New Acer Surface Challenger - Aspire Switch 12 S Hybrid

Discussion in 'Acer (Gateway)' started by magnum2107, Jan 4, 2016.

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  1. magnum2107

    magnum2107 Scribbler - Standard Member

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  2. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    While it's 'Alpha' sibling has been getting all the attention recently (arguably justified), some reviews for the Switch 12 S have appeared last month, sadly missing any remarks on pen performance:



    Hands down, this is the best 2-in-1 device Acer has ever built, although we weren’t able to complete the full set of tests for our final verdict. We would like to see how the CPU performs given the form factor of the product and how long will the battery last in our tests.

    Anyway, from a design standpoint, the product looks polished, refined and elegant while the choice of materials make it exceptionally sturdy. We are also extremely satisfied by the touchpad and keyboard experience, especially when considering the form factor of the device. And with all the connectivity options, the device turns into a full-sized laptop with all the features that come with it.

    The screen appears to be excellent with high contrast, extra bright panel and fairly accurate color reproduction and color temperature but results from our tests indicate poor sRGB gamut coverage. However, the absence of PWM kind of compensates for that so you can rest assured that the tablet can be used around the clock without feeling tired. The BluelightShield also brings other health-related benefits as we discussed earlier.

    The review will be updated with all the tests (performance, temperatures and battery) as soon as we have a final unit. We would also like to see how the CPU will handle games using Acer’s Graphics Dock

    The Switch 12 S hasn’t come out yet but you can check here when it does:


    • Functional, elegant and sturdy design with easy snap hinge
    • Flawless touchpad and keyboard experience
    • Extra bright screen with high contrast and accurate colors
    • No PWM across all brightness levels and BluelightShield for reducing blue light emissions
    • Wide range of connectivity options and support for Acer’s Graphics Dock


    • Low sRGB coverage (54%)

    Final thoughts

    When we draw the line, the Acer Aspire Switch 12S is a pretty good hybrid ultraportable, but with the exception of its sleek case, solid build quality and few modern, yet no must-have features, there’s nothing really extraordinary about it. That’s why it needs a serious price cut to become an option worthy of attention.

    Back in early-2015 I reviewed the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi, with whom this Switch shares many traits: both are sleek detachables with metallic bodies and 12.5 screens, both include a good keyboard dock, both are built on Core M processors and both bundle a medium-sized battery. The T300 Chi was never updated to Skaylake hardware though, mostly because the original model was poorly received by customers, despite selling for as little as $500 (600 EUR across the pond) for many months.

    The Aspire Switch 12S is an upgrade for sure, with a better designed dock and more diverse IO. But even so, it trails its current competitors (Microsoft Surface Pro 4, Samsung Galaxy TabPro S, Lenovo Miix 700) when it comes to the overall footprint and weight, screen resolution and panel quality, performance or battery life. On top of these, it is significantly more expensive. Yes, it offers features like the RealSense 3D camera, the Thunderbolt 3 port or the improved wireless antennas, but these aren’t nearly enough to justify the price.

    So bottom point, for the right price, the Acer Aspire Switch 12S could be a good buy, as long you’re OK with its heavier body and other few small shortcomings. But it needs to drop by at least 200 EUR imo before even beginning to consider it, otherwise, for the 1200 EUR Acer asks for a Core m3 configuration at the time of this post, you can find better value elsewhere.

    That’s about it for now. Let me know what you think about the Switch 12S in the comments down below, where I’ll also reply to any of your questions. And if you’re interested in getting a fanless hybrid, you might also want to check out our list of recommended 2-in-1 convertibles and our detailed list of fanless ultraportables.


    • look nice and it's well built;
    • offers a backlit keyboard and good trackpad;
    • decent screen with Active Pen support;
    • modern fanless hardware;
    • runs cool;
    • includes a few latest-gen features: Thunderbolt 3 port and RealSense 3D camera


    • rather heavy;
    • noisy and spongy keyboard;
    • average battery life;
    • too expensive for what it is
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