Acer's Aspire Switch 11 V is a versatile, affordable laptop-tablet hybrid for work, but it's held back by short battery life. The midrange 2-in-1 delivers a comfortable keyboard and a sharp 11.6-inch display in an extremely portable package, all for about $500. However, the Switch 11 V's disappointing endurance makes it a better pick for commuters than business travelers.
The Switch 11 V's display can be fully detached from its snap-on keyboard dock, so you can use it as a tablet when you want. Business users might get more usage out of the ability to reattach the display in the reverse orientation, providing easier access to the touch screen in cramped quarters — for example, on an airplane tray table during a long business flight. That capability could be particularly useful if you pick up Acer's active stylus, which lets you take notes and annotate documents right on the Switch 11 V's screen.
Workers will also appreciate the notebook's keyboard, which is head and shoulders above what you'll find on many competing machines. The keys offer snappy feedback and about 1.6 millimeters of travel, which is deep enough to provide a really comfortable typing experience.
Other hardware highlights include an Intel Core M-5Y10c processor with 4GB of RAM, which is more than good enough for daily productivity tasks and can easily handle moderate multitasking. The Switch 11 V also comes with 128GB of internal storage, which can be augmented via a microSD card slot on the machine's left edge.
Unfortunately, short battery life will make the Switch 11 V less useful when you're away from the office. It ran for a meager 5 hours and 19 minutes on our battery test, which simulates continuous Web browsing over Wi-Fi. That's far shorter than the ultraportable laptop average of 8 hours and 11 minutes, and it loses to rival 2-in-1 machines like the HP Pavilion x360 (6:26) and the Dell Inspiron 11 (6:42).