Acer’s Aspire Switch 10 was announced last spring for Canada and the U.S. and though the tablet has been spotted at several retailers, it still hasn’t reached general availability in Canada. The Switch 10 is getting its big debut this weekend, though. According to Intel, the device will be available across stores in Canada this coming weekend priced at $399.
The Aspire Switch 10 is based on Intel’s Bay Trail Atom Z3740 processor and comes equipped with 2 GB of RAM and a total of 32 GB of storage. Acer really pushed the mobility and versatility of this 2-in-1 device when it was announced last April, but the device is also soaking up the glory as the only newly released device in Intel and Microsoft’s back-to-school 2-in-1 line up (the other four devices are the Asus Transformer T100, the Surface Pro 3, the Dell Venue Pro 8, the HP Pavilion 11, and the Lenovo Flex 2 15). Battery is supposedly eight hours, though we obviously weren’t able to verify that during our quick hands on with the device.
The hero feature here is the detachable display and the fact that this device has multiple ‘modes’ of use. There’s regular laptop mode, tablet mode (sans keyboard), as well as tent mode and display mode. Acer’s snap hinge is solid and the keyboard doesn’t separate from the screen too easily. Our biggest pet peeve with the design was that the hinge doesn’t fold all the way back. This device is called the Switch for a reason. You actually have to detach the display from the keyboard and flip it around and reattach it if you want to use display mode (keyboard all the way back with the screen facing out) or tent mode.
The keyboard is, as you’d expect from a 10-inch device, a bit on the cramped side, but it would definitely suffice if you were using this device while traveling or in class. Overall, it definitely felt like more of a supplementary device than a computer replacement, even though it runs a full version of Windows 8.1 and has Bay Trail inside. What it lacks is a full size keyboard for students to hammer out papers, which is why Intel and Microsoft have also included the likes of the Lenovo Flex 2 15 in the back-to-school lineup.
If you are in the market for a smaller, lighter device to take with you to class for notes and for working from coffee shops, the Aspire Switch 10 will be available across Canada this weekend. Intel and Microsoft will also have reps on hand at Best Buy, Future Shop, and Staples consulting with students and parents about the best devices for school.