Price (RRP): $599 for 32GB with keyboard; $699 for 64GB with keyboard;
Acer’s 10 inch Windows tablet hasn’t been updated since Windows 8 first came out, and that was two years ago, so what has Acer been cooking up, and does it have the potential to replace your portable PC?
Inside the Acer Switch 10, it’s very familiar fare, with an Intel Atom powered by the Bay Trail generation (Z3735F) and clocked at 1.3GHz, running alongside 2GB RAM, and 32GB storage. Storage inside the tablet can be upgraded easily via a microSD slot found in this section.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 runs here and is preinstalled, working with connections such as 802.11a/b/g/n for WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and USB over a microUSB port found in the tablet section with a port converter accessory supplied in the box. HDMI is also included on the tablet, found in the form of a microHDMI port on the tablet.
All of these ports as well as the microSD card slot power port can be found on the left-most edge, while the 3.5mm jack for listening can be found on the right edge, sitting above buttons for power, volume rocker, and the Windows button, which has been relocated from the bottom of the screen to the right edge of the tablet.
A screen completes the package, providing a 10.1 inch display and rocking a 1280×800 In-Plane Switching panel protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 3. This screen relies on Zero Air Gap technology to boost viewing performance when more light is hitting the screen, such as use outside.
One camera is also included on the computer, with a 2 megapixel camera built into the front of the tablet section above the screen.
The tablet also arrives with a keyboard section in the box, fitted with an island-key (chiclet) keyboard, touchpad mouse, USB port, and a 500GB hard drive.
Acer’s Switch 10 tablet mounts to this keyboard section by way of docking extrusions, magnets, and a small docking port needed to provide power and functionality to this section.
We haven’t heard much from Acer this year, with the company’s efforts in Australia mostly focused on Google’s operating systems, specifically for the budget Android tablets and the new netbooks of the world, those made to work with Google’s Chromebook OS.
But even though we haven’t heard much from the company, it wants people to know it’s still working on Windows computers for Australia, and even has one ready for the end of the year, with the view to being an option for the school and work year in early 2015.
That model is the Acer Switch 10, a tablet with an apt name, specifically in that it can switch between being a tablet, a laptop, and an entertainment system without needing a button or release mechanism pressed, like so many devices it competes with.
In the hands, the tablet is better built than you might expect, with Acer moving to aluminium for the bulk of the body, giving the tablet a cool feeling at the back, though coming off a little thick, sitting at 8.9mm, which isn’t very thick, but comes off looking like it due to very noticeable edges.