The new Acer Switch 7 Black Edition is a premium Surface-like tablet with an integrated self-deploying kickstand, a passive liquid cooling system and Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU – it’s three key selling points – complete with Black Edition branding.
“Black is timeless,” says Acer. “It’s not only rational but emotionally constrained. Its luster gives a chic and performance visual sensation. The term “Black Edition” is used to represent our premium products.”
This fanless, 13.5-inch form factor tablet is packed with a powerful 8th-generation Intel Core i7 8550U processor as well as a discrete Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB of dedicated VRAM.
Generally, discrete graphics cards are supported on 15-inch or larger laptops; so, to have it on a much smaller device like the Switch 7 – that too alongside an Intel Quad Core CPU, with no physical fan – is an accomplishment in itself.
The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition works on a passive cooling solution, which Acer refers to as a dual LiquidLoop cooling system, to keep the 15-watt processor and the 25-watt graphics card cool enough by sending heat away from them, spreading it around the chassis to dissipate.
The build quality of the Switch 7 tablet as well as the clip-on keyboard, leaves a lot to be desired, especially when you consider the $1,700 price tag attached to the product.
There’s quite a bit of noticeable asymmetry and misalignment in the Switch 7 body, which you don’t really expect to see on a so-called premium product with a premium price.
The one that stands out glaringly is the off-center webcam, and that too by a long margin, which looks more like a huge mistake than anything else.
The disparity in size between the left and right side bezels and the skewed display position are as unbelievable and unpardonable as the awry webcam placement.
The built-in kickstand automatically deploys as soon as the bottom edge of the tablet comes in contact with the tabletop, after which you can adjust the angle of incline according to your preference.
There is a downside to it, though; while the kickstand on the Switch 7 can take the tab as flat as the Surface Pro, the hinge mechanism does not allow you to set the tablet more upright than where it starts from when the kickstand kicks in.
Another flaw in the kickstand assembly is the grooves it leaves on the back when open which attract a lot of dust, making them difficult to clean without a powerful blower.
The Switch 7 has an average fingerprint reader on the front right side bezel, as well as two front-facing speakers, with a rather impressive sound quality, probably because of the limited volume that limits distortions.
The included keyboard cover, which is supposed to be a key feature of the Switch 7, is again a disappointment, as far as the build quality is concerned; although it attaches effortlessly to the bottom edge of the tab.
The included Wacom stylus, supporting 4,096 levels of pressure, comes hidden in a slot on the top edge and is a great feature to have.
Performance-wise, the Switch 7 tries hard to make up for ground lost in the build quality.
The powerful combination of the Intel Core i7 8550U Quad Core, configured to use the standard 15-watt TDP and the Nvidia GeForce MX150 discrete GPU with 2GB of dedicated VRAM ensures decent handling of graphics and computer workloads.
Although a lot faster than Intel’s integrated graphics, and good enough to support some mid-level games, the MX150 isn’t built to support very high-end games and, hence, you can’t call it a gaming device, per se.
Is the Acer Switch 7 Black Edition worth spending $1,700 on?
Well, if you’re looking for a great CPU-GPU combination in a compact form factor and if you are willing to overlook the inherent flaws in the build quality and the mediocre battery life, then you can go for it.
Features, Specs, and Price
- Display: 13.5-inch, QHD 2256 x 1504 resolution, 10-point multi-touch, IPS technology
- Internal Storage: 512 GB SSD
- CPU: Intel Core i7-8550U, 1.8 GHz, Quad-core
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce MX150 with up to 2GB GDDR5 dedicated graphics memory
- Memory: LPDDR3 16GB
- Connectivity: 802.11 ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.0
- Input Devices: Touchpad, stylus, detachable backlit keyboard
- Price: $1,699