Acer Switch 5 and Switch 3 2-in-1s don't need fans to stay cool

The Windows 10 tablet PCs do just enough to stand out from the crowd of Surface clones coming this year.

Joshua Goldman

Joshua Goldman

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Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

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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 tablet PCs, which arrive in June, join the company's Switch Alpha 12 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.

All the new laptops, tablets, VR headsets and more from Acer's global press conference

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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.