Acer's Switch convertibles and Chromebook 15 are on the move


— 5:30 PM on August 30, 2017

Our previous coverage of Acer's new peripherals and Predator Orion 9000 desktop could make you think the company decided to become a boutique gaming hardware manufacturer. Fear not, as Acer also released a batch of mobile devices at IFA 2017 that aimed at mainstream audiences. The manufacturer showed off a slim laptop, a couple of 2-in-1 Windows laptops, and a 15" Chromebook.

The unique device of the bunch has to be the Switch 7 Black Edition, a fanless 2-in-1 convertible stuffed with an Intel eighth-generation Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete graphics chip. The Black edition weighs in at less than 2.5 lbs (1.15 kg) with the keyboard detached. The 13.5" screen is an IPS touchscreen with a 2256x1504 resolution and a Microsoft Surface-like 3:2 aspect ratio. The panel sports Wacom's EMR technology that can detect 4096 levels of pressure. A Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader resides behind the display panel. Acer expects the Switch 7 Black Edition to go on sale in December starting at $1699.

The Spin 5 is also a convertible, but it can't shed its keyboard like the Switch 7. Buyers can choose from 13" and 15" touchscreens with a resolution of 1920x1080. Intel eighth-generation Core processors and up to 16 GB of DDR4 memory are available either way, but only the Spin 5 in 15" size can be ordered with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip. Both screens work with an optional active stylus.

Acer says it prioritized sound output in the revised design with forward-facing speakers and an array of four microphones. The company says the microphone's far-field recognition technology ensures Cortana can hear you from 13' away (4 m). All of this technology comes in a package under 0.7" (1.8 cm) thick and under 4.4 lbs (2 kg). The new Spin 5s start shipping next month starting at $799.

The company's refreshed Swift 5 looks to deliver a more traditional ultrabook experience. The svelte notebook has a magnesium-alloy chassis, a backlit keyboard, and Intel eighth-generation Core processors for horsepower. The Swift 5 weights next to nothing at 2.2 lbs (1 kg), yet its battery should be good for eight hours of work.

The 1920x1080 IPS display boasts multi-touch capability, and the camera-and-audio setup is certified for use with Skype for Business. Acer didn't mentioned the display's size, but we imagine it's the same 14" as in existing Swift 5 models. The Swift 5 with eighth-gen Intel Core processors will be available in December with prices going up from $999.

Last but not least, Acer is rolling out a big Chromebook. The aptly-named Chromebook 15 has a 15.6" IPS display with a resolution of 1920x1080 and optional touchscreen functionality. Dual-core Intel Celeron or Pentium processors can be paired with 4 GB or 8 GB of memory. Buyers can choose between 32 GB or 64 GB of eMMC storage, and an SDXC card reader allows for further expansion.

The sides of the machine have an HDMI port, a couple of USB 3.0 jacks, and a Type-C connector that can connect external devices or charge the battery. The company says the battery will deliver 12 hours of use between charges, and the entire machine weighs 3.8 lbs (1.7 kg). The Chromebook 15 will be able to run Android apps from the Google Play Store when it goes on sale in October. The entry-level model is expected to ring in at $399.

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