I had spent several days window shopping at Courts, Challenger and Best Denki, looking at various laptops and tablets that would suit my needs. Was so tempted to get the best Windows laptop or MacBook but felt that I had this particular area covered with my existing devices.
It all boiled down to three hybrids of the so-called tablet+laptop namely the Asus Transformer T100, the Lenovo Miix 2 and the Acer Switch 10. I'm aware that the S$599 Asus is considered the best of the bunch by many reviewers (especially its long battery life) but I felt the glossy plastic finish and the roundish curves were kinda "cheap" looking especially with all the smudges caused by finger prints. Not sure why but almost every store I went to, the sales rep would push me towards the Asus...
I liked the Lenovo Miix which has a Full HD screen, sharp looks and lower price of just S$559. The only thing that I was concerned with is that the Lenovo doesn't hold the tablet portion securely in place so it can dislodged if you are using it on your lap. I also didn't like the fixed viewing angles when in laptop and display mode. The brightness level is also rather dim at its maximum setting. The keyboard doesn't include a 500GB unlike the Asus and Acer.
In the end, I chose the S$599 Acer Switch 10. It has decent looks and specs, the magnet holding the two portions together is very strong, has multiple viewing modes (does the Lenovo Yoga thingie) and the brushed aluminum cover minimises unsightly finger prints/smudges.
Here's a quick run through of the device after using it for 2 weeks:
- The screen is bright (mostly used it at 20-40% brightness) and has a wide viewing angle
- The tablet portion is fairly light
- The screen touch-sensitive is easy to use.
- It's practically a laptop, albeit, a less powerful one so don't expect to do heavy duty stuff like video editing. I was able to run Adobe Photoshop Elements and Illustrator but not Adobe Premium Elements.
- Battery life is kinda poor when playing flash-based websites like Youtube or Netflix. It could only last for about 3 hours. Otherwise, it should be able to last 5 hours for light usage work processing.
- Came with a Microsoft Office!
- The speaker is sadly weak despite being positioned towards the user.
- The power button should not be on the same side as the volume buttons... I always accidentally pressed the power button when tuning the volume.
- Experienced light scuffing and dents after dropped the tablet portion from sofa-height... sucky plastic quality... (check out the 4th photo and u should see a black chip on the bottom right hand corner)
- The Switch keyboard (with a built-in 500GB harddisk) would intermittently disconnect but the situation improved after updating the firmware which can be downloaded from Acer's website.
- Really like the multiple modes --> tent, display, laptop, tablet... it may seemed like a gimmick at first but I ended up using the different modes frequently.
- The screen-rotate is fairly responsive.
- The touch-pad is lousy. Can't do precise work on it.
Overall, I love the Acer Switch 10! If only it has the product quality of an Apple iPad... with a low price of $599, I guess it's ok to forgive the Switch shortcomings. Most importantly, using the Switch with the full version of Windows 8.1 is really a joy! I highly recommend this device is you're looking for a Windows tablet device. Just don't drop it because the quality of the plastic leaves much to be desired (despite its average looks).
PS: I came across an Asus T100 with a matt finish... sigh...