Acer Switch 12 – an honest review by someone who actually uses it

Acer Switch 12 – an honest review by someone who actually uses it

So this is the latest flagship introduced by Acer. I find it weird that the Acer web site does not display this product although it was launched last September 2014.
I bought this to replace my Lenovo Yoga 11s. I fell in love with the convertible notebook concept (that’s 4-in-1 mode aka tent, tablet, notebook, stand for you folks) but the Yoga line from Lenovo came with faulty hinges that cracked heartbreakingly whenever I folded them. I briefly considered the Acer Switch 10 but the 64GB MMC really turned me off. What can you install on 64GB space? I also considered the Acer Switch 11 which had a 500GB HDD but once I went SSD, I never wanted to go back. Also the Switch 11 was more expensive than Switch 12.

bad placement of power jack

 
The deciding factor for me was the pen (it states optional, but Harvey Norman’s model included the pen) as I used tablets mostly for drawing and light gaming. Setup of the new notebook was fast and I was up & running in no time. Was a little bit irritated that Windows 8.1 forced me to use the same login ID as my other machine (unless I created a new email for this).

No complaints about the screen size (12.5”), because I was working with an 11” previously. Screen quality was sufficient, both indoors and out. Touch screen is what you expect it to be. There is no touchpad and I really hate the trackpoint. Keyboard is a tad small, I have small hands and I am complaining already. The keyboard is prone to oil residue from fingers but I think that’s a problem faced by many notebooks.

Points are placed with no planning at all. The power supply jack is awkwardly placed in the middle left of the screen. When the notebook is in its casing, you can’t charge it as the case is covering the middle part. The casing is so poorly designed, there is only one way of slotting the notebook in and when you try to take it out, the magnetic keyboard sometimes disconnects, giving you a scare thinking you’ve broken the notebook.

There is only 1 USB 2.0 port, not even located on the screen itself but on the rotating hinge. There is an additional micro-B USB port located on the top left of the screen (you’ll need to get an adapter for that since not many devices use this port). Power button and micro-SD (yet to test this) on top right, and the rest (volume, earphone jack) on the right.

 
 

Performance is very good. Artrage runs smoothly and the pen works like a charm. Haven’t really installed any graphic intensive game to test it out. Speaker was mediocre at its best.
The switch 12’s selling point is its 5 modes of use (a first in its market). The extra mode is desktop mode where the keyboard is disconnected from the unit itself. The hinge is solid (much more than the flimsy Lenovo) which was what I was looking for.

It is a good notebook to carry with you on your commute as it is lighter than most models. It will never be a desktop replacement but this notebook accompanies me if I feel like doodling while watching TV or to read an ebook while I’m relaxing on my recliner.

Pros
  • -          Cheap for a product with these specs (Core M, 4GB, 128 GB SSD, Intel 5300+ graphics)
  • -          Light
  • -          Cool keyboard factor (go watch Avengers when Agent Coulson hands the tablet to Stark)
  • -          256 point pressure pen
  • -          Gorilla glass, no fingerprints so far
  • -          Battery life acceptable







Cons
  • - Awkward positioning of power plug
  • - Not full size keyboard
  • - Screen cannot be closed or covered
  • - Pointer doesn’t work for certain games
  • - No touch pad
  • - Only 1 USB port








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