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Acer's Aspire Switch 12 S: a convertible laptop with USB Type-C

The 'five-in-one' is no more, but that's not a bad thing.

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Acer's Aspire Switch 12 was an odd thing. Ostensibly a "five-in-one," it was a low-power Windows tablet that tried to be everything to everyone (with varying success). It'll soon be replaced by the Aspire Switch 12 S, which dials down the crazy in favor of a more traditional design and some improved specifications.

Gallery: Acer Aspire Switch 12 S | 9 Photos

The new design still offers a variety of use-options: tablet mode, laptop mode, "tent" mode and, for lack of a better term, tablet stand mode. Like the original, the 12 S has a 12.5-inch display, but this time around it's available in 4K as well as 1080p. Powering that screen is a choice of sixth-generation Intel Core M processors paired with either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and you'll also have a choice of 128GB or 256GB SSD storage.

With the new design comes a big change in I/O, most notably with the switch to Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 Type-C for power. That diminutive port can also output to displays and handle high-speed data transfers. Acer would, we're sure, love you to buy one of its new USB Type-C monitors to match. If you already have an external display, you're in luck because unlike Apple's MacBook, USB Type-C is not the only option here. There are also two USB 3.0 ports and a Micro HDMI out, with a MicroSD reader and headphone socket rounding off the port selection.

With the upgraded specs come a much higher price. While the old Aspire Switch 12 clocked in at $700 or so, the new model launches next month from $999.

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