The trickiest part of laptop-notebook hybrids is switching between modes. Acer tackles that awkwardness head-on with the new Acer Aspire Switch 10, which utilizes a new magnetic snap hinge to let you use one of four modes.
The Switch 10's hinge utilizes magnets to help you transform the device from laptop to tablet mode. You can hear a snap as the slate attaches to the keyboard dock, which provides peace of mind. Other modes include Tent and Presentation mode, similar to Lenovo's Yoga convertibles. With a price of just $369, the Switch 10 takes on other low-cost Atom-based hybrids such as the $349 ASUS Trasnformer Book T100, which came out this fall.
Another standout feature on the Switch 10 is the 10-inch, 1366 x 768 IPS display, which uses zero air gap technology and offers wide viewing angles. The sound should be equally impressive, thanks to dual front-facing speakers.
The Windows 8.1 device boasts an aluminum finish, giving the hybrid a premium look and feel. The tablet itself weighs just 1.3 pounds, and is a still-light 2.65 pounds when docked. The keyboard dock can also come with an optional 500GB hard drive.
On the inside, the Switch 10 has a 1.3-GHz, quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 with Intel HD graphics, 2GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of eMMC memory. Acer promises that the Switch will get up to 8 hours of battery life.
The Switch 10 will launch in late May. We look forward to getting a closer look at the device before it ships.