Windows 10: Acer's silent Switch 5 2-in-1 is stalking Microsoft's Surface Pro 4

Acer goes upscale with its new Kaby Lake Switch 5 convertible, available from $799.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Acer Switch 5 is a 12-inch 2-in-1 Surface Pro challenger.

Image: Acer

Acer has unveiled the Windows 10 Switch 5 2-in-1, featuring its fanless cooling system, a stylus, fingerprint reader and Intel's latest Core i processors.

The Switch 5 is the Taiwanese electronics maker's successor to last year's Switch Alpha 12, which introduced Acer's fanless cooling system and, starting at $599, gave Windows users an attractive alternative to Microsoft's dearer Surface Pro 4.

However, the Switch 5 isn't aimed at bargain hunters, starting at $799 in the US, and €1,099 (£924) in Europe when it goes on sale in June. These prices include the detachable keyboard and Acer's Active Pen.

On the surface, the Switch 5 doesn't deviate drastically from the Switch Alpha 12, though it is slightly thinner, has a fingerprint sensor in the power button, and run on Intel's seventh-generation Core i Kaby Lake processors. Acer notes it is its first device to have this generation CPU and claims it will last 10.5 hours on a single charge thanks to its Core i support.

The June release date means it should be available before Microsoft's Kaby Lake Surface Pro 5 update, which is expected to be announced soon.

The Switch 5 features an anodized aluminum body, a Full HD+ 12-inch touch display at a 2,160 x 1,400 resolution, and Acer's LiquidLoop fanless cooling system, which means no noisy fans.

As with last year's model it comes with a magnetic attachable keyboard, a kickstand adjustable up to 165 degrees, and Acer's Active Pen.

With the keyboard attached, the 2-in-1 measures 292mm wide x 201.8mm deep x 12mm high (11.5 x 7.94 x 0.47 inches) and weighs 1.27kg (2.8lb). Without the keyboard, it's 9.6 mm (0.38in) thick, and weighs 0.92kg (2.03lb).

The device will be available with a 256GB or 512GB PCIe SSD, up to 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, and with either the Core i5 or i7 CPUs.

The Switch 5 also supports Windows 10 features such as Windows Ink, and thanks to the fingerprint reader, Windows Hello biometric login.

For people looking for something cheaper, Acer has also released the Switch 3, starting at $399 in the US, and €499 (£420) in Europe.

The budget 2-in-1 runs on either Intel Pentium or Celeron processors and has an eight-hour battery life. The metal-backed Switch 3 has a 12.2-inch display at 1,920 x 1,200 FHD, and comes with the keyboard included. However, the stylus is optional and it lacks the fingerprint reader.

Both models have a front and rear camera, a front-facing 720p Full HD webcam, a MicroSDX slot, USB 3.1 Type-C port, a USB 3.1 Type-A port, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Acer's new all-in-one, the Aspire U27 is also equipped with its liquid cooling system, which helps keep its profile thin. The PC starts at $1,100 and will be available in July.

Read more on Windows 10 2-in-1s

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