Notebookcheck

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3 Notebook Review Update

Sascha Mölck, Tanja Hinum, 02/09/2015

Borderline case, part 2. Acer has combined an 11.6-inch Windows tablet with a keyboard dock, trying to win over buyers who do not want to decide between a tablet or a notebook. A passively cooled Core i3 processor provides the necessary computing power.

For the original German review, see here.

Having tested the 900 Euros (~$1030) variant of the Switch 11 - the Switch 11 Pro - a few weeks ago, we now have the 600 Euros (~$690) variant before us. Immediately, the lower price indicates that there are reductions in terms of hardware. Instead of a Core i5 processor, the $690 model uses a Core i3. It is also equipped with a smaller capacity SSD (60 GB vs. 120 GB). In addition, the traditional hard disk built into the keyboard dock of the Core i5 model is missing. Our review reveals whether the Core i3 model can compete.

Competitors of the Switch 11 include, for example, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S and the Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA. Since both Switch 11 models are identical in construction, we will not go any further into details of the case, equipment, input devices, or speakers. This information can be found in our test report on the Aspire Switch 11 Pro.

Case

The keyboard dock of the Switch 11 Pro includes the usual 2.5-inch hard disk. In principle, a hard disk could be incorporated into the Switch 11's dock as well, but this machine contains neither the corresponding connection cable nor the hard disk frame.

Switch 11 keyboard dock
Switch 11 keyboard dock

Display

The Switch 11 is equipped with a glossy 11.5-inch display that has a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It offers a brightness of 279.3 cd/m². These are good values in principle, but the brightness of a tablet should be over 300 cd/m². Contrast (394:1) and black value (0.8 cd/m²) are still acceptable. Nonetheless: a $690 machine must offer more.

260
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
270
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
285
cd/m²
265
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
290
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Chi Mei N116HGE-Ea2
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 315 cd/m² Average: 279.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 83 %
Center on Battery: 120 cd/m²
Contrast: 394:1 (Black: 0.8 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.39 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 4.53 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.41
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
IPS FHD
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
IPS FHD
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
IPS HD
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
IPS FHD
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
IPS 2K
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
IPS HD
Lenovo Miix 2 11
IPS FHD
Screen
Brightness middle
315
279
-11%
340
8%
360
14%
355.3
13%
329
4%
344
9%
Brightness
279
251
-10%
320
15%
332
19%
338
21%
315
13%
327
17%
Brightness Distribution
83
83
0%
85
2%
86
4%
91
10%
85
2%
88
6%
Black Level *
0.8
0.38
52%
0.45
44%
0.5
37%
0.33
59%
0.41
49%
0.4
50%
Contrast
394
734
86%
756
92%
720
83%
1077
173%
802
104%
860
118%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.39
3.48
-3%
4.2
-24%
3.35
1%
4.72
-39%
6.41
-89%
7.46
-120%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.53
4.55
-0%
2.96
35%
4.61
-2%
6.53
-44%
6.3
-39%
7.49
-65%
Gamma
2.41 91%
2.39 92%
2.35 94%
2.37 93%
2.17 101%
2.54 87%
2.31 95%
CCT
6330 103%
6415 101%
6561 99%
6707 97%
6206 105%
6080 107%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
60
59.37

* ... smaller is better

In terms of color reproduction, the display gives no cause for criticism. The average DeltaE-2000 deviation sits at 3.39 in delivery condition, thereby just barely missing the target range (DeltaE below 3). The monitor shows no blue tint.

CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - Color Checker
CalMAN - grayscale
CalMAN - grayscale
CalMAN - color saturation
CalMAN - color saturation
The Switch 11 in outside use
The Switch 11 in outside use

Acer has equipped the Switch 11 with an IPS panel. The monitor can be read from any position. The machine can definitely be used outside. Still, use should be restricted to shady areas. Usage in bright sunshine becomes difficult to impossible because of the glossy surface. 

Performance

Acer's 11.6-inch convertible is aimed at potential buyers who are hesitating between a tablet and a netbook/subnotebook. The computer offers enough processing power for office and Internet use. Our test machine is available for about $690; Acer also offers alternatively equipped variants.

Processor

The Switch 11 is equipped with an Intel Core i3-4012Y (Haswell) dual-core processor. The CPU runs at a speed of 1.5 GHz; there is no turbo. The processor supports Hyperthreading (two threads per core can be used). Intel measures the TDP at 11.5 Watts. The full processing speed of the CPU is available even on battery power. The CPU tests of the Cinebench Benchmarks are consistently processed at 1.5 GHz.

Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4314
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
4967
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
2229
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.64 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
16.32 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.38 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
18.28 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
150 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
60 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
99.6 %
Help
Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
60 Points ∼28%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
74 Points ∼34%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
38 Points ∼17%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
114 Points ∼52%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
42 Points ∼19%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
59 Points ∼27%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
150 Points ∼3%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
165 Points ∼4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
146 Points ∼3%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
258 Points ∼6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
127 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
93 Points ∼2%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
0.64 Points ∼26%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
0.87 Points ∼36%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
0.44 Points ∼18%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
1.3 Points ∼53%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
1.12 Points ∼46%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
0.5 Points ∼20%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
0.68 Points ∼28%
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
1.38 Points ∼3%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
1.84 Points ∼4%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
1.77 Points ∼4%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
2.71 Points ∼6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
2.77 Points ∼6%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
1.47 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1.06 Points ∼2%
Cinebench R10
Rendering Single 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
2229 Points ∼21%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
1250 Points ∼12%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
4273 Points ∼39%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
3675 Points ∼34%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1921 Points ∼18%
Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
4967 Points ∼8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
4353 Points ∼7%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
8637 Points ∼13%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
7067 Points ∼11%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
3382 Points ∼5%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
3299 Points ∼4%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
2801 Points ∼3%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
1589 Points ∼33%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1474 Points ∼30%
Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
238.9 ms * ∼3%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
249 ms * ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
368.5 ms * ∼4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
4562.1 ms * ∼8%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
5117 ms * ∼9%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
7730.1 ms * ∼13%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
7021 Points ∼13%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
5652 Points ∼11%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
3551 Points ∼7%
Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
1449 Points ∼23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
868 Points ∼14%

* ... smaller is better

System Performance

The Core i3 processor and the speedy Solid State Disk offer a fast, well-rounded system. The results in the PCMark Benchmarks demonstrate the hardware's system performance. The Switch 11 Pro, equipped with a stronger processor, had somewhat poorer results than the model now before us. The reason: the Switch 11 Pro has a traditional hard disk as well as an SSD. Since traditional hard drives are noticeably slower than SSDs, the Switch 11 Pro cannot break away here.

PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
1905 points
PCMark 8 Creative Score Accelerated v2
1988 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
2605 points
Help
PCMark 8 - Home Score Accelerated v2 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
1905 Points ∼31%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1392 Points ∼23%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
1419 Points ∼23%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
2002 Points ∼33%

Storage Devices

The Switch includes a solid-state disk from Lite On. This offers a capacity of 60 GB, of which 40 GB is available for use. Read rates do rather well in general. Write rates lie well below today's possibilities. There are many SSDs available that have higher write rates.

Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
Sequential Read: 504.4 MB/s
Sequential Write: 167.2 MB/s
512K Read: 378.7 MB/s
512K Write: 167.2 MB/s
4K Read: 29.46 MB/s
4K Write: 57.56 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 195 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 128.1 MB/s

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 4200 graphics core is responsible for graphics performance. The GPU supports DirectX 11 and runs at speeds between 200 and 850 MHz. Thanks to the RAM working in dual-channel mode, the GPU averages a somewhat better performance in 3D Mark benchmarks than other computers that boast an HD Graphics 4200 core.

3DMark 11 Performance
715 points
3DMark Ice Storm Standard Score
30839 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
3106 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
431 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
715 Points ∼2%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
264 Points ∼1%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
877 Points ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
747 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
367 Points ∼1%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130
HD Graphics 4200, 4300Y, LiteOnIT LJT-256L6G-11 M.2 2260 256GB
487 Points ∼1%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
431 Points ∼2%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
358 Points ∼1%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
132 Points ∼0%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
636 Points ∼2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
483 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
199 Points ∼1%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130
HD Graphics 4200, 4300Y, LiteOnIT LJT-256L6G-11 M.2 2260 256GB
271 Points ∼1%
1280x720 Sky Diver Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
1888 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
2018 Points ∼3%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130
HD Graphics 4200, 4300Y, LiteOnIT LJT-256L6G-11 M.2 2260 256GB
1237 Points ∼2%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
3106 Points ∼5%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
3027 Points ∼5%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
1597 Points ∼3%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
4727 Points ∼8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
4146 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
1716 Points ∼3%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130
HD Graphics 4200, 4300Y, LiteOnIT LJT-256L6G-11 M.2 2260 256GB
2333 Points ∼4%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
30839 Points ∼3%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
29385 Points ∼3%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
20450 Points ∼2%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
38526 Points ∼3%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
29229 Points ∼3%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
15825 Points ∼1%
Dell Venue 11 Pro 7130
HD Graphics 4200, 4300Y, LiteOnIT LJT-256L6G-11 M.2 2260 256GB
21853 Points ∼2%

Gaming Performance

The CPU and GPU of the Switch 11 are not meant for 3D games à la “Far Cry 4” or “Assassin's Creed: Unity”. Only a few games achieve playable frame rates at all - at minimal resolution and low quality settings. This is different with games available from the Windows Store. As a rule, these games present no problems.

low med. high ultra
Mass Effect 3 (2012) 28.2 19.5 11.1 fps
Tomb Raider (2013) 34.5 17.3 10.6 fps
Assassin´s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) 13 9.8 fps
Watch Dogs (2014) 9.7 6.5 fps

Emissions & Energy

System Noise

The Switch 11's processor is passively cooled, and there is an SSD for data storage. Thus equipped, the computer emits no noise. 

Temperature

The Switch 11 during stress test.
The Switch 11 during stress test.

The Switch 11 runs the stress test (Prime95 and FurMark run for at least an hour) both on and off battery power. The CPU and GPU work at their full speed before being throttled back. The processor runs at 600 to 900 MHz. In the course of the test, the speed evens out at around 600 MHz. The graphics core runs at 500 to 550 MHz. Its working speed also drops with increased time and evens out at about 400 MHz. However, the reduction in speed does not prevent the Switch 11 from exceeding the 40 degrees Celsius (~104 °F) threshold in certain places.

 26.1 °C
79 F
27 °C
81 F
28.5 °C
83 F
 
 26 °C
79 F
27 °C
81 F
29.1 °C
84 F
 
 27.8 °C
82 F
28.1 °C
83 F
30.1 °C
86 F
 
Maximum: 30.1 °C = 86 F
Average: 27.7 °C = 82 F
27.8 °C
82 F
26.2 °C
79 F
25.4 °C
78 F
27.3 °C
81 F
26.7 °C
80 F
25.4 °C
78 F
26.9 °C
80 F
26.3 °C
79 F
25.2 °C
77 F
Maximum: 27.8 °C = 82 F
Average: 26.4 °C = 80 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.1 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 21.2 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.1 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 47.5 °C / 118 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 45.1 °C / 113 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.7 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(-) The palmrests and touchpad can get very hot to the touch with a maximum of 43.5 °C / 110.3 F.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 28.9 °C / 84 F (-14.6 °C / -26.3 F).

Power Consumption

While idling, the Switch 11's energy usage remains well below 10 Watts - we are used to this from computers with Haswell processors. We measured the highest power consumption (22.6 Watts) in the first few seconds of the stress test. Afterwards, CPU and GPU were throttled back, which led to lower power consumption. Overall, the power consumption is at a normal level for the built-in hardware platform. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.2 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 4.2 / 6.5 / 6.7 Watt
Load midlight 16.4 / 22.6 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

In the practical WLAN test, websites were loaded automatically at 40-second intervals. The energy save profile is active and display brightness is set at about 150 cd/m². The Switch reaches a run time of 5:31 h., holding out longer than the Core i5 sister model. This is not surprising, since that model is equipped with a more powerful processor and a traditional hard drive.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing
5h 31min
Battery Runtime
WiFi (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G
331 min ∼66%
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
260 min ∼52%
Lenovo Miix 2 11
HD Graphics 4200, 4012Y, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
284 min ∼56%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N3520, Seagate Laptop Ultrathin ST500LT032
290 min ∼58%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
HD Graphics 4400, 4500U, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
291 min ∼58%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
HD Graphics 4200, 4210Y, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
387 min ∼77%
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
HD Graphics 4400, 4300U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
504 min ∼100%
WiFi v1.3 (sort by value)
Acer Aspire Switch 11 Pro 128GB HDD-Dock
HD Graphics 4200, 4202Y, 128 GB SATA SSD
351 min ∼100%

Verdict

With a price of just about 600 Euros (~$690), the Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3 is about 300 Euros (~$350) cheaper than the Core i5 sister model, which we have also recently tested. The Core i3 processor offers more than enough performance for everyday use. The computer runs completely silently and thanks to the built-in Solid State Disk is very fast. The Core i3 model before us is also equipped with an IPS Full HD monitor. It offers better brightness than the panel built into the Core i5 model, although it also offers less contrast. One positive aspect: the Switch 11's Core i3 model offers better battery life. The warranty of only 12 months, presents one clear drawback. With a $690 machine, we would like to see a two-year manufacturer's guarantee as standard. 

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Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3. Test model provided by Acer.
Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3. Test model provided by Acer.

Specifications

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3 (Aspire Switch Series)
Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4200, Core: 200-850 MHz, Dual Channel, 10.18.10.3855
Memory
4096 MB 
, DDR3, Dual Channel
Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel, capacitive, 10-point multitouch, Chi Mei N116HGE-Ea2, IPS, glossy: yes
Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
Storage
Lite-On IT L8T-64L9G, 64 GB 
, , 40 GB free
Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: Audiokombo, Card Reader: MicroSD, Sensors: alignment sensor, brightness sensor
Networking
Atheros AR5BWB222 Wireless Network Adapter (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 25 x 298 x 205.4 ( = 0.98 x 11.73 x 8.09 in)
Battery
32 Wh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: HD webcam
Additional features
Speakers: Stereo, Keyboard: Chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, Acer Video Player, McAfee LiveSafe Internet Security (Test version), MS Office (Test version), 12 Months Warranty
Weight
1.55 kg ( = 54.67 oz / 3.42 pounds), Power Supply: 267 g ( = 9.42 oz / 0.59 pounds)
Price
599 Euro

 

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Links

Price Comparison

Pros

+IPS Full HD monitor
+noiseless use
+two USB slots
 

Cons

-Only a 12-month warranty

Shortcut

What we like

The noiseless operation

What we'd like to see

A more stable keyboard dock

What surprised us

A warranty of only 12 months is uncommon for a $690 model.

The competition

Microsoft Surface Pro 3Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S, Transformer Book Trio TX201LALenovo IdeaTab Miix 2 11, Dell Venue 11 Pro 7140

Rating

Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3 - 02/02/2015 v4(old)
Sascha Mölck

Chassis
74 / 98 → 76%
Keyboard
63%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
50 / 80 → 63%
Weight
68 / 35-78 → 77%
Battery
88%
Display
84%
Games Performance
59 / 68 → 87%
Application Performance
59 / 87 → 68%
Temperature
84%
Noise
100%
Audio
38 / 91 → 42%
Camera
33 / 85 → 39%
Average
68%
77%
Convertible - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Acer Aspire Switch 11 SW5-171-31U3 Notebook Review Update
Sascha Mölck, 2015-02- 9 (Update: 2015-02- 9)