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Acer Switch 10 review: Right idea, wrong execution

Michelle Mastin | July 30, 2014
Acer tries to do Lenovo's Yoga-series laptops one better with its Switch 10: This 2-in-1 can fold into tent, presentation and tablet modes just like those famous convertibles. But Acer's 10-inch display can be completely detached from its keyboard dock to transform it into a true tablet.

Less-than-dazzling performance

The rest of the Switch 10's specs are standard for the lower end of the tablet range. Acer picked an Intel Atom Z3745 (Bay Trail-class) CPU and paired it with 2GB of DDR3/1066 memory. A 64GB eMMC drive is provided for storage, which can be supplemented by a MicroSD card. Acer also offers a less-expensive model with only 32GB of storage, but that's really pushing it for a machine running Windows 8.1.

With standard specs comes average performance. The tablet is perfectly acceptable in day-to-day usage, but my usage is not particularly demanding: Email, web browsing, YouTube and Netflix, and Office tasks all worked smoothly. The Switch 10 outperformed the Lenovo Yoga 2 11 and the HP Pavilion x360 on the PCMark 8: Office benchmark by virtue of its flash storage, not because it's inherently more powerful.

Both of those machines have mechanical hard drives, but faster CPUs, so both of them earned a higher Laptop WorldBench scores. And that makes it doubly disappointing that the Acer's battery died seven minutes sooner than the Lenovo's did (the Pavilion x360's less-than-3.5 hours of battery life, for what it's worth, is just atrocious).

Buy one, or keep shopping?

If a 2-in-1 with a detachable display is what you crave, I'd suggest taking a look at the Asus Transformer  Book T100. It's a little thicker, but it weighs about the same. More importantly, it has a better keyboard, and the 64GB model is street-priced the same as the 32GB model of the Acer Switch 10. The 64GB version of the Switch 10 reviewed here costs $80 more.


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