds for the Acer Switch 5 to turn on and show operational to start working with it.
We say that it is a device for both work and leisure thanks to its versatility. Undocking the keyboard allows us to instantly jump to tablet mode, controlling everything with the touch screen and transporting the device in a lighter way, although without protecting the front. The base also offers us vertical positions (resting the tablet on the side) if necessary. The system, thanks to the included sensors, recognizes the position and adapts the contents to display them vertically. Handy for reading documents, for example. All this, always offering a sound quality worthy of the most advanced mobile devices thanks to the technologies included by Acer. There are only two speakers but that, with Acer Smart Amplifier technology that improves sound output and with Acer TrueHarmony.All thisit avoids canned sound and also delivers defined highs and lows . Something that has made us do without headphones in our experience as a tablet to watch movies.
In case you want to go back to laptop mode to type or use the trackpad instead of the touch screen, the magnetic keyboard attaches quickly and tightly . In addition, it should be noted that it has a second magnetic strip that allows the upper part of it to be raised slightly. This ensures that the keyboard is in an ergonomic position and not flat on the surface, making typing even more pleasant and avoiding wrist or finger pain if used for a long time.
Fingerprint reader and other extra functions
But the Acer Switch 5 does not come only with power and design to make work or leisure more comfortable and attractive. Its complete connectivity section and its extended functions make it a device that goes beyond its main objective . Something that we have discovered during our days of experience with him.
For example, if we want to give an extra security to the equipment, beyond our account and password, we can use the fingerprint to turn on and unlock the Acer Switch 5. Thanks to the Windows Hello system of Windows 10 and the included fingerprint reader on the power button, we can use our yolk for this purpose. A detail that, again, focuses this product towards the professional field, where the security of the documents contained can be vital.
The multimedia aspects included do not go unnoticed either. Like any tablet or laptop worth its salt, it includes a microphone system capable of noise cancellation so that video calls or audio messages sent through the Acer Switch 5 are clear and crisp. Two cameras are also included , one back and one front. Both sensors are 1 megapixel, with the difference that the rear camera has automatic focus. The resulting images are 1,600 x 1,200 pixels, so they offer quality to spare for video calls or to capture some detail. We have not had any problem when it comes to taking pictures or video calling colleagues. Of course, the more light the better visual results.
Apart from this, and as usual in Acer equipment, this 2 in 1 comes loaded with the company's own tools. We are talking about programs that tend to go unnoticed and that focus on offering content recovery options , direct access to device documents or a management tool for the good health of the device.
Silent thanks to liquid cooling
If you wonder how to get the Acer Switch 5 be a tablet as powerful without requiring the components and, therefore, space and volume of a laptop to use, there is a rapid response: the liquid cooling . And, of course, take advantage of technological advances in the development of integrated and smaller chips and components.
Acer has included the LiquidLoop system inside this Switch 5 . It is a cooling system that takes advantage of the principles of evaporation and condensation of liquids to collect heat from internal components and expel them to the outside. All this thanks to the metallic structure of the body of the Switch 5 that is responsible for dissipating this heat. So yes, the body of this 2-in-1 does get slightly warm during use. However, if it is used on its base, as is the usual trend, we will avoid bringing this heat to the surface of the table or to our lap. In any case, after several hours of use, this heat has not been a bother to us, compared to the heat that a mobile can collect when constantly using the GPS or when it is charging and being used.
But the best thing is that this cooling system completely dispenses with fans, which makes this device really quiet . We will hardly hear the usual electronic noises from other similar devices. In addition, dust that deteriorates internal components is not collected in the air currents generated by systems with bladed fans.
Autonomy and price
We have no complaints about the autonomy of this Acer Switch 5. Of course to say that it has more than 10 hours of autonomy, as the brand claims, is to throw the two 4,870 mAh cells that the tablet includes under its belt . However, if we use it not too intensively and we know how to save energy by lowering the brightness of the screen or indicating that we prefer efficiency to performance, it is very possible that it will last the entire working day without problems. Something that allows us to take advantage of its virtues during a long trip, for example. Of course, if we keep all the connections active, the brightness at maximum and a high performance with demanding programs, it is possible that the duration will be reduced to about 5 hours.
We have not been convinced that a fast charging system is not included as it happens in current mobiles. And it would offer a really useful and practical service to the whole device to avoid having to transport it with the charger. Which, on the other hand, is not too big or heavy.
All this, as we said at the beginning of the analysis, carries a price. The equipment that has passed through our hands, which is the one with the most complete and advanced configuration, has a price of 1,400 euros , although if you search well it is possible to find it at a lower price.
The Acer Switch 5 is a great device. It makes a dream come true just a few years ago to take a powerful and lightweight laptop or tablet anywhere. In fact, it goes one step further in that direction. And is that not only the design is practical offering the experience of a good tablet or a good laptop depending on whether or not we attach the magnetic keyboard, but the user experience is improved. We refer to details such as the elevated position of the keyboard, the fingerprint reader included in the off button, the inclusion of a stylus in the equipment, good sound quality for its two speakers, etc. Elements that multiply the options of this device beyond being a portable office. All this with a really practical base and a power that helps to carry out any task without problems. Of course, with aprice in accordance with all these possibilities and additions .
The design and its retractable base
Large display for work and play
Power and solvency
It can be better
Keyboard shuts down too fast and requires double tap to activate
A full device case would be appreciated
Windows interface somewhat reduced that hinders its use of touch