Acer Aspire Switch 10 review

Is the Acer Aspire Switch 10 the best budget hybrid?

Reasons to buy
  • +

    It's affordable

  • +

    It runs well

  • +

    It's versatile

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Feels cheap

  • -

    Cramped keyboard

  • -

    Top-heavy as a laptop

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This Windows 8.1 laptop/tablet hybrid has a different type of hinge, but is it any good? Find out in our Acer Aspire Switch 10 review

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 is one of the most affordable laptop/tablet hybrids we've seen. At £300, it's a lot cheaper than the Lenovo Yoga 2 11, and Asus Transformer Book Trio. But what do you have to sacrifice? Let's find out.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Size and build

Unsurprisingly for this price, it feels a bit cheap and plasticky. Both the tablet section and the keyboard are quite light though, with the whole package tipping the scales at 585g. That's quite a bit lighter than the Microsoft Surface 2.

It's a little on the portly side - but then these hybrid devices usually are - with dimensions of 261.6x177.1x8.9mm.

The tablet and keyboard halves join with a magnetized hinge. Despite the strong magnet, it is easy to misalign, so it might take a couple of tries to get it right. But once it's in, it's very secure.

The hinge also means you can use the device in different ways, including the 'tent' mode, which sees it stand in an upside down V shape, and with the screen on backwards so the keyboard section acts as a stand. It's nice to have these options, but we found ourselves opting for laptop or tablet mode every time.

One problem is the screen is heavier than the base, so when used in laptop mode on your lap, it tends to tip up.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Features

Windows 8.1 comes as standard, so you get the Live Tiles, as well as the standard PC-style desktop. Connections-wise, there's a microSD card slot, headphone jack, microHDMI port, and a USB port, so you can attach a mouse if you like.

It comes with 32GB or 64GB solid state storage, and a front-facing camera, but no rear-facer.

You also get Acer Portal, which is Acer's own software which lets you access your PC files on your mobile.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Screen

As the name suggests, the Acer Aspire Switch 10 has a 10.1-inch screen, which has a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels. That gives it a ppi count of 155ppi. That's not in the same neighbourhood as the iPad Air's 264ppi Retina display, so photos and movies don't pop from it in quite the same way. But it's fine for everyday tasks.

The screen is responsive enough too, though quite often we had to press the home button just below it a couple of times before it registered.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Performance

For £300, this is no gaming beast, but it handled the relatively intense Asphalt 8: Airborne without any issues. Just don't expect it to handle the most processor-sapping titles around.

The quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom processor kept it running just fine for basic tasks like web browsing and watching video, too. And it zipped through the menus with nary a hitch.

The keyboard keys are a bit small though, so you do find yourself hitting more than one at a time. That's an inevitable compromise on a device of this type. The trackpad is very responsive too, if a bit cramped. Again, it's fine for bashing out emails, but use it for prolonged sessions, and you might find your fingers cramping up.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Battery

Acer says you should get about eight hours out of the two-cell lithium polymer battery, and that was pretty much in keeping with our test. In other words, it should last you a full working day, as long as you're not playing games all day (perish the thought). If you're taking it on an overnight trip, better pack a charger.

Acer Aspire Switch 10: Verdict

The Acer Aspire 10 makes a few compromises: it feels plasticky, the keyboard is cramped, and its innards aren't going to win any awards. But it's perfectly fine for day-to-day computing, either in laptop or tablet mode. And it undercuts most of the competition by some way. If you're after a budget hybrid for basic tasks on the go, look no further.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 release date: Out now

Acer Aspire Switch 10 price: £300