Acer Switch 7

Discussion in 'Acer (Gateway)' started by dstrauss, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey guys, I got my Switch 7 in. Im an illustrator by trade, so the EMR tech and Nvidia card was tempting, especially given the age of Wacoms in house offerings, and Samsung devices all having either i5's, 8 gigs of ram, or 128 gig HDs, which are all too low for my needs.

    Right off the bat, it's very large. Im used to my old Viao Canvas (now discontinued), which was roughly the same form factor as a 13 inch laptop. This is closer to a 14 - 14.5 form factor, and weighs as much as a standard laptop. Not exactly something you'd want to use in tablet form. Honestly, I'm not sure why it's a full detachable and not a flippy type device.

    The battery life is pretty lame, similar to a gaming laptop. Just web browsing, I get about 4 hours on a charge with straight uninterrupted use. I can squeeze 5 - 6 in battery saving mode with the lowest brightness.

    The performance is fine, and all of its parts benchmark at the 50 - 55th percentile, so perfectly average compared to devices with the same parts. The SSD, although performing within spec, is low quality. Its' fine, it's an SSD, but its no Samsung drive. The DDR3 RAM (to me) isn't an issue, as DDR4 usually only shows advantage in processors with more than 4 cores. Honestly, if Acer didn't botch the launch, this thing would have been a beast a year or two ago, but with whiskey lake options popping up left and right, it's solid, but meh.

    The screen is above average, and gets quite bright. Its enough to do art related work, but for pantone accurate design you'll want a second monitor to color check.

    The pen pressure and feel is great in every app I've tried, and the digitizer feels faaaaar better than my Canvas's N-Trig. The stock pen is almost exactly the same form factor as the Spen, which is too small for me, so I've ordered the zbook x2 pen, I'll update on that later.

    Now for the bad, the side button on the stylus doesn't work. I've tried every driver (there literally are none), update, and firmware I could find. I've also reinstalled windows to no avail. Oddly, the button works just fine when I use it on my Samsung Note phone, so I suspect a software issue. On the Acer forum, there's a Korean dude with the same issue, so Im not the only one. Ive contacted Acer support, and they tell me they believe it's a pen compatibility issue, which I find highly suspect. They are sending me a replacement, and won't elevate the issue until I confirm that the new one also doesn't work. Sadly, if this issue persists, I may have to return it. If anyone else has this machine, let me know if this problem is universal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  2. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    Guys! It wasn't "many years" ago, there weren't even quad-core ULV chips two years ago...Man, is everyone living in a twilight zone on here?! :p

    (But, I totally agree on the OP having to walk-the-walk... ;))

    So many abandoned Z Canvas stragglers here (myself included)...so sad we didn't get that refresh from VAIO. :(

    Thanks for the mini-review @NeedsLoomis!

    (Did you buy from Amazon btw? Was it delivered quick?)

    The DigitalTrends review put the deltaE at <2, are you finding that your panel significantly color shifted?

    Right off the bat, did you try installing the Wacom Feel drivers and see if the pen button is configurable in the Control Panel?

    As a last resort, you could try installing the drivers from another 2nd-gen UD device (HP, Dell or even Samsung). But I suspect the root cause is the side button has been set to "disabled" by the default driver.

    Gargh! I wish I could test this thing out myself. I'd be happy to debug the kinks with you!
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  3. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yeeaap. That wide gamut screen and blazing SSD...hard to say goodby. Too bad mine ripped itself apart from the inside out thanks to a balooning battery or I'd still be using it :(

    Yeap! The control panel options are all there, but do nothing in terms of the button. I tried the feel driver, but it states that there is no compatible hardware installed.

    Oddly, although the control panel options are there, the new windows 10 UI lacks the "Pen Shortcuts" section, and the WISP registry keys are missing.
     
  4. kneehowguys

    kneehowguys Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Many, many years ago.

    Back then, there were motion tablet fans out there.
     
  5. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The accuracy is great! After shifting to D65, I averaged a dE of 0.12, with a max of 2.16, all less than humanly perceptible. It's less a matter of accuracy and more a matter of range in this case. My spectro is getting 90s in sRGB coverage, and high 60s in adobeRGB. IMHO that's desktop level great, and plenty for illustration/painting/design/basic photography. However, for working in multiple profiles, large profiles (ProPhoto etc), or having to deal with corporate level design (CocaCola red), I personally would want a wide gamut monitor pushing high 90s in adobeRGB.

    I tried samsung, but I couldnt find the isolated files, only a driver installer in the form of an .exe that won't run on a non samsung devices :( If you know of the specific dell and HP models with the tech, I'd give it a try!

    Yea man, I wish you were here. Dealing with low level tech support on a product that no one has, suuuper frustrating!
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  6. jbaks

    jbaks Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This was entirely a exaggerated sarcastic remark referencing all of us having to wait so long to find out if it would ever be available in the states.
     
  7. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    This is actually a big deal for me (since I really love the ZC's 90%+ Adobe RGB screen). Coming from the Canvas, do you really notice the color space reduction?

    One thing that I might push me over the edge, is an increase in screen brightness. Can you use the AS7 in indirect sunlight ok? The ZC was just a bit too dim to use outdoors (even adjusting for glare), but I would really like to be able to sketch while traveling.

    There's always the generic Wacom Feel driver you could try. For 3rd party OEM drivers, it's a long shot, but you could try the HP Create Control Panel or the Dell Canvas Pen Driver.

    Perhaps try extracting the installers and manually loading the .inf in Device Manager. It will probably still fail as the .inf usually needs to modified to include the device PID/VID codes.

    I'm sorry I can't be of more help, but if I do get the device, hacking the pen drivers would be one of the my first orders of business on UD 2.0 hardware. ;)
     
  8. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yea, it's def noticeable, which is typical of wide gamuts. Thats not always a bad thing though, depending on your usage.

    For those who arent aware of what we are talking about, a wide gamut screen (like an EIZO or the Canvas) can display such a huge range that telling it show "100% red" is like having that spectrum of the rainbow blasted into your eyeballs. Generally, the reddest red a computer can show might look something like a fire hydrant, so pictures of fire hydrants simply tell the monitor to show the reddest red. On a wide gamut, this can be bad, as suddenly all pictures of fire hydrants look like neon candy land pipes. This is where color profiles come in.

    With a calibration devices (ideally a photospectrometer), you can profile your monitor, and inform apps as to exactly what colors your monitor can display. Then, when you open a proper image of a fire hydrant, your app can calculate how to send that data to the monitor, down sampling to the correct colors.

    On the downside, a wide gamut screen is useless without a calibration tool. It also means that, since some apps will completely ignore your profile (like windows photo viewer and most all games), you'll have to deal with massively over saturated colors everywhere outside of professional apps. An sRGB screen like the Acer will be a much smoother experience in day to day activities, and you won't have to constantly open stuff up in photoshop to see what it's supposed to look like.

    On the other hand, a wide gamut screen means that you have complete control over your artwork. You can use wider image profiles (the box of crayons used to make an image) to create art, and then downsample to smaller profiles like sRGB to see how it will look on a standard monitor, convert the image to YCbCr to see how it would look on a blueray player, or convert the image to a printer profile (any good print shop will provide one) to edit the image for print. Best of all, it gives you professional peace of mind that when the client complains that a color is off or a print looks weird, you know the problem is on their end.

    The Acer, covering roughly all of the sRGB spectrum, and having DeltaEs within spec, is already setup to do digital work to be posted to the web, and basic print, which although not as good as the canvas, is still better than most devices out there!
     
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  9. NeedsLoomis

    NeedsLoomis Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Second post, since I got carried away on the last one.

    I'll have to take it outside and snap some pics! To get full brightness, you'll have to put it on full performance mode, and wreck your limited battery life, but you should be able to squeeze an hour or two in.

    Ok, so I took the advice and managed to force install a feel driver. It shows as a wacom HID device now, and works, but still has the same issues (windows doesn't show any new options, and the actual software says incompatible device). I didnt modify the .inf, which might be the issue with the second part. Beyond art stuff and clumsily using device manager, Im not the most tech savy.

    I did discover one other thing, even without the feel driver, I can get the pen button working in most apps if I rebind it in the popular RadialMenu software. So the OS is getting input...its just not bound to anything??? Is there a registry entry or config file for the "Use pen button as right click equivalent" control panel option? Im curious if manually adding it will fix the issue...

    I really wish I could find anyone else with the device that could check their button :(
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
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  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Wow, tough pre-holiday crowd here. I may have found it

    444 DAYS AGO

    but that was then and this is WAY LATE NOW. If I can't make a go with the Windows Pad (aka Surface Go LTE) I will just wait for the HP Spectre Folio 4k UHD.;)
     
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