The most high-profile of Acer's 2014 back-to-school systems is the Aspire Switch 10. This 10-inch hybrid borrows a lot of familiar ideas from existing hybrids, but adds a couple of unique touches as well.
Acer says the Switch 10 is built to work in four distinct modes. That may be a somewhat generous description, but it's similar to what other detachable or Yoga-style hybrids can do. There's the traditional clamshell mode, then the screen pops off and can be replaced facing outwards, forming a kind of kiosk mode which Acer calls "display" mode.
The kiosk/display shape can be flipped upside down to form a table tent, a form commonly cited by PC makers, but one that I've never seen a hybrid owner use in real life. Finally, the screen can fold down from that mode to a full tablet mode (or actually just work as a standalone slate-style tablet).
The 10.1-inch screen attaches via something Acer calls the Snap Hinge. It's essentially the same two-pronged connector found on many detachable hybrids, but instead of snapping together with a physical switch, fairly powerful magnets pull the two halves together and keep them attached, even when I held the system by the screen and shook it.
Being a smaller hybrid, the Switch 10 has similar components to what we've seen in recent eight-inch and 10-inch Windows 8 tablets. In this case, that's an Intel Atom CPU, 2GB of RAM, and up to a 64GB SSD for storage.
In the hand, the Switch 10 felt solid, without the plastic flimsy feel of so many low-cost Windows systems, but it's design was also boxy and squared off. A more tapered design might help it feel even thinner.
The Switch 10 will be available starting late May 2014, from $379.