Acer Aspire Switch 10

I purchased the Acer Aspire Switch 10 to play around with Windows 8.1. I am usually a Mac / iPad / iPhone guy but when I walked into a Best Buy store and I found the original Microsoft Surface 32 GB for $ 249 and I could not resist.

I played with the Surface and Windows RT for a few days and I did not find enough quality multimedia apps for my needs.

I returned it to best buy and purchased the Asus Transformer 100T running full Windows 8.1. The Transformer 100T also came with a keyboard that could be removed to use it in tablet mode just like an iPad.

I tried to like it  but eventually returned it as well for the following reasons:

1) MicroSD card kept on coming off as it was not mounted flush along the edge of the tablet.

2) Ports and connectors felt really cheap with gaps.

These 2 issues may not be a problem for most people but when you are used to the construction of Apple gadgets this is simply not acceptable. The transformer 100T felt like a pre-production model.

I eventually returned it as well and paid a few more dollars (50 to be exact) for the Acer Aspire Switch 10 that is the subject of this review.

The Switch 10 is a 2-1 laptop / tablet that comes with 4 modes per Acer: (Pictures will be added later).

1) Notebook Mode

 

2) Pad (Tablet) Mode

 

3) Display Mode

 

4) Tent Mode

 

Compared to the ASUS 100T I returned, the Switch 10 appears to have better quality silver plastics reminiscent of a my Macbook Air. The MicroSD card goes all the way in and has no chance of accidentally coming off which was a major concern for me.

The switch was not all positive as you win some and lose some as well so I lost the following:

1) Micro USB connector for the charger allowing me to use any of the chargers at home, in my car or at the office.

2) 10 to 11 Hours battery life.

Other than the items mentioned above, both of these hybrids are pretty well matched up. They come with Windows 8.1, a Quad-Core processor, Microsoft Office 2013 Home & Student Edition, 32 GB of Internal storage. I added a 64 GB MicroSD card for all my music.

 

In use,  the Acer Switch 10 mostly works fine. Some desktop applications respond a bit strange when used in tablet mode without the keyboard. I will come back to this point in more details in a future review. I suspect this is normal as these applications were designed for keyboard and mouse operation.  Some of the software manufacturers need to pay attention to this and make the necessary changes to fix that.

One software company that read my mind was Atomix Productions, makers of Virtual DJ software. Virtual DJ 8 has a Tablet mode that could come handy when playing around in tablet mode without the keyboard. The interface is not fully optimized but it’s a very good start.

Since this will be used mostly as the second backup option for my main DJ Rig, I installed Virtual DJ 8 (Free Version) and Serato DJ Intro along with a Pioneer DDJ-WeeGo controller.

I played my usual 5 hours set with no problems using Serato Dj Intro. I played around with Virtual DJ as well but not for an extended amount of time. I will write about that experience when I do. I just checked the Virtual Dj Tablet mode to see what it was all about and I liked it. For the time being, I still prefer Traktor on the iPad if I need to use just a tablet.

 

I will update this review as I think about and discover items to add but do not hesitate to contact me for any questions or for more info.

 

Regards,

 

Update (June 23, 2014)

After using the Acer Aspire Switch 10 for a few more days, I would not recommend it to anyone for serious use. Here are some of the problems I encountered:

Power button unresponsive.

Battery drain when not in use (talking about hours here and not days)

Battery drain while plugged in.. (or not charging at all).

There is a single light on this hybrid and that’s on the power switch. It’s blue when fully charged, orange when charging or off.

There are no caps lock or any other indicators on the keyboard.

Very disappointed but I am tired of returning stuff to Best Buy so will keep it to play around.

Note that all firmware and Windows updates have been done and that did not have any effect on these problems.