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Hands-on review: Acer Switch 5

12 Mar 2018

The Acer Switch 5 is a well-designed hybrid laptop for average everyday use, even if it is a bit expensive.

The Acer Switch 5 is very thin and lightweight, with a magnetic detachable keyboard and a 1440p screen. The detachable keyboard snaps on very easily and detaches easily as well.

The 1440p screen is nice to have, however, I found that text and icons were a bit small on the default scale setting of 150%. I found I had to bump scaling up to 175% for the touchscreen to be useful.

The stylus is a nice addition and seems to work smoothly with the touchscreen.

I found the handwriting recognition was a bit off, but I have quite messy handwriting, so it was probably just me.

The 8GB RAM is also great, as that is about the minimum required these days on any computer.

Applications loaded quickly and smoothly, even some slightly heavier applications had no problem loading.

This combined with the Intel i5 processor meant that there was no lag or frozen applications when I used it.

The internal specs are definitely good quality.

The fingerprint scanner was fast and effective once I got it working.

I did have a slight issue where it stopped recognising my fingerprint and I had to go through the setup all over again, but I have no idea what caused that.

It continued working fine after the second setup.

Even though I scaled the text and icons up to 175%, it still seemed just a tad off, and I feel like the cause of this might be the rather small display size, compared to a traditional laptop.

Maybe I’m just not used to it, but I felt like the display could be a couple inches larger.

The Acer Switch 5 claims to have a 10.5-hour battery life, but I felt like it was a fair bit shorter than that in practice.

The small print says “depending on the model, power settings, and usage”, so I expect the 10.5 hours figure is for average casual use (i.e. nothing too heavy), and on the power saver setting (or something along those lines).

I also found that the laptop started getting a bit hot after extended use, but it wasn’t of concern.

The Acer Switch 5 is priced at around $1600-$1800, so it’s quite pricey for what it is, and as mentioned above, is definitely geared more towards average non-intensive use.

A traditional laptop would be more suited for heavier everyday tasks.

Overview:

  • Touchscreen
  • i5 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 1440p display
  • Magnetic detachable keyboard
  • Stylus
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