LAS VEGAS — Detachable 2-in-1s are usually held together by magnetic hinges. But in the Aspire Switch 12 S, Acer has put new technology into the hinge to make the overall package even more useful. Acer's "snap hinge gold" powers USB 3.0 ports on the keyboard, making the device more versatile. It will become available February starting at $999.
Besides powering the USB ports on the keyboard, we found that snap hinge gold caused the tablet to slide in to the tablet extremely easily, and the backlit keyboard felt fairly clicky during our first impressions here at CES 2016.
The 12.5-inch Gorilla Glass display is available in either 1920 x 1280-pixel or 4K flavors, and features IPS technology. If you're looking to connect to a monitor, the Switch boasts Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 Type-C for power, alongside full-size USB ports on the keyboard. Inside, you'll find a 6th generation Intel core processor, and you'll be able to load up to 256GB SSD for storage and up to 8GB of RAM. Acer also packs in an 802.11ac Wi-Fi antenna.
The company promises 8 hours of battery life. that, in part, could be due to how lightweight it is. The Aspire Switch 12 S weighs about 1.76 pounds (and felt very light in our hands). The weight increases to a little more than 3 pounds, when you connect it to the dock.
The 12 S will use its USB 3.1 Type-C port to work with a yet-to-be-named graphics dock featuring an Nvidia graphics card that can output to an external monitor. We saw Tomb Raider being run off of this setup, and it looked quite good for a detachable PC. The dock won't be limited to the 12 S and will work with any computer with USB 30.1 Type-C. The Acer H7 Series Type-C Monitor used in the demo features it's own USB Type-C port to power devices that are connected to it.
We're looking forward to getting our hands on a 12 S to try the new hinge and USB Type-C accessories that it works with for a full review.