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Acer refreshes Aspire line with 5th-gen Intel CPUs and RealSense imaging technology

Gordon Mah Ung | Jan. 5, 2015
Acer may be the big name in Chromebooks today and its former CEO may be known for saber-rattling, but the company still wuv's you, Windows. On the Saturday just before this year's Consumer Electronics Show kicks off in Las Vegas, the company has announced a stable of Wintel boxes (yup, no AMD here). None of the systems is completely new, but their specs have been refreshed in a few key ways. Prices remain a mystery for now.

Two in one? That's for pikers!

Acer's Aspire Switch 12, first introduced last year, is no mere 2-in-1. No, the Switch functions as a laptop, pad, display, tent, and even "desktop" with its magnetic detachable keyboard. OK, maybe that's reaching, but the Switch 12 does get a nice polish in the form of a 5th-generation Core M CPU — the low-power version of Intel's Broadwell, which made its debut late last year.

Unlike the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, the Switch 12 will be truly fanless. Other aspects don't change: There's a 1920x1080 IPS panel protected by Gorilla Glass, and an anti-fingerprint coating.

The last Acer Wintel box getting an upgrade is the Switch R13, which was released last year with a 4th-gen Haswell CPU inside. The Switch R13 will refresh with a 5th-gen part and is otherwise essentially the same as before, with up to six different "modes" including laptop, easel, stand, pad, tent and display. It's a frame-type design, but more versatile than models of years past.

It still has a 13.3-inch IPS panel offered in either 2560x1440 or 1920x1080 and protected with Gorilla Glass 3. The R13 is less than an inch thick and weighs 3 pounds. Storage is definitely beefier than the aging S7's, with up to 1TB of SSD in RAID 0. Battery life is rated at 10 hours for the 1920x1080 model.


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