The Acer Aspire Switch 11 – why our devices are becoming high end fashion accessories
I leave New York in the next few hours and I’m going to be rather devastated saying goodbye to such an incredible city. I’ve been here with Acer, taking a look at some of their new products and what is on offer. Out of the 40 odd products the company announced I listed my four favourite devices. However there was one beauty I left out because I thought it deserved its own post.
I spend a lot of time on the road and travelling. I’m either competing on the back of a horse somewhere in South Africa or, from time to time, I have the opportunity to travel with Tech Girl. I need a notebook or laptop that is small enough to slide into my handbag, light enough to cart around airports and packs enough power to keep going (even when all I want to do is have an extra 20 minute lie in, like today!). The Acer Aspire Switch 11 is that device. It’s a 2-in-1 transformer, meaning you can use it as a small laptop or detach the screen from the keyboard and use it as a tablet.
The Acer Aspire Switch 11 is the “upgrade” if you like, to the Switch 10. It offers all the same things you love except on an 11″ screen which is far more beneficial if you need to manage excel spreadsheets or write blog posts on the go! Unlike the funky colour offering of the 10″ range the Acer Aspire Switch 11 comes in a full metal finish. The silver metal look is damn sexy.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to sit down with Seji Peng, who heads a 23 member industrial design department at Acer. I asked him about what inspiration goes into designing a product like this. His inspiration with the Acer Aspire Switch 11 was to create a device that had a premium finish because it would be utilised by young professionals. Peng says that as we move into a world where very little differentiates devices it will be design that determines our buying choices. We want a device that not only gets the job done but looks impressive when we’re using it. Ultimately, we’re looking for high end fashion accessories that also do a particular job.
Peng says while he focused on giving the Acer Aspire Switch 11 an almost jewellery type finish (seen in the 10″ Gorilla Glass version as well) his primary focus was to make sure that the user experience is pleasant. There’s an improvement in the actual hardware and how the device feels in your hands. It will be far more sturdy and is geared toward productivity. Acer’s design strategy, according to Peng, is to create aesthetically beautiful devices that are functional but also affordable.
No word yet on the local pricing for the Acer Aspire Switch 11 but I think we can expect it to be around the R6000 mark. It should be rolled out in the third quarter of 2015.
When you buy a device do you go for looks first and then productivity or vice versa?
Disclaimer: Acer flew me to New York and covered the cost of my accommodation while I was in the city.
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