The Acer Aspire Switch 11 is a Windows tablet with an 11.6 inch display. It comes with a detachable keyboard dock, which is part of the reason it’s called the “Switch,” since it lets you switch from tablet to notebook mode and back again.
But you the connectors on the dock work whether the tablet screen is facing the keyboard or facing away, which sort of makes the tablet a 3-in-1 device which can also work like a kiosk or all-in-one touchscreen desktop while you use the keyboard as a sort of kickstand.
The Aspire Switch 11 should hit the streets this month for around $379 and up. I got a chance to spend a few minutes with the multi-mode tablet earlier this week.
The Switch 11 looks a lot like a slightly larger version of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 I reviewed recently. And there’s good reason for that: it’s based on the same design.
But Acer takes advantage of the extra size to include a full-sized QWERTY keyboard instead of a slightly shrunken one, and there’s room for a full-sized USB port on the tablet, rather than just a micro USB port.
There’s another full-sized USB port on the keyboard dock, so you get a total of two expansion ports with the Acer Aspire Switch 11. But the keyboard doesn’t house any other goodies like a battery or hard drive.
Acer plans to offer several versions of the Switch 11. For under $400 you’ll be able to pick up a model with an Intel Atom Z3745 Bay Trail CPU, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, a 1366 x 768 pixel display, and 2 USB 2.0 ports.
The company will also have models with Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports, more storage, and optional full HD displays.
While I’m not sure how useful the ability to flip the screen around is, I really like the magnetic hinges that Acer uses to hold the screen and tablet together. You don’t need to slide a switch or push a button to detach the keyboard. Just give the tablet a firm tug and it should pull away.
But during normal use, the magnets hold the screen tin place so firmly that you can pick the notebook up by the display without the keyboard falling off… or hold it by the keyboard and turn it upside down without worrying about the screen falling.