Tag Archive | "acer"

A 10-inch detachable for $179. Does it work? Acer One S1002 tested.

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I tested the Acer Aspire Switch 10E last year. It cost about $300 and was quite usable. Today I have a lower-cost version of that in my hand. At $179 it’s the cheapest Windows detachable on the  market and It makes sense that I  do a few usability tests with it while I have it. The Acer Aspire One S1002.

Acer Aspire One S1002

Acer Aspire One S1002

Surprisingly there’s a reasonable build quality here, charging over Micro USB or DC-in and a separate HDMI and Micro SD card port. There’s a full-size USB 2.0 port on the keyboard. The screen is bright with good contrast.

A 32 Wh battery inside will keep you browsing for over 6 hours and if you’re offline you can type for well over that although the keyboard really is netbook-style and needs getting used to.

The best thing is the disk speed. This is one of the fastest eMMCs I’ve seen on this generation of Windows tablets. It’s well-balanced and gives a relatively good set of 4K scores.

Acer One S1002 disk speed

Acer One S1002 disk speed

Now to the bad. The Acer One S1002 runs on an ‘old’ Baytrail-T platform and while the CPU on the latest Atom X5s isn’t much faster there’s a new GPU in the new platform that gives a good boost over this generation.

The resolution is a poor 1280 x 800 and you’ve only got 2 GB RAM and 32 GB storage (around 18 GB usable.) It’s a fairly thick netbook when closed and it weighs 1.2 KG in total. There’s no USB 3.0 and the speakers are really poor. WiFi is single-channel, single band, non-AC. 72 Mbps was the most I could connect at.

I took a look inside the keyboard case to see If there were any nice surprises. Although there’s a space for a disk there are no electronics for connecting to one You might want to think about stuffing a few hundred grams of something inside there though because the tipping-point of the docked tablet is very tight. I found it tipping back in normal desk-based usage.

What can you do on the $179 Acer One S1002? Well, Office Mobile is installed and you get a free Office 365 year license. Web browsing is faster than on most smartphones and the Sunspider 1.0.2 score of around 500 ms is OK. Working in the back-end of WordPress has been fine.

You’ll get some Windows Store gaming done on the Acer One S1002 but it seems that there’s no accelerometer. At least it didn’t work on my test with Drift Mania.

Acer One S1002 keyboard internals.

Acer One S1002 keyboard internals.

Overall there’s little to moan about here. Corners have been cut in places that might not matter for people who want a low-cost Windows tablet with keyboard and $179 is really a bargain. [at BestBuy. No affiliation.]


Full written Acer One 10 review here.

Acer Graphics Dock Hands-on. Thunderbolt and GTX 960M goodness.

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It feels I’ve waited years for a consumer-grade docking solution that includes a graphics card. The Acer Graphics Dock a, theoretically, universal Thunderbolt USB-C graphics dock (Nvidia GeForce, details below) brings it all together and while 300 Euro sounds expensive, it’s a good start for a consumer-grade docking station and shows the way for the future of dockable ultramobile PCs. Acer Graphics Dock hands-on at the end of this article.


Update 15 March: I quoted a GTX 940M in the video. That information is incorrect as there is no GTX 940M. We’re currently trying to confirm leaked information that shows a GTX 960M inside. That makes more sense and could take it from ‘low settings’ to ‘medium settings’ PC gaming.

Update: Confirmed by Acer: It’s a GTX 960M inside.

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Acer Aspire Switch 11V 2-in-1 video review and opinion. (Great screen, limited performance.)

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I have the Acer Aspire Switch 11V with me in the studio and have just posted the review video for Notebookcheck. It scored 76% in their review so let me tell you why it wasn’t a huge win.chippy aspire 11V

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Acer Jade Primo ‘pocket pc.’

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I didn’t get to see Acer’s ‘PC Phone’ launch at IFA as I was heading to their booth to check out the new Switch range, a new Chromebook and the Cloudbook. Since then I’ve tried to find out more details about the implementation and the dock and I’ve made some enquiries. The Acer Jade Primo – ‘your pocket PC’ – is the first real product we’ve seen demonstrating the new technologies that will enable your phone to be your desktop. Windows 10 Mobile, Continuum and USB-3.1.

Screenshot 2015-09-09 at 13.59.30

Screenshot 2015-09-09 at 13.58.59

Images and video from WMPoweruser

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Acer Aspire Switch 11V hands-on, video.

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IFA 2015 has brought us a range of new and upgraded convertible PCs but the one that I’ve had at the top of my list for a while is the Acer Switch 11V which seems to offer just the right balance of features for a Core M 2-in-1. The problem is that Lenovo are launching the Miix 700 which might be an even better option because it uses the latest Core M generation. The Acer Switch 11V has taken so long to get to market that it’s still using the first generation. Acer might need to adjust some pricing on the 11V if they want to see it compete successfully.

Switch 11V


Acer have done a reasonable job of keeping the looks and plastics from feeling cheap but the Switch 11V isn’t a style-statement. Inside you’ll find a ‘proper’ SSD connected via a SATA port. Speeds aren’t known at this stage but expect it to outperform something like the Surface 3.  The performance of the Switch 11V can’t be determined by Core M model number because, as with all Core M builds, it depends on how well the Acer engineers have designed the internal airflow and heat-sinking. A full test will be needed to determine that.

I liked the keyboard but the trackpad needs longer term testing before it can be evaluated.

A 28 Wh battery inside the Acer Switch 11V is a little small when you compare it to the 41 Wh of the Lenovo Miix 700 and that’s going to really affect battery life. If you’re looking for an all-day battery-powered mobile PC solution the Switch 11V isn’t it.

Take a look at the video to get a good overview of the Acer Aspire Switch 11V.


Acer Cloudbook 11 hands-on. How’s that keyboard?

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The Acer Cloudbook 11 CB3-111-C670 Windows 10 laptop is available at a price of just $169. If you want the more sensible 32 GB version you’re still only looking at $189. For a laptop that runs a new Braswell processor and weighs just 2.54 pounds you can’t ignore it. So I didn’t, as I passed through the Acer booth at IFA 2015. I was particularly interested in testing the keyboard.


Acer Cloudbook 11. How’s that keyboard?

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Acer Aspire Switch 10V updated with Xtom X5. Hands-on.

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The Acer Aspire Switch 10V takes the new 11V design and shrinks it down a little to make an overall improvement on the original Switch 10. There’s an Atom X5 (Z8300) on the inside along with a Full HD screen. Hands-on video at the base of this article.

Acer Aspire Switch 10V

Acer Aspire Switch 10V

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Deal: Acer Switch 10E is just $239 in US.

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I scored this 8/10 when I reviewed it at Notebookcheck recently. The Acer Switch 10E didn’t excite me when I unboxed it but it turned out to be a good little convertible tablet. It was $279 when I reviewed it but it’s on offer now for just $239. That’s a great deal.

Update 23 August : “Currently unavailable.”

Acer Switch 10E on offer at $239 (Amazon.com)

Acer Switch 10E on offer at $239 (Amazon.com)

The low-resolution touchscreen is a good IPS panel with surprisingly high brightness and reasonable color range and accuracy, the keyboard is solid and usable and the battery life is also OK. I just voted it my #1 travel PC!

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Acer Switch 11V (Core M) now shipping in Germany.

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The very interesting Acer Aspire Switch 11V that was announced in April is now shipping. The Acer Aspire switch 11V SW5-173-614T comes with an Intel Core M, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 500GB hard drive and Windows 8.1 although some retailers are showing Windows 10 as the operating system. The price on the Amazon Germany website is €699 (566.19 before tax = $US 632 approx.)

Acer Aspire Switch 11V. Expected at Computex, 2015 (June)

Acer Aspire Switch 11V. Expected at Computex, 2015 (June)

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Acer Cloudbook. Ignore the 16 GB version. (And it’s not a Chromebook competitor.)

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Please, if you are looking at low-cost laptops and reading articles today that say the new Acer Aspire One Cloudbook is a Chromebook competitor, or worse, uses the K word, think again. It’s not. A stream of articles published after the launch of the Acer Cloudbook today will have you believe that price is the way to compare between the two laptop segments but they are wrong because even at the same price, the Cloudbook is nothing like a Chromebook. Even if you ignore he Chromebook comparisons there’s another issue. The 16 GB Cloudbook is not exactly going to be barrier-free with Windows.

Aspire One Cloudbook AO1-131 (14-inch)

Aspire One Cloudbook AO1-131 (14-inch)

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Acer Switch 10 detachable available for $220

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A touchscreen detachable for $220! Amazon have an offer on the Acer Aspire Switch 10 right now, just as the Switch 10E is feeding into retail channels. I’m testing one of those right now and wondering why you would buy one when the original Switch 10, a device I’ve also tested in-depth, is available for such a good price. You can even get the 64 GB version for $270. Amazon also have global shipping available on this product.

Acer Aspire Switch 10 on offer at Amazon.com

Acer Aspire Switch 10 on offer at Amazon.com

One thing you’ll need to do is to think about Windows 10 before you buy. There have been some successes and some issues reported by existing Switch 10 users when upgrading to Windows 10 but if you’re not worried about Windows 10 then the Switch 10 is immediately a good deal for this price.

Buy the Switch 10 at Amazon.com 

The screen is a 1280 x 800 resolution model but still has wide viewing angles. 32 GB storage is enough for a good range of Windows Store applications and this tablet will also give you HDMI output, supports Miracast and comes with a one-year Office 365 license.

I tested the Switch 10 for Notebookcheck last year.

I tested the Switch 10 for Notebookcheck last year.

Battery life is in the 5 – 6 hours range for ‘WiFi-on Web’ and there’s a reasonably good keyboard. Some users have ha issues with the trackpad but I didn’t experience it in my testing. Overall it’s a good package.

Average rating at Amazon is 3.8 out of 5 stars with 385 reviews. It’s been a popular buy and it’s been the #1 product in the database for months. (Currently #2 in our popularity Top 10)

If you have any (short) questions I’ll be happy to help you over the next 48 hours so leave your comments below. You can view some dollar pricing on 10-inch detachables in this list where you’ll find the HP Pavilion X2 10 as an option for a similar price.

Buy the Switch 10 at Amazon.com  Full specifications, links, gallery in the database here.

Acer Aspire ES1-111 / E11 Windows 10. Update: Build 10525 + Win 10 drivers help touchpad.

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I’ve just completed a Windows 10 install on the low-cost Acer ES1-111M (AKA E11) laptop, my favorite fanless, lightweight, $200 laptop. Everything is working but you’ll need to grab some drivers from Acer to make sure it all works.

Update: Oct 2015. Yes, there are touchpad issues but BIOS V1.13 and the latest Windows 10 drivers from Acer will help. Acer driver set is available on the Acer support page here. 

Update Oct 2015. Final fix. After chasing a software problem all this time it turns out there was a hardware problem. Many thanks to Zachpoff.com. (Click through for details.) Note: I still have a jumpy cursor.


I installed from a USB stick as I did with the Acer Iconia W4 but accidentally booted from the USB stick and wiped everything out with a fresh install thinking it was an upgrade. Thank goodness that everything is now working, including camera and the Synaptics touchpad which appears to have been an issue for others.

Update: My ES1-111M is now running the post-release Insider Build 10525

Update Oct 2015. I’m now running the full Windows 10 install with Acer drivers and BIOS V1.13. There are still touchpad issues.

This is my first laptop-based Windows 10 install (Microsoft Surface Pro 3, Intel NUC and Acer Iconia Tab W4 are the other devices I’m testing) so it will give me my first insight into how the desktop mode works on a small-screen laptop. The Aspire ES1-111M doesn’t have a touchscreen, comes with 32GB eMMC (soldered) and 2GB RAM (in a slot.) I’ve installed an Intel 7260 WiFi-N card which is more compatible than the stock WiFi card (Marvell or Broadcom depending on the model variant you buy.) This little laptop comes with a full size SD card slot, full-size USB 3.0 + USB 2.0 port, a full-size HDMI port and a Gigabit Ethernet port so if you’re hacking around building Linux-based routers or HTPCs, the ES1-111M is a great choice. It’s silent too!

More info on the Acer Aspire ES1 here including specifications, my deep-dive video and lots of links. [More info here]

My preview-review of Windows 10 with an 8-inch tablet is here.

16.2 GB of the 32 GB (29 GB formatted) eMMC is available after the Windows 10 (10130 ISO) install and a first round of updates. There’s no recovery partition so save a recovery image as soon as you have a stable build, especially if you wiped the Windows 8 recovery partition like I did.

Windows 10 install was problem-free (build 10130) but the touchpad wasn’t working. You’ll need to connect a mouse to complete the install. The Synaptics touchpad driver on Acer’s site didn’t help so I started working through the drivers for the ES1 that I found through the Acer Germany website. (Note that the Edge browser doesn’t work with their download page. I used Chrome.)

The important drivers are available here from the Acer Germany website. (I had problems with the Acer US website.)

Upcdate: ES1-11M Windows 10 drivers are now available on http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/drivers

Download the Chipset, DPTF, IO Drivers, MBI and TXE drivers. After installing these drivers there were no problems listed in the Device Manager and the touchpad was working.

[If Acer removes the drivers I’ve uploaded a zip file of the drivers I used here.  Later builds of the Windows 10 preview might not need these drivers.]

Note that the Chipset driver took minutes to start up and while I was waiting, thinking it wasn’t working, I used compatibility mode to run the setup.exe file several times. Eventually two install windows popped up so I don’t know whether it just took a long time or whether compatibility mode worked.  Try running the setup file as normal and waiting 5 minutes. If you don’t see an install windows, try compatibility mode. (Right-click on Setup and choose Troubleshoot Compatibility.)

As on Windows 8, I have some issues with the touchpad locking up, regularly, but I’ll need to check internal hardware and screws because I’ve taken the ES1 apart many, many times.

Update: After installing all the WIndows drivers the touchpad is just about usable. I turned of the Touchpad Delay feature in Windows settings which may also have helped but there’s still an occasional lock-up. Note: I’m using Insider build th2 10525 too.


Testing will continue with a look at battery life, performance and other features but here’s the status so far. (Updating.)

Windows 10 tests on the Acer Aspire ES1-111M

Working: Gigabit Ethernet, webcam, touchpad, brightness, audio, Bluetooth (some issues in this build though), WiFI (Intel Wireless-N 7260 upgrade – works well), HDMI (extended display), keyboard.

Working with additional install: Microphone / Cortana: Install the Realtek audio driver from the Acer drivers site and make sure the Microphone Boost is set to +20.0 dB

Your feedback on Windows 10 is always welcome. Have you tested it? What do you think of the UI, the features? My preview review of Windows 10 is here.

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