“Surface Pro competitor” gets bandied about a lot, but it’s not always warranted. A lot of the 2-in-1 detachable devices we see end up being a little less powerful than what Microsoft makes, leaving the more expensive Surface Pro alone at the top. There are some exceptions like the Lenovo Miix 720 that can stand up to the Surface, but a lot of others just have Intel Core m processors, which can chug when too much demand is put on them.
That won’t be the case with the Acer Switch 5, the latest in Acer’s series of 2-in-1 devices. The Switch 5 can be configured with 7th generation Intel Core i devices, although there will be cheaper configurations with Intel Celeron and Pentium processors. It can be configured with up to a 512 GB SSD for storage and up to 8 GB of RAM, too. The device will also have a USB Type-C 3.1 port, although that won’t be a faster Thunderbolt port like we’ve seen on some laptops this year. It’ll be starved for ports otherwise, but Acer will have a dock with an HDMI port, a DisplayPort, and additional USB Type-C and Type-A ports.
The 12″ 2160 x 1440 display should also be nice, and Acer says they’ve managed to get 10.5 hours of battery life from the Core i configuration with that display. The main advantage Acer will have over everyone else will be the addition of their special thermal management system, dubbed LiquidLoop, which uses piped water instead of fans — the upshot is that the Switch 5 will be much quieter than most other devices running on a Core i processor.
On the back, the Switch 5 uses a similar kind of kickstand to what we’ve seen on the HP Elite x2 and the Spectre x2 — a thin kickstand that pops out from the bottom edge. The nice part about this style of kickstand is that it can be adjusted easily with one hand, either by pushing down on the device itself or pushing the kickstand toward you. A metal build and front-facing speakers give the device a premium look and feel. The device can be magnetically connected to a thin keyboard, with no wireless connection needed.
Acer also announced the Switch 3 today, a lower cost option with Intel Celeron and Pentium options, up 10 128 GB of eMMC storage, up to 4 GB of RAM, and a 1080p display. Both the Switch 3 and the Switch 5 will work with Acer’s Active Pen, which has 1,024 levels of pressure — a little behind some others this year, which have gotten up to 2,048 levels of pressure (the Miix 720 has a pen with 4,096 levels).
The Acer Switch 5 and Switch 3 will both be available this June starting at $800 and $400, respectively.