When Windows computers were at its peak, Apple iPad entered the market and ruined their business, until Google launched its cheaply made Chromebooks that boasts its own custom operating system for normal use with affordable price tag. As of now, both Apple and Microsoft want to gain back their market share and here comes a wanna-be savior for the Windows machines, Acer Aspire Switch 10, an affordable 2-in-1 Windows laptop cum tablet.
This week, Acer announced its dual-mode Aspire Switch 10 Windows machine in a press release, aiming at teens and college kids going back to school. Basically, Acer Aspire Switch 10 is a 10.1-inch Windows tablet with 1366 x 768 pixels IPS touchscreen display and with all tablet features such as USB ports, embedded card readers and more. When you want to have some serious work, then you have to attach the detachable keyboard dock to make it a portable laptop.
What’s special in it? You might think that there are many such 2-in-1 devices available in the market, which hasn’t made any significant impact on PC market. But the part you will like most is the price tag of these machines. Acer has made this laptop cum tablet device affordable by pricing it at $380 for a 64GB version, which would be better if compared with Apple’s iPad Air’s $499 for 16GB variant. Additionally, you could use it as a fully fledged Windows 8 laptop too.
Microsoft had also tried to bring Windows 8 tablet with keyboard dock for laptop experience via Surface 2, but it failed to gain traction among the consumers because of the price tag and most importantly, its platform, where users can’t load up any normal Windows programs and applications. But here, Acer made it possible to load any Windows supported software, like we do in normal Windows laptops. This 10.1-inch tablet comes with desktop app compatibility.
Even the users can attach the keyboard dock in another form via Acer’s Snap Hinge to make it as a view-only device, where you can keep it in presentation mode to watch movies and favorite TV shows.
Regarding the specifications part, Acer Switch 10 is powered by Intel Bay Trail processor, which is obviously not made for medium-level tasks such as photo-editing and normal video-editing kind of things. Even you will not be able to run high-graphic games on it. But provided with the 2GB RAM, you could easily make it work for your regular tasks such as emails, documents, presentations, browsing and much more. And at this price point, Acer has really gone one step ahead than the competitors.
According to Acer, Switch 10 is a thinnest 2-in-1 device with 8.9mm thickness in tablet mode and 20.2mm thickness in laptop mode with keyboard dock attached, while the device weighs 59 grams in tablet mode and 1.17 kilograms in laptop mode.
Acer has planned to grab some market share during the back to school shopping time with an alternative to iPad and Chromebooks. With the decent battery life, desktop app compatibility, convertibility, smaller form factor might bring more students to its stores in U.S. in this season and they expect that too.
If Acer makes it possible to break the iPad and other tablet markets via its Windows 8 powered Switch 10, Microsoft would consider this step as an essential one to get back to the real work, again.
Acer will be offering a free copy of Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student edition with every machines. This could save at least $130 for entire suit or $6.99 per month for Office 365 subscription.
Aspire Switch 10 will be available in Pan America and Europe, Middle East and Africa at the end of this month, i.e., late May.
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