Sunday, 22 June 2014

First Impressions | Acer Aspire Switch 10

Last week I was given the Acer Aspire Switch 10 by someone at work, with the task of giving it a full-on test drive, and give feedback on the device and what I thought of it from as user perspective as both a blogger and also as a general lover of health and fitness. Of course being a blogger means that I’m also sharing my experience with you guys with my honest opinions of the device and whether I would recommend it or not!
The thing which really intrigued me about the Switch 10 is that it can either be a laptop OR a tablet (classed as a 2 in 1!)  – which is why I have been referring to it as a ‘device’ and not a laptop or tablet until now! Because of how the tablet and keyboard attach together (some super strong magnets that just slot together) you can have the 2 in 1 in different ‘modes’. Depending on what I’m doing I can switch modes making it loads easier to watch films, use it to do workouts, or write blog posts. The ones which I have probably used most frequently is laptop mode to blog and display mode for watching Cheerleaders or Game of Thrones in bed!
While prodding the screen instead of using a trackpad or mouse did feel a little strange at first, now that I am used to it, it actually feels a lot more natural to me to gently poke or tap where I would usually click, and scrolling using your finger or thumb is a nice way to navigate as well. It’s also super lightweight and is the perfect size for portability, which is essential as I travel a lot between my house, Ryan’s and my parents’. It fits in my smallest handbags and I can barely feel it compared to my old laptop which I swear weighs the same as a baby elephant.
Of course no device is perfect and there are a couple of drawbacks. Being a detachable-style 2 in 1 means that it is more tablet-based and so doesn’t have as much memory as some other laptops, but with Microsoft’s cloud storage and all the other online storage tools that are around at the minute I honestly can’t see it being too much of a problem for me. The only thing that might change is the amount of time that I used to spend on The Sims!
That said when I do need the bog-standard desktop it’s there waiting for me, and anything there isn’t an app for in the Windows store like Picasa for my photo-editing (I’ll learn how to use Photoshop eventually! :P), I can just download and use as a normal programme.
So far the battery life has been a lot better than I expected considering I'm effectively putting a tablet through the same paces that I would a laptop, and it's been really responsive for me in that it can keep up with everything which I am doing on it at once - which is all down to the tiny but powerful Intel Atom processor that it has inside of it I guess!

The Acer came preloaded with Windows 8.1 and after playing around with the features there are definitely some which I feel deserve a special mention. Firstly, despite me hating Windows 8 on my old, non-touch laptop, I actually really enjoy it on a touch-enabled device. It’s super handy having the customizable tiles on the one hand and has applications such as Bing Food & Drink where you can make shopping lists, search/create recipes, and not down food plans for myself. It’s so easy to use I can really see myself using this day-to-day to plan my food for the week and discover new things to try – although I guess the proof will be in the metaphorical pudding I guess!

So – how does this brand-spanking new 2 in 1 fit into the life of a health and fitness blogger? Well, from first impressions it would seem really well! But I’m not going to give it The Barbelle seal of approval just yet – it has to go through more tests than that before I make a final decision.

What are your first impressions from what I said so far? Is there anything you would look for in particular when hunting for your perfect device?

If you do have aspects in particular you would like me to focus on when I’m testing the Switch 10 out, leave them in the comments section below and I’ll make sure that I add them into my final review in a week or two!

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