There are many tablets and hybrid devices out there that can be used in multiple modes, but Acer’s latest offering can be described as a true shape-shifting PC hybrid. The new Acer Aspire Switch 12 can take on five different shapes by using a flexible kickstand and a detachable wireless keyboard. Thus, users can transform it into a traditional clamshell laptop or a tablet. The 360-degree hinge and kickstand allow it to be used in 3 different viewing angles: display, tent and desktop.
Besides the tablet, laptop, display (screen facing out) and tent (upside-down) modes that we can find currently on the market, this devices adds a fifth desktop mode where the keyboard is detached.
The Aspire Switch 12 features a 12.5-inch display with a 1920-by-1080-pixel screen protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass. On the inside we find Intel’s latest low power consumption Core M processor which allows for a low-noise, fanless design. The chipmaker says that Core M chips can run as slow as 800MHz in tablet mode and up to 2.6GHz when in PC mode.
The display comes with anti-fingerprint coating and has been manufactured using Zero Air Gap bonding which should allow for wide viewing angles and high details. Dual front-facing speakers are also present on the device for a clear audio experience.
It comes with micro-HDMI video output and micro-USB 3.0 for peripherals and its battery life should resist up to 8 hours when playing videos. The device also comes with an optional stylus called the Acer Active Pen.
Acer’s new Windows 8.1 hybrid device will be available in either 60 GB or 120 GB of SSD storage, with a price starting at 649 Euros ($810). It will initially roll out in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia by year-end and will come to North America in early 2015.