The 2-in-1 laptop market is often packed with low and mid-range offerings but Acer's latest is anything but. The Switch 12 S has just been announced at CES 2016 and it's bringing the big guns.
Despite 'only' packing a 12.5-inch display, the Switch 12 S comes with an optional 4K (3840x2160) display as well as a more standard Full HD (1920x1280) offering. So, thanks to the nature of the product, you can pop off the screen find yourself with a 4K Windows 10 tablet. And that's pretty incredible.
Other hardware specs of note are a 6th-generation Intel Core M CPU, combined USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, Gorilla Glass 4 and a rear-facing Intel RealSense camera array.
Storage options include 128GB or 256GB SSDs, and RAM is either 4GB or 8GB. You're not short on ports, either, especially considering the size, with two full size USB 3.0 ports, a microHDMI output, 3.5mm headphone jack and a microSD card reader all complementing the earlier-mentioned USB-C.
There's some neat stuff going on with the keyboard attachment, too. The Acer Snap Hinge Gold is the latest iteration of the company's 2-in-1 hinge and allows data streaming of up to 6Gbps between the tablet portion and the keyboard. The Switch 12 S also boasts front facing speakers with Acer TrueSound and Dolby audio for a rich aural experience.
Pricing is set to start at $999 in North America, €1,199 in Europe and ¥6,999 in China with availability set to begin in February.
Acer's Fusion of Premium Design and Technology Sets Apart 2-in-1 Notebook Aspire Switch 12 S
LAS VEGAS (Jan 4, 2016) Today Acer announced the most premium and advanced model in its award-winning Aspire Switch line of 2-in-1 notebooks – the Aspire Switch 12 S (SW7-272). It combines a modern design with the latest technologies including the new Acer ExoAmp WiFi antenna embedded in the metal chassis and the new Acer Snap Hinge™ Gold.
The Acer Switch 12 S has a 12.5-inch display and a flexible 2-in-1 design that, utilizing Continuum on Windows 10, can be easily used in four modes – notebook, tablet, display and tent – making it an ideal portable device for anyone who wants a flexible way to stay productive and connected for study, work and play. It is powered by the 6th Generation Intel® Core™ M processors and will ship with Windows 10.
"The fusion of technology and design in the Acer Aspire Switch 12 S solidifies its spot at the pinnacle of our popular 2-in-1 line," said Jerry Kao, President of Notebook Business Group, Acer Inc. "The Aspire Switch 12 S makes an immediate design statement; many of the features that give it its premium and modern look also incorporate advanced technologies that translate into profound improvements for everyday life."
Premium Design Incorporates Latest Tech
The elegant anodized aluminum chassis is both a sleek and modern design statement and a technology innovation. The new patented Acer ExoAmp antenna is discreetly embedded into the metal chassis to provide optimal WiFi performance while maintaining the device's unified look and feel. This innovative antenna placement avoids system noise, so the 802.11 b/g/n/ac WiFi and 2x2 MU-MIMO is not only up to three times faster, it's more stable and reliable. The sturdy anodized aluminum cover has diamond-cut edging that enhances the clean and polished design.
The Acer Snap Hinge Gold is the third-generation of the popular Acer Snap Hinge, building on the secure latch-less magnetic docking mechanism to provide an advanced connection between the tablet and keyboard. Fast data streaming up to 6Gbps between the tablet and keyboard results in enhanced responsiveness for a consistently quick connection, with uncompromised support of USB 3.0 transfer speeds. In addition, the hooks of Snap Hinge Gold uses zinc-alloy connectors to charge the keyboard, so there is no need for an unsightly charging cable. The updated Snap Hinge Gold has been streamlined to complement the device's modern look, while supporting smoother and more effortless transitions.
The Aspire Switch 12 S features Thunderbolt™ 3 on USB-C for ultra-fast charging as well as data and video streaming of up to 40Gbps between devices or to an external HD display, including up to two 4K models simultaneously. Thunderbolt 3 also allows consumers who need even more powerful graphics for gaming to connect an optional Acer Graphics Dock to boost the performance of the Switch 12 S. The advanced Intel® RealSense™ Camera R200 on the rear of the tablet allows Aspire Switch 12 S customers to capture movements for 3D model generating, or 3D scanning for objects or even a whole room.
"The Acer Aspire Switch 12 S is a great example of the innovation taking place in the growing 2-in-1 category. The 6th Generation Intel Core M processor enables a thin and light design with incredible performance and long battery life for ultra-mobility," said Navin Shenoy, Corporate Vice President and General Manager, Mobility Client Platforms Group, Intel. "Additionally it features Thunderbolt 3, the fastest and most versatile connection to any dock, display, or data device, as well as a new Intel RealSense Camera for 3D scanning and enhanced video and photos to give people a state of the art computing experience at home or on the go."
The stunning 4K (3840x2160) or Full HD (1920x1080) 12.5-inch display on the Switch 12 S keeps text, graphics, charts and video sharp and crystal clear. The display also utilizes Zero Air Gap and IPS technology2 for rich and crisp visuals supported by reduced glare and wide viewing angles. Plus, Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4 delivers a premium visual experience that is strong and scratch-resistant. Acer Vision Care™ includes Acer BluelightShield for reduced eye strain and Acer Lumiflex for optimized viewing in different lighting conditions. In addition, the precise and well-designed keyboard is backlit, so it complements the display and allows it to be used in dim and dark locations easily and accurately for increased productivity.
A powerful communications device, the Switch 12 S's triple microphone and Acer Purified.Voice technology work together to deliver clear voice tones for an unparalleled experience with Cortana and Skype. Front-facing speakers with Acer TrueHarmony and Dolby® Audio™ Premium provide rich sound with minimal distortion. Plus, the HD front-facing camera (1280 x 720) enables easy instant communication with other Skype users. Further ensuring business users will be satisfied, the Aspire Switch 12 S supports the Acer Active Pen for notetaking, sketching and more.
The Switch 12 S is ideal for travel for work, study and play. Every aspect of the svelte design - from the curves to the connectors - enhances the portable look and feel. The tablet portion measures only 7.85 mm thin (0.31 inches); with the keyboard dock connected, it measures only 17.3 mm thin (0.68 inches). The tablet weighs a mere 800 grams (1.76 pounds) and when paired with the keyboard dock in traditional laptop mode, the Switch 12 only weighs 1400 grams (3.09 pounds).
In addition to the Thunderbolt™ 3 port on USB 3.1 Type-C, the Aspire Switch 12 S has two USB 3.0 ports, Micro HDMI, a Micro SD card reader and a headphone/speaker jack, so it's ready to connect to external devices, printers, displays and more. Initial models will be available with 4GB-8GB of memory and either 128GB or 256GB SSD storage.
Pricing and Availability
The Acer Aspire Switch 12 S will be available in North America starting in February at prices starting at $999.99. It will also be available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in February with prices starting from €1,199, and in China in February with prices starting at ¥6,999.
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Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine