Acer Switch 5
An aspiring 2-in-1 switches out some specs to hit the sweet spot on price
Whether it’s the metal unibody tablet design, the thin folio keyboard case or the 12-inch screen in a 3:2 aspect ratio, the Acer Switch 5 is unashamedly aspiring to be as similar to the Microso Surface Pro as the law will allow. While Acer gets no points for originality, the Surface Pro is a design worth emulating, and this 2-in-1 has nearly all the features of its spiritual sibling.
If you were to put the spec sheets of the 256GB Intel Core i5 version of the Surface Pro next to the Switch 5, you’ll see an almost identical fit-out. Both are built with a 7th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, Intel HD Graphics 620, 8GB of RAM and each sports a speedy 256GB PCIe SSD.
With such a similar layout, it’s natural to wonder why you would ever go for the Acer when it was Microsoft’s Surface brand that first really forged the popular 2-in-1 form factor, but the Switch 5 has one major drawcard over the similarly-specced Surface Pro – it costs $500 less. Despite this considerable discount, Acer has actually cut costs in clever areas to minimise the difference in performance.
The most obvious is a slightly smaller screen that has a resolution of 2,160 x 1,440 pixels to the Surface Pro’s 2,736 x 1,824 display, which definitely makes it less vibrant but doesn’t reduce pixel density and picture quality that noticeably. The Surface Pro does considerably outperform the Switch 5 in more GPU intensive workloads (creatives, take note). While the Switch 5’s lower pixel count will mean it drains less battery, it only has a 38Wh Li-Ion battery to the Surface Pro’s 45Wh unit, offering around five hours of power.
The Switch 5’s pen, keyboardand kickstand have been reverse engineered to be close to Microsoft’s offering, and unless you’ve become accustomed to the Surface Pen, you’re unlikely to notice the difference.