Who Is It For?
Whether you should buy the Acer Switch 7 comes down to one simple thing: if you want the performance offered by a Core i7-8550U and discrete GeForce MX150 graphics, in this tablet + keyboard form factor, this is the best option on the market.
In fact, as far as these sorts of hybrid tablets go, the Switch 7 is the most powerful one you can get, all without active cooling or significant thermal throttling.
Throughout my performance testing I found no significant issues with the cooling solution or the performance: you're basically getting the full performance of the Core i7-8550U and MX150, albeit with reduced peak clock speeds and some minor clock speed reductions after 20 minutes of use. The tablet does get a bit hot to touch after long periods of use, though that's to be expected.
But do know that the Switch 7 is not a perfect device by any means. I’m not a huge fan of the build quality and while the hinge is innovative, it’s awkward for some use cases. The keyboard cover has decent feedback but it's somewhat cheaply built. The stylus is excellent and a welcome inclusion, plus it slots into the body.
The high-resolution 3:2 display is pretty good, but it isn’t centered in the chassis, which is one of the strangest alignment issues I've seen in a modern product. The battery life also leaves a fair bit to be desired compared to a true laptop or hybrid convertible.
In the US, the pricing for the Switch 7 isn’t too bad considering the hardware you get. At $1,699, it'll make budget-conscious shoppers sweat, but for that price you do get a Core i7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and discrete graphics. An "equivalent" Surface Pro with less horsepower costs $2,199.
However the Switch 7 isn't an instant recommendation even considering this price advantage. If you really want the excellent performance in this sort of tablet form factor, this is the best choice.
Pros: Outstanding performance in this form factor, with a decent price tag considering the hardware you get. Completely fanless cooling for a quad-core CPU and discrete GPU. High-resolution 3:2 display.
Cons: Underwhelming battery life. A few too many build quality issues for a premium product. Inventive, but occasionally problematic kickstand.