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Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013 Convertible Review

2-in-1 entry point. Acer have had a good run with their 10-inch Switch series. Good value was always at the heart of the offering so it's difficult to see how the new Switch 10E fits in to the pricing and value equation. We take a deep and detailed look in the full Acer Aspire Switch 10E review below.

At first glance the Acer Aspire 10E looks like a low-cost entry into the 2-in-1 market. The SW3-013-17UE model that we have here is under 300 in Europe and the equivalent 32GB model in the USA is $279 so this isn't expensive but when you look at some of the offers on the existing Acer Switch 10 models you wonder what the strategy is here. As this is being typed you can go to and get the original Switch 10 for $220. The HP Pavilion X2 10 and ASUS Transformer Book are also cheaper than the Switch 10E. The answer could lie in the fact that launch prices are not the same as year-old street prices and that the Switch 10E is being advertised as Windows 10-supported. There are also rumors of the 10E being available with the new X5 processor too so what we've got here in the Windows 8.1, Z3000-series processor version doesn't represent the likely end-game. Bear that in mind as we go through the review. Naturally, we'll provide you with updates when we get hold of different models.

Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013 (Aspire Switch Series)
Intel Atom Z3735F 4 x 1.3 - 1.8 GHz, Bay Trail-T
1971 MB 
10.10 inch 16:10, 1280 x 800 pixel, 10 touch points, AU Optronics AUO15D4, IPS, glossy: yes
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, Hynix HBG4e, 15 GB free
Intel SST Audio Device
2 USB 2.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Headset, Card Reader: MicroSD, Sensors: Kionix KXCJ9
Realtek RTL8723BS (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/), Bluetooth 4.0
height x width x depth (in mm): 22.9 x 262 x 180 ( = 0.9 x 10.31 x 7.09 in)
30 Wh Lithium-Polymer
Operating System
Windows 8.1 (32 Bit) + Bing
Webcam: 2 x 2.0 MP
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chicklet, Keyboard Light: no
1.189 kg ( = 41.94 oz / 2.62 pounds), Power Supply: 76 g ( = 2.68 oz / 0.17 pounds)
300 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.



As one might expect on an entry-level PC the quality of the case gives it away. Hard plastics with a hollow sound and a cheap looking pattern effect extend all round the outside of the tablet and keyboard segments. The rear of the keyboard feels especially empty but it's light and likely to have a hard-drive inside some versions. We didn't open it up to look for expansion ports though. Our is 'Shark Grey' but there are a number of other colors available. See image below.

In terms of ergonomics the rounded corners and again, light weight (630 grams) make it easy to hold. A slightly raised edge around the screen doesn't feel great but it's a good friction-point for holding the device.

The docking mechanism feels better than the original Switch 10 dock with strong magnets keeping things stable with the screen pointing towards or away from the keyboard. Remember that this isn't a 360-degree rotating hinge and can't lay flat with the keyboard but the stand mode, an important one, is there. 'Tent' mode is also possible but the unit will slip around on its hard plastic edges if you place it on a low-friction surface.

As with the original Switch 10 there's a tipping point. It's particularly noticeable when 'lapping' but should be less noticeable on models with an included hard drive. You could also open the back of the keyboard and put plasticine or similar in to make the base more stable.

keyboard hinge
Tablet landscape
Tablet portrait
Tipping point.


A standard set of ports and connectivity options doesn't add anything over the original Switch 10. Micro USB (data or charging, no OTG adaptor included), micro HDMI, Micro SD, headset and full-size USB 2.0 port (not USB 3.0 as on some Atom X5 / Atom X7 devices) feels uninspiring. There's no AC WiFi support either, just B,G and N. Acer needs to think about improving here because this is a set of ports that was standard in 2013. You've got the standard Miracast support (improving in Windows 10, apparently) and Bluetooth 4.0. There's no NFC (which won't worry many people) and no GPS (which could be an issue if you're interested in using the Windows 10 turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation included in the new Maps application.

Keyboard dock
Keyboard dock
Tablet LHS close-up
Tablet LHS close-up


WiFi is provided by a Realtek RTL8723BS adaptor and connected without issues to a shared hotspot but at only 72 Mbps. A file transfer from a local NAS reached just 5 Mbps which is very poor. The same transfer, performed directly after, on a Surface Pro 3 transferred over 10 X faster. Trying to switch the WiFi adaptor into single-channel mode, and then back to dual-channel mode didn't make any difference so either dual-channel mode isn't working or it's incompatible with our wireless hotspot. (Speedport W724V.)


A built-in TPM allows Bitlocker disk encryption to be used on the eMMC storage with little performance impact. You'll need to log in with a Microsoft account (the keys are stored online in your account) and make sure that SecureBoot is enabled. (It is by default.) You'll either find Bitlocker enabled automatically or you can go into settings and look for 'Device encryption' under the 'PC info' settings.

Input Devices


Although the keyboard is a completely plastic build, the quality is actually quite good. There's a little bit of bounce and what you could call 'roll' to the feeling of the keys as they pivot just slightly over the top of the mechanics but accuracy is quite good, there's a good amount of key travel and we didn't find any unresponsive keys. Our German-layout keyboard, one that usually requires a few more keys to be squeezed into a keyboard, was quite comfortably laid-out and Acer have done everything they can to take the keyboard to the edge of the device. There's very little flex, no key rattle and it's quiet.

For such a low cost device it's really quite good although those of you with larger fingers will have to take a little care as the keys aren't full width or height. Consider this a very good netbook-style keyboard.

There's no backlight here but easy-to-read white-on-black lettering, shortcuts for the usual volume, brightness, touchpad and even a numeric keypad when using the function button.  


Acer don't have a great track-record with track-pads. This reviewer has personally seen issues on the Acer W510, the Acer C720 and the Acer E11 and there are reports of problems with the original Switch 10. The touchpad on the Acer Switch 10E hasn't given us any problems during this review and it works well. Multi-touch and Windows 8 swipe features work and scrolling and zooming is instant and stepless, as long as you do it in Internet Explorer. The same function in the Chrome browser is not as good, requiring the page to fully load before smooth scrolling is possible and not having any support for zooming at all. If the Edge browser (in Windows 10) follows the same pattern as IE (and IE Metro) then most users are going to be happy with the touchpad experience.


One doesn't expect much from a 1280 x 800 resolution screen on a low-cost convertible but Acer have done a good job here. To the eye there's a good level of brightness, good viewing angle and reasonable color representation. Our tests below give more detail.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
Contrast Profile
Contrast Profile
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN SaturationSweeps.
CalMAN SaturationSweeps.
Distribution of brightness
AU Optronics AUO15D4 tested with X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 347 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 326.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 348 cd/m²
Contrast: 963:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.24 | 0.5-29.43 Ø5
ΔE Greyscale 5.74 | 0.57-98 Ø5.3
67% sRGB (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
43% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 1.6.3 3D)
46.73% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
67.2% sRGB (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
45.18% Display P3 (Argyll 2.2.0 3D)
Gamma: 2.26

Good perceived brightness is confirmed with an average 326.7 cd/m average maximum brightness across the screen. Black levels are good too so the maximum contrast reached is 963:1 These are good values. Color accuracy and coverage isn't as good but still acceptable.  Average variation from perfect color, known as the average delta, was measured at 6.24 but Blues seem to be exceptionally bad at a dE200 level of 15.66. Ideally these figures would all be below 5. Grayscale accuracy averages 5.74 (DeltaE 2000) which is acceptable. The white point has a blue, daylight tendency at 6509K. 

Color coverage figures: AdobeRGB 43%, sRGB 67%

The relatively high brightness helps with outdoor viewing but only with the right reflections. The glossy display will reflect light or dark backgrounds resulting in unusable or usable readability. The images below show that even indoor usage can be difficult if the screen is set to the wrong angle. (Images taken on bright but overcast day.)

Outdoor with light reflections
Outdoor with light reflections
Outdoor with dark reflections
Outdoor with dark reflections
Indoor with dark and light reflections
Indoor with dark and light reflections

Viewing angles are good. The dark-room image, right, exaggerates the brightness drop off when in reality the eyes see much less of a brightness drop-off. 160-170 degrees is (subjectively) usable with best results within a 90-degree range.


The Intel Z3735F 'Baytrail-T' processor appears an a large number of Windows tablets and mini PCs and has already been seen in our tests of the Acer Aspire Switch 10 Full HD (2014 model) and recent Lenovo Miix 3 8 tablet. It also appears in the Asus EeeBook X205TA low-cost laptop and a variant appears in the direct competitor to the Switch 10E being tested here, the Asus Transformer Book T100TAM. 

Mobile Processors - Benchmark ListGiven a clean, stable Windows operating system and a careful use of applications the Windows experience can be quite good but this is not a processor designed for extensive multitasking. 2GB of RAM is a limit that can be hit easily and the eMMC SSD can also have limitations. We've taken a deeper look at these components below.

CPU Z overview information
CPU Z overview information
CPU Z mainboard information
CPU Z mainboard information
CPU Z cache information
CPU Z cache information
CPUZ memory information
CPUZ memory information
GPU information from GPUZ
GPU information from GPUZ


The Intel Z3735F is a quad-core CPU processor with integrated graphics and video decode/encode hardware. There's a nominal clock rate of 1.33 Ghz with stepping down to 800 Mhz and up to 1.83 Ghz when needed and possible. This Turbo Boost feature depends on thermal headroom - the ability to heat up without getting too hot. Obviously cooler environments and operating scenarios permit more Turbo Boost power.  

The Switch 10E performs to the best of its abilities and matches the Lenovo Miix 3 8 in single and multi-cpu Cinebench tests. The Microsoft Surface 3 has been added in the comparison tablet below and shows a 50% CPU performance improvement in the multiple CPU tests. Note that the Surface 3 uses the new, high-end Atom X7, a next-generation Intel mobile CPU that you will start to see more of during the second-half of 2015. The Atom X5 is the comparable 'next-generation' CPU to the Z3735 in the Switch 10E. At the time of writing we don't have any test results for the CPU. Check the link here for updates during 2015 and 2016. 

Note that full CPU power is also available under battery power.

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
5.84 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.07 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.31 Points
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
2898 Points
Asus Transformer Book T100TAL-DK021P
2514 Points -13%
Lenovo Miix 3 8
2935 Points +1%
Microsoft Surface 3
4356 Points +50%
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
946 Points
Asus Transformer Book T100TAL-DK021P
744 Points -21%
Lenovo Miix 3 8
928 Points -2%
Microsoft Surface 3
1225 Points +29%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130-9356
1727 Points +83%

System Performance

Using PCMark 7 we get a feel for all-round performance including CPU, GPU, disk and memory performance under common usage scenarios. The score of  2350 is respectable and a close look at some of the scores shows a good balance of performance. (In some cases the PCMark scores are artificially high due to very high SSD performance.) Again, comparing it to the Lenovo Miix 3 8 and Surface 3 gives us an idea of relative performance. We've added a few other comparable devices into the comparison too. Note that the Acer Switch 10E has a slightly lower score in this test than the original Switch 10 of 2014 but the difference is extremely small.

PCMark 7 Score
2350 points
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
2350 Points
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
2530 Points +8%
Lenovo Miix 3 8
2425 Points +3%
Dell Venue 10 Pro 5055
2351 Points 0%
Asus T100CHI-B1-BK
2705 Points +15%
Microsoft Surface 3
3029 Points +29%

SSD performance

The 32GB eMMC non-upgradeable storage device comes with 21.8 GB of available space, before OS install. Expect around 15 GB to be free after installing some of the pre-installed software which we found to be unnecessary on a device that needs every CPU cycle and GB it can get. A Windows 10 upgrade, available from July 29th, should enable a clean reset but this hasn't been tested so we can't say how much will be free after the upgrade. After installing our test suit, not including games, we reach 5GB free very quickly so be aware that large software installs may not be possible on the internal disk. A USB drive or MicroSD card can help (Windows has options to allow MicroSD  storage to be integrated into the system.)

In terms of performance we were happy with the SSD. The 4K write speed gets close to a 10 MB/s sped which is important. The sequential read and write speeds are faster when bitlocker is turned off but this figure is only really important for large file transfers or copies so users shouldn't feel much, if any difference in normal use. [Bitlocker file encryption is automatically enabled if you log in with a Microsoft account.]

Overall the performance of the storage compares very well to all other eMMC-based Windows tablets. This biggest issue for the user is going to be storage space.

Graphics Solution

You can forget any sort of 3D desktop gaming on the Acer Switch 10E because the embedded Gen-7 Intel graphics are just not up to the job, even with such a low screen resolution. From experience with these platforms we can tell you that you'll be able to run World of Warcraft of extremely low settings, if you install it to an external disk drive. The storage issues will affect most 3D desktop games. We tested WoW on an external SSD via the USB 2.0 port and although we achieved 44 FPS in low settings, the loading experience was extremely slow and at times the scenes froze, we think because of USB disk throughput issues.

Windows Store gaming, targeted more at the mobile, touch and 'snacking' gamer is where the Acer Aspire Switch 10E will provide the most entertainment value. 

The integrated graphics includes a hardware video accelerator which can decode 2K H.264 videos (we tested a 33 Mbps file) with no problems (5% CPU utilisation.) The platform is rated for about 100 Mbps H.264 throughput. Hardware encoding is also available through some applications. We tested a 2K to 720p video down-conversion (which saves drive space and better matches the native screen resolution) at around 88 frames-per-second average. (Handbrake, Intel QSV profile using high-speed settings.)

Full performance is available in battery mode.

3DMark 11 Performance
211 points
low med. high ultra
World of Warcraft (2005) 44

Gaming Performance

As a demonstration of Windows Store gaming we've created this video showing Beach Buggy Racing, Hill Climb Racing, Riptide GP2, Jetpack Joyride and Drift Mania Championship.

low med. high ultra
World of Warcraft (2005) 44


System Noise

The Acer Switch 10E is a silent, fanless PC and therefor, given the video capabilities, could be useful as a KODI (was XBMC) media center.


Temperatures didn't rise much during testing and our load test results are shown below. The highest temperature measured was a still-comfortable 42.8 degree in a 23.1 degree ambient temperature.

Max. Load
 40.5 °C
105 F
33 °C
91 F
27.2 °C
81 F
 37 °C
99 F
30.2 °C
86 F
27.4 °C
81 F
 35.9 °C
97 F
35 °C
95 F
29.6 °C
85 F
Maximum: 40.5 °C = 105 F
Average: 32.9 °C = 91 F
27.1 °C
81 F
36.1 °C
97 F
42.5 °C
109 F
27.6 °C
82 F
32.7 °C
91 F
38 °C
100 F
29.1 °C
84 F
32.7 °C
91 F
36.5 °C
98 F
Maximum: 42.5 °C = 109 F
Average: 33.6 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  52.3 °C = 126 F | Room Temperature 23.1 °C = 74 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.9 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 30.2 °C / 86 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 40.5 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.3 °C / 96 F, ranging from 19.6 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.5 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 36.7 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.3 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 30.2 °C / 86 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (35.9 °C / 96.6 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.1 °C / 82.6 F (-7.8 °C / -14 F).


As mentioned in the video, the front-facing stereo speakers aren't bad. Naturally, there's little bass but they are good enough and well-positioned for gaming, video and even background radio. We suspect some digital enhancement is being used but it the sound wasn't overly processed. Digital audio output is available through the HDMI port (unprocessed), the Miracast function (compressed) and through Bluetooth A2DP profile (heavily compressed.) Analogue audio output is available through the headset port.


The fixed-focus webcams are not for photography. Both are 2.0 MP (1920 x 1080) cameras and the picture results under room lighting were very grainy. For video use though there seems to be a reasonable level of sensitivity which makes video calls acceptable.  

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Power consumption at the USB adaptor was nothing unexpected. Other USB adaptors can be used to charge the Acer Switch 10E but charging times were very long. In one case we weren't able to charge the unit while using it as the charging rate was lower than the usage rate.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.1 / 4.2 / 5.1 Watt
Load midlight 11 / 11.3 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940
Currently we use the Metrahit Energy, a professional single phase power quality and energy measurement digital multimeter, for our measurements. Find out more about it here. All of our test methods can be found here.

Battery Life

The Intel Atom Z-series CPUs were refreshed in 2014 to be smaller and use less components and as a result, idle battery drain can be extremely low. The 2W TDP processor is only part of the story though as screen backlight can take as much again. We measured low-to-high screen backlight usage as 2W. Under load there's around 10W of power being used.  The 29.7 (design) Wh battery achieved 30.6 Wh of capacity (5rd charge cycle) which is a respectable capacity for this price bracket. We were able to squeeze the equivalent of 943 minutes of idle, screen-on (min) airplane mode battery life in a 10-minute measurement test. Other test results include the web browsing test which gave a 4.7 Watt drain average, and the video playback test, using the Windows 8.1 video player, the screen at 150 cd/m and aircraft mode. The average drain over 5 minutes was 3.09 watts (in a second test we saw 2.9 watts) which is 10 hours of 1080p H.264 viewing time, assuming there are no heavy background tasks running. 8 hours would be a reasonable expectation for a 6-month old Switch 10E.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
15h 43min
WiFi Websurfing
6h 30min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 53min
Videotest mit dem Video-Player von Windows 8.
Battery Runtime - WiFi Websurfing (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
390 min
Microsoft Surface 3
437 min +12%
Asus Transformer Book T100TAL-DK021P
486 min +25%
Battery Runtime
Reader / Idle (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
943 min
Microsoft Surface 3
828 min
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
475 min
H.264 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013
593 min
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU
290 min


Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013 Intel Atom Z3735F, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Surface 3 Intel Atom x7-Z8700, Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail), 128 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo Miix 3 8 Intel Atom Z3735F, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 32 GB eMMC Flash
Asus Transformer Book T100TAL-DK021P Intel Atom Z3735D, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 64 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Aspire Switch 10 SW5-011-12VU Intel Atom Z3745D, Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Hynix HCG8E 64 GB


+ Good all-round performance results
+ Screen is very good for the price
+ Battery life impressive under test scenarios


- No USB 3.0
- Plastic look and feel
- Use 'old' (2013-2014) Atom CPU
- Slow USB charging
- Poor WiFi


The Acer Aspire Switch 10E looks cheap and the WiFi doesn't perform very well. Slow USB charging might put some people off too but there are some good points to consider here. A good screen, good battery life, good keyboard / touchpad and the hinge mechanism works well. As a tablet it's light enough for casual use and with the keyboard it weighs just 1.2KG and under 1.3 KG with the USB charging adaptor. 

We come out of the review with a better opinion of the 10E than when we unboxed and that's a good sign.

The 'good screen' doesn't mean it's high resolution but we'd rather see good brightness, viewing-angles and colors on a lower resolution screen than on a poor high-resolution screen. Having said that, if you've got eyes for high-DPI, maybe this will disappoint.

We come out of the review with a better opinion of the 10E than when we unboxed and that's a good sign.  At a 299 Euro ($279) entry-point it's reasonable value but we suspect that Acer might be able to target $250 with this, making it very competitive, assuming that competitors, and even Acer themselves don't launch an Intel Atom X5 version. The improved graphics of the X5 could be a major issue for this Atom Z3735-based version.

The Acer Aspire Switch 10E will work well as a home 2-in-1 where the WiFi speed issue may not be a problem but where a light, flexible and good value tablet comes in useful and the stand-mode perfect as a TV buddy. We wouldn't recommend this for any sort of business, gaming or education use but as a holiday PC the Switch 10E would be perfect.

The Switch 10E is 'Windows 10 ready' but then so are nearly all other PCs. Our Entertainment Edition (Germany) came with a bunch of software and software links that most might not find useful and some might find annoying. Crapware doesn't help low-end PCs with small disks at all.  The free year of Office 365 with 1TB online storage is one package that we accept as being very useful though.

At this price you'll need to line up the following for comparison: HP Pavilion X2 10 (and soon, the Windows 10 / Atom X5 version of that) and offers on the ASUS Transformer Book T100. 

Acer Aspire Switch 10E SW3-013 - 07/14/2015 v4(old)
Steve Chippy Paine

61 / 98 → 62%
Pointing Device
50 / 80 → 63%
73 / 35-78 → 88%
Games Performance
20 / 68 → 29%
Application Performance
55 / 87 → 63%
56 / 91 → 62%
47 / 85 → 55%
Convertible - Weighted Average


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Steve Chippy Paine, 2015-07-16 (Update: 2015-07-16)