IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

Acer Aspire Switch 11 V Tablet and Keyboard: Value Added

This 2-in-1 unit threads the price/performance needle to satisfy customers who need to carry both a laptop and tablet. By James E. Gaskin

We need a better name for devices like the Acer Aspire Switch 11 V 2-in-1 tablet and keyboard. Laptop with removable screen that becomes a tablet? Tablet with an excellent, detachable keyboard? Acer calls it a hybrid. But should we call it a modular computer? Or a laptop/tablet that’s lovingly dubbed a laplet?

No matter the name issues, the computer itself does a good job of being whatever you need it to be. As a laptop, it's a better version of the netbook format that came and went a few years ago. As a tablet, it's big and bright and clear, with an excellent keyboard included.

Getting Started
The Switch 11 V came with Windows 10 preloaded, so setup was minimal. Boot time is about 10 seconds to the first Win 10 screen, thanks to the 128GB solid-state drive (SSD). Speed from the Intel Core M processor seemed good for a tablet but not quite as fast as a laptop.

There's no Ethernet port, since tablets never have them, but the wireless protocols are all there. Our wireless network connection profile says this Switch 11 V is running at 866.7 Mbps. We know the wireless speed test pegged out our Internet access line of 45 Mbps.

Bloatware was minimal, but the usual McAfee Security Suite trial was there, as was the ever-present Microsoft Office Trial (can't blame Acer for that). Acer's suite of utilities, including its pretty decent cloud tools (great for consumers but businesses will want more control), were matched by some extra games, as well as entertainment apps such as Amazon's Kindle reader, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Twitter, and, of course, Skype.

The Switch 11 V does have a mini-HDMI port, USB 3.0 on the keyboard and mini-USB 2.0 on the screen/tablet part, and a micro SD card reader. It also has the best sound we've heard from a “laptop slash whatever” of this size. The Dolby Home Theater (Acer TrueHarmony high-performance sound system) uses two speakers that somehow fake some bass. With headphones the sound is dynamite, as is often the case with quality tablets. The case is cross-hatched brushed metal and what feels like carbon fiber. This definitely looks like a high-end lap/tablet.

Acer prefers you use the "eject hardware" icon before pulling the display/tablet away from the keyboard. However, no problems resulted when we ignored that nicety. But we weren't saving data or communicating online when we pulled the pieces apart, either.

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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