【Computex 2014】Asus, Acer stage new battle with Transformer, Switch

4 Jun

The competition between Taiwan’s leading electronic companies Asus and Acer have extended to Computex 2014 where the booths of the two firms are next to each other. While Asus showcases several products in Asia’s largest computer show, Acer focuses on introducing its “Build Your Own Cloud” (BYOC) service.

The competition of the long-time rivals reached the peak in the netbook sector.

Asus introduced the market’s first netbook by rolling out Eee PC but Acer did not expect to see the success of the light-weight computer. However, when Acer saw Eee PC receiving considerable popularity, it immediately launched Aspire One, which unexpectedly cannibalized the netbook market substantially. Further, many customers confused Eee PC with Aspire One while buying Acer’s netbook.

It seems like Acer intends to repeat its success at Computex this year. Acer mainly promotes its BYOC, bracelet for sport and laptops with multiple colors on offer, but Aspire Switch 10, a ten-inch convertible device, has drawn the largest attention compared to the company’s other exhibits.

Aspire Switch 10 is a convertible notebook tablet. It turns into a tablet after the keyboard is detached. What makes the model unique is that the display can be connected to the keyboard after reversing 180 degree. Therefore, compared to other similar devices, the Aspire Switch 10 can stand on the table like a tent or its keyboard can serve as the support of the tablet.

▲ Acer’s Aspire Switch 10, a ten-inch convertible notebook tablet.

▲ Aspire Switch 10 can rotate 180 degree and stand tent-like on the table.

The “tent-like” design can also be seen in Asus’ Transformer Book Flip series. Although many vendors promote the tent-like design, the design is not really useful except for using as a digital photo frame.

Nevertheless, rotating the display by detaching the keyboard is still much more stable than flipping it with a rotating shaft. Aspire Switch 10 adopts a powerful magnet on the connecting spot of the display and the keyboard, which is easier than other convertible devices using snap-on keyboard dock.

Despite Aspire Switch 10’s focusing on its flipping, folding, docking and detaching design, the model does not have too much difference from Asus’ transformer concept. It may be just a follower of the successful transformer series.

Aspire One was able to overtake Eee PC because Asus’ Eee PC series gave its models different names, which confused the consumers. In comparison, Acer consistently named its netbook models “One.”

It seems like Asus is repeating its mistake in naming. At the Computex 2014, the company showcased its Transformer Book V, super-slim Transformer Book T300 Chi, that has merely 7.3mm thick in tablet mode, and Transformer Book Flip series.

Will Acer’s Switch series catch up with Asus, the pioneer of convertible notebook tablet concept, in the market? However, the entire PC market has posted a substantial decline. It is impossible for Acer to repeat its glory in the netbook sector even if it erodes Asus’ market share with its Switch.