Acer flaunts improved Swift, Switch laptops during its Next event

Acer held its 2017 Next@Acer event on Thursday, where it introduced a number of new and updated products coming next to its various product lines. In terms of PCs, Acer was focused on making things thinner without sacrificing performance or capabilities with its new notebooks, 2-in-1s, and all-in-one (AIO) desktops.

Swift 1 and Swift 3

First up is the Swift 1, which received a refresh that squeezed its dimension from 17.9mm thick to 14.95mm, while utilizing a 13.3-inch FullHD display. The Swift 1 weighs 2.87 pounds, and its all-metal chassis comes in one of three colors — pure silver, luxury gold, and Sakura pink. In terms of specifications, the machine can be equipped with an Intel Pentium or Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, and between 64GB and 256GB of solid-state drive (SSD) or eMMC storage. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.

Acer incorporated a fingerprint reader in the Swift 1 that supports Windows 10 Hello, along with a number of technologies including Acer True Harmony audio, Acer Blue Light Shield application to reduce eye fatigue, and Skype for Business certification. The Swift 1 will be available in North America in June starting at $329, in Europe, the Middle East, Africa (EMEA) in June starting at 399 euros, and in China in April starting at 3,499 yen.

The Swift 3 line, which comes with a choice between 14-inch and 15.6-inch Full HD IPS displays, has also received a refresh. Its aesthetics have been upgraded with a new brushed hairline design in its aluminum chassis with color options including pink, gray, and blue. The Swift 3 is powered by seventh-generation Intel Core processors, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB SSD or 1TB hard-disk drive (HDD), and a choice between integrated Intel HD and discrete graphics, along with a fingerprint reader supporting Windows Hello.

Acer has built in a fingerprint reader supporting Windows Hello, an HD webcam with Super High Dynamic Range support, and a USB Type-C port. Acer will also be offering a special edition Swift 3 that incorporates a top cover with Vibrant Gorilla Glass for photorealistic images, high durability, and damage resistance. The Swift 3 will be available in North America in June starting at $599, in EMEA in June starting at 649 euros, and in China in April starting at 3,999 yen.

Switch 3 and Switch 5

Next up is an expanded Switch family of detachable tablet 2-in-1s. Given the Switch Alpha 12’s 120 percent year-over-year growth rate, Acer decided to add two new members that offer even more competition to Microsoft’s Surface Pro line. Both the Switch 3 and the Switch 5 support Acer’s Active Pen with full Windows 10 Ink support.

“Customers have embraced the flexibility of 2-in-1 designs to help them get more done throughout the day in both notebook or tablet modes,” said James Lin, Acer’s general manager of commercial and detachable notebooks. “Acer’s Switch line is now able to reach more customers, whether they are looking for something that provides the latest in performance and features, or if they need a more accessible option for studies, work, and play.”

The Switch 3 utilizes Intel Pentium or Celeron processors and offers up to 4GB of RAM and up to 128GB eMMC storage. USB Type-C and USB-Type-A ports are on hand, along with a microSD card reader and wireless connectivity is provided by Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi radios. The Windows 10 2-in-1 offers a 12-inch Full HD display and an adjustable second-generation U-hinge that features Acer’s Active Hinge technology to accommodate a variety of positions. The detachable keyboard offers 1.4mm key travel. Finally, the machine weighs in at 1.98 pounds and is 16.3mm thick.

The Switch 3 will be available in North America in June starting at $399, in EMEA in June starting at 499 euros, and in China in July starting at  4,999 yen.

The Switch 5 focuses on providing completely silent operation via Acer’s Liquid Loop liquid cooling fanless solution that also eliminates vents that could allow dust to enter the chassis. The company has also worked hard on the hinge, which incorporates a patented auto-retracting kickstand with a one-touch design requiring only one hand to operate. The machine weighs just 2.03 pounds and is extremely thin at 9.6mm.

In terms of specifications, the Swift 5 can be equipped with up to seventh-generation Core i7 CPUs, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB PCIe SSD storage. Acer promises a battery life of up to 10.5 hours. Connectivity includes a USB Type-C port, a USB Type-A 3.1 port, Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and a microSD card reader.

The new machine’s display is a 12-inch IPS with FHD+ (2,160 x 1,440) resolution. Acer TrueHarmony audio with a Smart Amplifier on hand to optimize audio quality. As with many of Acer’s new machines, a fingerprint reader is on hand to provide Windows Hello support. The detachable keyboard offers 1.4mm travel and backlighting and incorporates a Microsoft Precision touchpad.

Acer will make the Switch 5 available in North America in June starting at $799, in EMEA in June starting at 1,099 euros, and in China in July starting at 7,499 yen.

Both the Switch 3 and Switch 5 support Acer’s new USB Type-C dock. The new expansion option provides for greatly expanded connectivity, including a DisplayPort, an HDMI connection, two USB Type-C ports, three USB Type-A ports, along with microphone input and audio output ports.

Aspire 1, Aspire 3, Aspire 5, and Aspire 7

Acer has also introduced a new line of Aspire notebooks that offer a range of performance options. The Aspire line ranges from the affordable Aspire 1 all the way up to the high-performance Aspire 7 with discrete Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics.

The Aspire 1 with a 14-inch display is up first and is aimed at cloud computing. It offers Intel Celeron or Pentium processors, 4GB of RAM, up to 64GB eMMC storage, all packed into a chassis that’s 18mm thick and weighs just 1.65kg. Connectivity includes USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, gigabyte Ethernet connection, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Battery life is estimated at nine hours.

The Aspire 1 will be available in North America in June starting at $219 and in EMEA in June starting at 249 euros.

The Aspire 3 is an everyday computing machine, offering a choice between 14-inch HD, 15.6-inch HD, or 15.6-inch Full HD displays. Intel Celeron or Pentium processors and up to 12GB of RAM round out the announced specifications. The Aspire 3 also utilizes Acer’s BlueLightShield technology for reduced eye strain.

The Aspire 3 will be available in North America in June starting at $299, in EMEA in June starting at 399 euros, and in China in April starting at 2,799 yen.

The Aspire 5 is intended to step up the performance, with a 15.6-inch HD or Full HD display, up to seventh-generation Core processors, Nvidia GeForce graphics, up to 20GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, and up to 2TB HDD or 256GB M.2 SSD. Acer True Harmony audio technology with Acer Purified Voice is optimized for Cortana and Skype for Business. Connectivity includes USB Type-C and USB 3.0 ports, along with two USB 2.0 connections.

The Aspire 5 will be available in North America in June starting at $449, in EMEA in June starting at 549 euros, and in China in April starting at 3,999 yen.

The Aspire 7 is the high-performance model, with either a 15-inch or 17-inch display, seventh-generation Intel Core processor, up to 32GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM, up to 2TB HDD or 512GB M.2 SSD, and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. Dolby Audio Premium provides for excellent sound quality, and an HD camera with high dynamic range (HDR) makes for high-quality teleconferencing. The entire package is wrapped into a metal chassis with premium aluminum color featuring a highly stylized texture.

The Aspire 7 will be available in North America in June starting at $799, in EMEA in June starting at 899 euros, and in China in May starting at 5,999 yen.

Aspire U27 and Aspire Z24

Finally, Acer introduced a new line of all-in-one (AIO) PCs, including the new Aspire U27 and Aspire Z24. Both machines aim to provide both space-saving designs and elegant aesthetics that look good in any environment. Both new AIOs utilize Acer ExaColor display technology that corrects colors and tunes contrast for accurate and vibrant display quality, along with Acer Blue Light Shield and Flickerless technologies to help minimize eye strain.

“We extremely excited to be bringing our innovative Liquid Loop fanless cooling system to our all-in-one PCs,” said Jeff Lee, Acer’s general manager of stationary computing. “The cooling system has enabled us to create the Aspire U27’s award-winning ultra-slim design, allowing it to shine as a modern piece of home décor, yet quiet enough to not distract.”

The Aspire U27 AOP is meant to be thin and silent. It offers a 27-inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) display and a 12mm thick unibody aluminum chassis, with Acer’s Liquid Loop liquid cooling system to make for a machine that can be placed anywhere without disruption. Up to seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processors and up to 32GB DDR4-2,400MHz RAM are on hand, and optional Intel Optane Memory maximizes HDD performance. Windows Hello is supported via infrared camera.

The Aspire U27 will be available in North America in July starting at $1,099 and in EMEA in July starting at 1,299 euros.

The Aspire Z24 is an even thinner AIO at 11mm, with a 23.8-inch Full HD display. It also offers up to seventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor and up to 32GB of DDR4-2400MHz RAM with optional Intel Optane memory and adds an Nvidia GeForce GTX 940MX graphics card. An optical drive is optional and an infrared camera provides Windows Hello support.

The Aspire Z34 will be available in North America in July starting at $899, in EMEA in June starting at 749 euros, and in China in June starting at 4,999 yen.

Updated on 04-27-2017 by Mark Coppock: Updated with official Acer information.

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