Acer Switch 7 Black Edition
Reviews for the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition
Source: Tweakers NL→EN
Positive: Powerful hardware; good cooling system; fast fingerprint sensor; smart stylus pen. Negative: High price.
Single Review, online available, Short, Date: 08/31/2017
Model: Www.heise.de dubs the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition the top model of the Switch family of Convertible notebooks from 2017. Other than the models from the Spin family, this 2-in-1 device features a detachable keyboard. Www.techradar.com describes it as “The most powerful, liquid-cooled Windows tablet in the world”. Its graphics performance profits from a discrete graphics card, while its liquid cooling system ensures that it still runs completely silent. According to uk.pcmag.com the Acer Switch Black Edition could “give Microsoft's Surface a run for its money”. Other competitors are the Asus Transformer Book Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy Book 12.
Design and Connectivity
The design has improved from the predecessors. Www.techradar.com reports that completely rounded edges had replaced the half blocky and half curved aesthetic in place since the Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12. The entirely jet black device features an anodized aluminum backside and front cover glass. However, uk.pcmag.com writes that would not feel quite as high-end as the Surface Pro's metal build.
Size and weight are even more important for a 2-in-1 device than for a laptop. The Switch 7 features a 13,5-inch display. Hence, it will not set records here. According to uk.pcmag.com it is still pretty light, weighing just under 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg) without the keyboard. As for the kickstand, Acer uses their patented “AutoStand” method. Www.windowscentral.com describes that the kickstand deploys and retracts automatically depending on how you place or remove the tablet portion in relation to a flat surface like a table. Www.techradar.com suggests that the kickstand has a few clever tricks to make this one of the easiest tablets to use. According to them one-handed use is effortless. In contrast, www.pocket-lint.com found that the stand, which was meant to pop-out of its near-flush position ready for use, “was reluctant to do so” and suggest that some tweaks are needed. On the other hand, www.engadget.com claims that the kickstand would feel “feels nigh-unbreakable”.
According to www.techradar.com the detachable keyboard feels “significantly more solid than Acer’s previous 2-in-1 attempts”. However, they regret that the keycaps have not gotten any larger despite the 13-inch device offering so much more room than smaller models. Www.notebookreview.com also complains that the keys are still a little too small. Uk.pcmag.com reports, “The keys on the detachable keyboard had a nice feel and good key travel, particularly for this type of keyboard”. An advantage is that the keyboard features backlit keys (www.parts-people.com, www.pocket-lint.com). Www.engadget.com summarizes, “As for the keyboard, it's actually one of the nicer versions we've tried in this form factor for a while, thanks to good key travel and keycap spacing.”
The 13.5-inch touchscreen can not only be used with the finger, but also supports a Wacom stylus with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt support for angle and width levels. The stylus can be hidden in the body of the device. This is an advantage, since it can prevent easily losing it. Www.windowscentral.com writes the stylus is “identical to the Surface Pro (2017) pen, at least on paper”. Moreover, the stylus is battery-free. In the opinion of Www.engadget.com, “It certainly won't replace your Cintiq, but it'll do the job for folks who spend a lot of time inside Windows Ink and Illustrator.” However, www.notebookreview.com would wish for the stylus being a bit longer. Www.techradar.com explains that the Switch 7 Black Edition’s stylus is closer in size to the one that comes with the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 rather than an ergonomic digital pen you would use on a Surface, since it can be tucked away. But, they would rather take a smaller stylus than having to find their pen loops again. In their opinion, the stylus also felt large enough to comfortably write and draw with.
Uk.pcmag.com writes that the fingerprint sensor is a nice inclusion. It is said to support Windows Hello for sign in and also packs a useful Power on Authentication, which makes it possible to power the device on and be signed in with just a touch. According to www.notebookreview.com, the fingerprint sensor is located on the display’s rim instead of the keyboard.
The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition comes with a big and bright 13.5-inch display with a resolution of 2,256 x 1,504 pixels. It uses the IPS technology for wide viewing angles. Www.techradar.com writes that the display is “gorgeous to look at”. Uk.pcmag.com confirms that the picture quality is crisp and vibrant, plenty bright even in a well-lit room, and the touch technology was responsive. Also www.engadget.com feels that the display is certainly big and bright enough.
Performance and Emissions
The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition features an 8th generation Intel Kaby Lake i7 processor and a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card. The latter is essentially a mobile version of the GT1030. Other specifications include 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. Www.parts-people.com expects that “things are going to run smooth like butter, quite ideal for intensive tasks, media streaming, and creating content”. The discrete graphics card does not turn the 2-in-1 device into a gaming laptop. However, www.notebookreview.com confirms, “This GPU will ensure a great experience for graphically demanding applications like video editing and video-based presentations” and writes “it’s safe to say the Switch 7 Black Edition will exceed expectations compared to other 2-in-1 devices that use Intel integrated graphics.” Uk.pcmag.com shares this opinion, “The Nvidia GeForce MX150 […] is able to play simpler or less demanding titles better than systems with integrated graphics, and importantly can speed up other multimedia tasks that rely on 3D capability”.
Because of its liquid cooling system, which passively removes heat from the notebook, the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition works completely silent. Such a cooling system is more energy efficient than an active cooling system with fans, which can also have a positive impact on battery life.
In my opinion, information about long-term performance, possible throttling, and surface temperatures would be interesting. But apparently such information is not yet available in online magazines.
Acer predicts a battery life of about 10 hours. Apparently, further battery life tests are also not available yet.
The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition appears to be an interesting device for those looking for a Microsoft Surface alternative. Its highlights are a dedicated Nvidia GeForce MX150 and the liquid cooling system. It remains to be seen how this 2-in-1 device performs under prolonged heavy load. Www.techradar.com summarizes, “The question is whether you really need all that power and are ready to spend $1,699.” According to Www.notebookreview.com it “is one of the most attractive, powerful and surely the quietest 2-in-1 notebooks to challenge Microsoft’s Surface Pro and the premium price reflects this reality”.
Press Review by Martina OsztovitsNVIDIA GeForce MX150: Pascal GP108 based laptop graphics card and mobile version of the desktop GeForce GT 1030. Offers 384 shader cores and 2 GB GDDR5 with a 64 Bit memory bus. Manufactured in 14nm. With these GPUs you are able to play modern and demanding games fluently at medium detail settings and HD resolution. » Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Graphics Cards and the corresponding Benchmark List.
Intel Core i7: The Intel Core i7 for laptops is based on the LG1156 Core i5/i7 CPU for desktops. The base clock speed of the CPUs is relatively low, but because of a huge Turbo mode, the cores can dynamically overclock to up to 3.2 GHz (920XM). Therefore, the CPU can be as fast as high clocked dual-core CPUs (using single threaded applications) but still offer the advantage of 4 cores. Because of the large TDP of 45 W / 55 W, the CPU is only intended for large laptops.
8550U: Kaby-Lake-Refresh based low power quad-core processor. The four cores are clocked between 1.8 and 4 GHz (Turbo Boost) and support HyperThreading. The integrated GPU is clocked between 300 and 1,150 MHz. The SoC is manufactured in a 14nm+ FinFET process.» Further information can be found in our Comparison of Mobile Processsors.
Above all, this display size is used for subnotebooks, ultrabooks and convertibles. For all three types, this size is quite large. The biggest variety of subnotebooks is represented with this size.
Large display-sizes allow higher resolutions. So, details like letters are bigger. On the other hand, the power consumption is lower with small screen diagonals and the devices are smaller, more lightweight and cheaper.» To find out how fine a display is, see our DPI List.
Acer: The company was founded under the name of Multitech in Taiwan in 1976 and renamed to Acer or Acer Group in 1987. The product range includes, for example, laptops, tablets, smartphones, desktops, monitors and televisions. Gateway Inc. and Packard Bell also belong to the Group and sell their own laptops.
While Acer still had the third largest global market share in the notebook segment in 2008, it ranked 6th in 2016 with a market share of 6% after they had continuously lost market shares.
There are dozens of Acer laptop reviews per month, the ratings are average (as of 2016). Gateway, which has an own laptop line-up, has also belonged to the Acer Group since 2007.
» Further information can be found in our Notebook Purchase Guide.