Acer Switch 7 Quick Review: Skinny, Fanless 2-in-1 With Discrete GPU

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We go for a quick spin with Acer’s Switch 7!

While traditional tablet sales have been tanking, 2-in-1 sales have been relatively robust. This is why everyone from Microsoft to Acer has been releasing their own take on the hybrid tablet, though Acer’s new Switch 7 promises better performance with a discrete GPU without the annoyance of a whirring fan.

 

Initial impressions: big, handy and easy to use both as tablet and notebook

Despite being billed as a 2-in-1 hybrid, the Switch 7 feels more like a notebook than a tablet. With a 13.5-inch display, the Switch 7 takes up a lot of real estate in your bag when you slip it inside. Of course, there’s a trade-off: you’re getting a notebook-class display that has a resolution of 2256 × 1504, which is sharp enough to use by professionals.

The Switch 7 has a kickstand on the back that’s actuated by deploying the keyboard, falling into place with a nice, reassuring ka-chunk sound. We haven’t had good luck with keyboards integrated into covers as of late, but the one in the Switch 7 feels nice and responsive. It doesn’t have as much travel as a regular notebook, unfortunately, but it’s good enough that we didn’t have any trouble typing on it during our short time with it.

The keyboard isn’t the only input option available either – there’s also an embedded stylus powered by Wacom’s EMR technology that’s embedded on the side of the hybrid, and an under-glass fingerprint scanner to make sign-ins via Windows Hello faster and more secure.

The real star of the show with the Switch 7 are the internals – Acer’s pegging the Switch 7 as the first ever 2-in-1 in the world that doesn’t have a fan AND has a discrete GPU. NVIDIA’s GeForce Mx150 isn’t going to let you play Destiny 2 on the highest settings, but it’ll give people like photographers and video editors a little bit of extra oomph to power through photo and video editing apps like Premier Pro and Photoshop without hitting serious PC bottlenecks. That little bit of extra silence brought on by the fanless design doesn’t hurt either. There will be only a single configuration for the Switch 7: an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage.

So how does the Switch 7 stay cool? By utilizing liquid cooling pipes embedded into its body. While there’s been liquid cooling on Acer’s 2-in-1’s before, the Switch 7 ups the ante by utilizing liquid cooling pipes for both the GPU and CPU. We won’t know the extent of the cooling pipe’s effectivity until we start using the Switch 7 though.

Acer’s Switch 7 will be arriving later this year in December in the US, with an expected price of $1,699. No local pricing has been set as of yet.

 



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