Edge of Innovation

Why the Acer Switch 5 is cooler than your average 2 in 1

Dean Evans Technology Writer Twitter

Can a 2 in 1 truly be as powerful as a traditional laptop? These days, the answer is a definite ‘yes’ — as we’ve previously seen on IQ, the Dell XPS 13 2 in 1 and the HP Spectre x360 already give you two rotatable, flippable reasons to upgrade from a clamshell device.

With the popularity of hybrid laptops booming, today’s 2 in 1 machines offer a smarter alternative to inflexible laptops. In the case of the Acer Switch 5 (2017), they’re just as fast and just as powerful. They can also do so much more.

The Switch 5, for example, is Acer’s first 2-in-1 to come equipped with a 7th generation Intel Core processor — either a Core i7 or a Core i5. It also uses Acer’s proprietary LiquidLoop fanless cooling technology to give you silent running without compromising power or performance.

Instead of venting hot air out through a vent, the LiquidLoop tech transfers excess heat from the CPU to a heat pipe via a thermal conductor. This liquid-filled heat pipe then dissipates heat through a constant process of evaporation and condensation, no noisy fans required.

Liquid cooled computing
“That silence is a killer feature,” says Pocket Lint. “There’s nothing worse than a whirring or whistling fan to distract from use, so the Switch gets major points in this department. That it can offer this alongside the latest Intel Core i7 processor — making it more powerful than the earlier Alpha Switch 12 — is even more impressive.”

It’s not the only interesting feature. The Acer Switch 5 has an anodized aluminum chassis with a 12.2-inch, wide-view FHD+ touch display. While it’s not a 4K panel, the Switch 5 still provides an impressive 2160 x 1440 pixel resolution with its Intel HD Graphics 620 chipset.

The Acer Switch 5 in laptop mode
The Acer Switch 5 is unashamedly Microsoft Surface Pro-esque.

Where some 2 in 1 PCs like the Dell XPS 13 have screens that fold back on themselves, the Switch 5 has a detachable display that allows you to switch easily from PC to tablet. The advantage? In this keyboard-less tablet mode, the Switch is lighter (0.92 kg) than some of its rivals.

A unique kickstand
“The tablet connects firmly to the keyboard dock using magnets, as you’d expect,” explains Trusted Reviews, “and there’s no risk of it coming loose under normal carrying circumstances. The tablet has a unique sprung kickstand at the rear, which not only tips backwards when you push on the tablet with enough force, but also pushes back when you lift the tablet. This means it’s as adaptable as a laptop screen and eliminates one of the more irritating aspects of owning a 2-in-1.”

Beyond these headline features, the Acer Switch 5 comes with a 256GB or 512GB PCIe SSD, up to 8GB of RAM, a high-speed USB 3.1 Type-C port, USB 3.1 Type-A port and Bluetooth 4.0. It’s also eye-catchingly slim, measuring 12mm when screen and keyboard are connected, 9.6mm when in tablet mode.

Acer Switch 5 with kickstand
The Acer Switch 5 features a unique adjustable kickstand.

In addition, the Acer Switch 5 comes with a built-in fingerprint reader to enable password-less logins using Windows Hello. Plus you can use it with an Acer Active Stylus, taking advantage of Windows Ink. Its staying power is impressive too, with Acer promising a day-to-night battery life that hits the 10.5-hour mark.

“High-end hybrids have one job,” said Stuff in its preview. “Beat the Microsoft Surface Pro at its own game. Plenty have tried, but few have succeeded… Acer might have finally cracked it this year, though, and it’s all thanks to a quirky hinge, which takes inspiration from (of all things) kitchen cupboards.”

This is what the future of the laptop looks like. Find out more about the latest 2 in 1s here.

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