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Gadget Review: Acer Switch 10

AspireSwitch10_series_photogallery-01I bought my son the new Acer Switch 10, a Windows 8.1 tablet that comes with a docking station which includes a keyboard, a touchpad and additional ports.

HOW DOES IT FEEL?

The tablet feels sturdy enough but I cannot say the same with the dock. Its made out of plastic, feels like plastic and needs to be handled like plastic. The tablet connects to the dock via magnets and allows for different angles that you can use for typing or viewing movies. The tablet is heavier than the dock and so has a tendency to tip over when you use it in a laptop like fashion, so you are warned.

When the tablet is folded over the keyboard, the build quality is better, but then again, you will need to “baby” the dock and carefully handle so you will not break. I would believe that you will not be able to easily replace this dock.

PERFORMANCE

The Switch 10 uses an Intel Atom Z3745, 1.33 GHz, Quad Core processsor. It contains 2Gb of LPDDR3 memory and a 32Gb Solid State Drive. Its not much for a Windows computer but if its going to be used for school then its enough. It does have a MicroSD slot for additional storage AspireSwitch10_series_photogallery-03expansion plus a USB port for connecting thumb drives and portable hard drives.

Intel Atom CPUs were in much use with Netbooks before the Macbook Air blew them out of the water and I have not used one for an extended period of time enough to gauge its usefulness as an everyday computer. Working with the Switch 10 is satisfactory enough though. Majority of its use will be for web browsing, (Facebook) and word processing, so its not really toll on the processor. And because it uses an SSD makes up for any sluggishness on the part of the processor.

My main computer is a 13″ Retina Macbook Pro with a Core I3 processor its no comparison. But using it in tablet mode is just that, a tablet that you can use for what I mention above.

AspireSwitch10_series_photogallery-04I had not problems watching movies on the 10.1″ screen, and since its 16:9 (wide screen), there not so much letter boxing.

We had no problems playing games either, with the small number of games that the Windows store offers.

RECOMMENDATIONS

My son seems to be happy with it. At 20,000 pesos I think what you pay is what you get. I’d still go back to my original iPad, even though its really getting slow, because not only am I used to it but also because of the useful apps that I can get my hands on. Oh, by the way, the Switch 10 comes with a free copy of Microsoft office so its not really bad at all.

Which brings me to what I believe is its main advanateg. If you are a heavy Windows user then you will be able to use most of your desktop or laptop apps on this tablet. It will also come with many of the problems that Windows users face: viruses, complicated hardware configuration, and the interface not really easy to use.

I just want to come out clean that I’ve been a Mac user for five years already and because of that, I am now having difficulties using a Windows 8.1 machine. Some stuff is just really harder with Windows and I’ve worked with Windows for practically half my life!

The bottom line is, if your kids are going to use it, they’ll probably have more tolerance than me, a mid-40s guy, so I think its not for me. 😎

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