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.

acer switch 11_07

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.

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15 replies on “Hands-on: Acer Switch 11 2-in-1 convertible tablet”

  1. This machine would benefit from a full complement of ports. It would be less top heavy if the missing USB 3 etc were supplied in the keyboard section.

  2. When will be available in stores in the US? Preferably MI. It’s only on the ACER website which sucks because its between $429-649.

  3. As usual with these, when connected as a laptop, the hinge opens to not much beyond 90 degrees right? Otherwise the whole thing tips over (Apple must laugh whenever this sort of thing shows up on the market).

    1. I fail to see the funny side…what I do see is a very flexible high value device that is very good under different usage scenarios that puts anything Apple offers to shame! IPS screen, tablet laptop combo with various configuration options all for a pretty reasonable price. Ya you’re right I am laughing at what I get compared to CRAP ple.

    2. Considering Apple has no product that makes a detachable laptop into a tablet, they’re not laughing at all. No, mounting an iPad to a third party keyboard is not the same, it doesn’t run OSX software.

    3. If you bothered to look at the images provided it shows it tilted beyond 90 degrees and still standing…

      Many 2 in 1’s either have something like a battery and/or HDD helping to weigh the Keyboard dock down or a metal plate…

      Not that they need to counter the weight much as these tablets are getting thinner and lighter all the time…

      While some others use simple leverage to keep it from toppling, like using a kick stand or something else to change the center of balance…

      Besides, those who provide keyboard docks for iPads have to go through the same design considerations… You just have to purchase those accessories separately with a iPad, while more and more of these alternatives have the KB dock included…

      1. This is likely the direction I am going for a DJ specific laptop/tablet. I use Virtual DJ and it works best on Windows machines. Version 8, just released scales to whatever size screen your using plus has adjustments for touch screens.

        A device like this will give me the option of using it as a standard laptop or as a tablet to download new/old songs, set hot cues, samples and such while watching TV or something else.

        I am sort of waiting for something a bit bigger, maybe 13.3? But 11.6 looks to be good too.

        1. There would be fewer options at larger sizes for 2 in 1’s… Since tablets become harder to use going to larger sizes (heavier and bulkier being the primary reasons) and they tend to be mainly Pro tablets like the MS Surface Pro 3 with expensive Core i Processors…

          Though, we are going to see some Core M offerings in more mobile (fan-less) type design tablets… but they’re not going to be cheap and may be even pricier than the many of the existing Pro tablets, at least initially…

          For another budget offering, you should probably consider the new Asus Transformer Book T200TA-C1-BL…

          Just recently became available and it’s one of the highest end budget models you can find right now…

          Specs are… 11.6″ 1366×768 IPS Touch, Quad Core Bay Trail-T Z3795, 4GB RAM, 64GB eMMC, 2MP Webcam and 5MP Rear Camera. microHDMI, microUSB, microSDXC slot. Wireless Dual-Band 802.11A/B/G/N and Bluetooth 4.0 and the keyboard dock can come with or without a 500GB HDD but even without it the keyboard dock has a easy to remove drive cover for easy user upgrading later with any 2.5″ drive up to 1TB…

          Keyboard dock also has a USB 3.0 port and a Ethernet (pretty rare these days) on the left side and a USB 2.0 port on the right side…

          It’s also one of the few that comes with 64bit Windows 8.1 and 64bit UEFI, making it a much more flexible platform as the 64bit UEFI means you can more easily choose to optionally install or dual boot Linux, which isn’t easy to do with the 32bit UEFI…

          Starting price is $499 and is available on Amazon, Newegg, and TigerDirect… last I checked…

          Otherwise, you may want to check out a convertible laptop or just a laptop with touch screen if you really prefer something with a 13.3″ screen… that shouldn’t be priced too high…

          1. Thanks, I have been keeping my eye on both the Acer Switch and Asus Transformers. 500GB hard drive would be a standard slow laptop drive; I would opt for 64/128GB and continue to use my external drive which has my music on it.

            The larger convertibles like the HP are an option. But I am not doing video (yet) so I don’t quite need the horsepower. There’s enough number crunching with the four core Atom to have my latency to 1-2ms which is fine. I imagine I would get the same performance with other MIDI software.

            Trying to keep it under $400

          2. I like reading how people think through their computing challenges–thanks.

  4. Combined weight?I have a venue pro 11 which is 3.4 lbs which is very heavy for a notebook that size.

  5. Any word on battery life? That was an issue with the original switch 10 in your review (and the keyboard wasn’t particularly great either).

  6. My aunt has one of these, but it is the 10 inch. For some reason auto rotate won’t work. I wonder if she uses it much, I think she just plays solitaire and puzzles on it.

    1. That’s pretty much what my mother does… Plays card games, email, a bit of Facebook and that’s pretty much it.

      That’s a standard Core Duo desktop (Dell). Casual users don’t need much power, never have…

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