And the cavalcade of Microsoft Surface clones continues.
Not that cloning is always a bad thing, especially when a manufacturer can bring something new to the design like Acer's new Switch 3 and Switch 5 two-in-ones. The Windows 10 ($149.00 at Amazon.com) tablet PCs, which arrive in June, join the company's Switch Alpha 12 ($703.98 at Amazon.com) and while they resemble Microsoft's star tablet, they aren't quite the same.
For starters, Acer uses a U-shaped kickstand that has a enough stiffness and range to hold it at a variety of angles up to 165 degrees. The Switch 5 goes a step further with a design that lets you adjust that angle with a single finger, so it's more like a traditional clamshell. The same model gets a power button that also works as a fingerprint reader for logging in with Windows Hello.
The 12-inch Switch 5 starts at $800 (roughly £620 and AU$1,070) and has a 2,160x1,440-pixel resolution IPS touchscreen and is available with seventh-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, 8GB of memory, Intel HD graphics and up to 512GB of storage.
The lower end 12.2-inch Switch 3 comes in at $400, which converts to about £310 and AU$535, and has a 1,920x1,200-pixel resolution IPS touchscreen and is available with Intel Pentium or Celeron processors, 4GB of memory, Intel HD graphics and up to 128GB of storage.
Acer claims a battery life up to 10.5 hours for the 5 and 8 hours for the 3. Though the Switch 3 is definitely lower end, both include a nice keyboard cover and work with Acer's optional Active Pen. Plus, regardless of what's inside or what you're doing with them, they run silent, thanks to a fanless design courtesy of Acer's proprietary liquid cooling system.
Look for the Acer Switch 3 and 5 in June.