Acer upgrades the Switch hybrid with a new look

Full HD displays, new colors and screen sizes, plus a smaller version of the R-series hybrid for back-to-school.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman
2 min read

The Acer Switch line of hybrids was one of our favorites early on in the Windows 8 era, because this low-cost line kept its screen and keyboard connected via a magnetic hinge, which was much easier to use than the physical latches many of the early Windows 8 hybrids used.

The new versions of the Switch use a similar magnetic connection, which Acer calls the Snap Hinge, and the 10-inch model, called the Switch 10 E, now comes in six colors, with a soft textured finish. The Atom-powered Switch 10 has a 1,280x800 display, and will be available in July in the US, starting at $279 (or €299; no pricing yet announced for the UK or Australia for this or any of the other devices announced).

The new Acer Switch 10. Sarah Tew/CNET
A higher-end variant of the Switch 10 echoes the look of the Acer Aspire S7 laptop , one of our favorite designs, with a Gorilla Glass layer over the back of the lid for a slick, sophisticated effect, and a 1,920x1,200 display. That model will be available in August in the US for $399 (or €449).

The Switch 11 is a slightly larger version, with a full HD display and Intel's Core M processor, built into a chassis that's partly brushed aluminum. Also briefly mentioned by Acer was an even larger Switch 12 model, which could stand as a direct competitor to Apple's 12-inch MacBook , Samsung's 12-inch Ativ Book 9 , and the Asus T300 Chi . The price and release dates for those two models are still unknown.

The premium Switch 11. Sarah Tew/CNET

Also new in the hybrid category is the Aspire R11, which uses a fold-back hinge similar to that of the Lenovo Yoga line and many other 360-degree hybrids. It's a change in design for this line, as the previous R13 used a display with a rotating hinge in the center of the lid, allowing the entire screen to flip over within a slim frame.

The R11 will come with either Intel Pentium or Celeron processors, and only a 1,366x768 resolution display. With lower-end specs like that, it's not surprising that it only cost $249 to start when it's released in July in the US (or €349 in Europe in June).