Acer has produced a number of hybrid systems over the last year, but the Aspire 12 is one of its most versatile machines yet. The new system offers five different usage modes, including all-in-one functionality.
While we’re used to hybrid machines offering tablet and laptop functionality, the Switch 12 goes a little further, allowing the user to continue using the keyboard, even when it’s not physically attached to the parent device.
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The system provides similar all-in-one functionality that we’ve seen in the HP Envy x2, albeit in a much smaller package. The Switch doesn't offer a conventional trackpad, but instead opts for a pointing stick embedded in the keyboard with left and right mouse buttons at the base. If you’re not interested in getting the Switch to mimic a desktop machine, then you can instead attach the keyboard magnetically to the display segment of the device, providing a notebook experience.
The Switch’s 1080p IPS touchscreen display is just 12.5-inches in size, meaning it’ll likely be a little too cramped to serve as a desktop replacement. It offers 176 pixels per inch (PPI), and makes use of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and an anti-fingerprint coating.
The panel also features the company's Zero Air Gap direct bonding technology, wherein the touch panel and display are fused together, leading to better contrast and viewing angles, as well as reduced reflections. The hybrid is powered by an Intel Core M processor, but there’s no word on how much memory and storage it will carry.
The system is fanless, and Acer claims that it’s capable of 8 hours video playback on a single charge of its battery. It packs dual wireless antennas, and is fitted with micro USB 3.0 and microHDMI ports. While the machine’s notebook, tablet and desktop modes will likely be its most useful, users will also be able to switch it into tent and display modes for a better media viewing experience.
Acer is yet to announce when the system will hit shelves, or how much it will cost when it does. Check out the video below for a closer look at the Aspire Switch 12.