This week at IFA Acer has introduced their first 2-in-1 convertible laptop with a discrete GPU. Based on Intel’s 8th generation Core i-series CPU, the Switch 7 Black Edition system has a 13.5” display and uses a special passive cooling system that cools down the system’s CPU and GPU without using any fans. The notebook will not be very affordable, but it will also be rather unique.

In a bid to satisfy demands of users seeking for higher performance graphics, notebook makers this year decided to adopt discrete GPUs for low-power and relatively affordable laptops. To some degree, this happened because the performance of Intel’s iGPUs hasn't shifted much as of late and, PC makers need to demonstrate performance improvements compared to previous-generation computers. A good news for the end-user is that there will be many more laptops powered by Intel’s 8th generation Core processors with entry-level discrete GPUs than there were last year from different manufacturers. Acer’s new convertible will be one of them.

The Acer Switch 7 Black Edition will be based on Intel’s Core i7 8000-series CPU (presumably featuring four cores) accompanied by NVIDIA’s GeForce MX150 discrete graphics chip (GP108, 384 stream processors, 24 texture units, 8 ROPs) with 2 GB of GDDR5 memory. The CPU and the GPU will be cooled using Acer’s dual LiquidLoop fanless cooling system that does not use any fans and is therefore utterly quiet. The machine will use solid-state storage and it is logical to expect the Switch 7 Black Edition to feature all modern I/O capabilities, including 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Thunderbolt 3, USB, a MicroSD card reader and so on.

The Switch 7 Black Edition will come with a 13.5” IPS touch-enabled display with a 2256×1504 resolution and equipped with a stylus powered by Wacom’s EMR technology. The tablet itself will weight 1.15 kilograms (2.5 lbs) and given dimensions of the tablet, it is logical to assume that the system is to be equipped with a decent battery. Interestingly, the Switch 7 Black Edition will also have an optical under-glass fingerprint sensor design with POA (power on authentication). As for the materials, the 2-in-1 will be made of aluminum.

Acer plans to start selling the Switch 7 Black Edition in the North America and Europe this December. In the U.S., the machine will start at $1699, whereas in EMEA its MSRP will start at €1999. As usually, configurations will vary by region and country.

Related Reading:

Source: Acer

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    I'm curious about the MX150. It's the only GeForce GPU in the Pascal series that didn't keep the desktop GPU name despite being basically a GT 1030. Does anyone know why thats the case or if this isn't the mobile 1030?

    Oh and has NV released a Quadro variant of the MX150 yet? I can imagine that there are a few OEMs that have historically depended on low end dGPUs in their business notebooks that would find a professional version appealing in the same way dGPUs like the NVS 1x0m series was commonplace a few years ago.
  • Valantar - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    I would assume the MX150 has stricter power limits and thus clocks significantly lower than the 1030, making using the same name incongruous compared to the rest of the lineup. I might of course be wrong.

    As for a pro version, at least Lenovo uses the 940MX in their ThinkPad line, so perhaps demand for a Quadro that low-end is very low, or might not be worth the cost for software validation and so on?
  • BrokenCrayons - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    I'm not sure that the presence of gaming GPUs in business notebooks is entirely due to low OEM and customer demand. Maybe, but keep in mind AMD and nVidia have been driving power and TDP demand up with each subsequent generation rather than using the headroom gained from manufacturing improvements in the name of better thermals and increased efficiency. They also cut out the bottom end of the GPU market. NV's 1030 is the first sub-35W GPU released since the 730 which is pretty old by graphics card standards. Part of that might have been due to improvements in iGPUs when Intel enjoyed a node shrink advantage with 22 and 14nm parts while GPUs were stuck on 28nm for what seemed like an eternity. I think the demand is pent up and I really hope to see professional mobile discrete graphics now that Intel's stuck in a lurch. If the comsumer segment is getting dGPUs more commonly, maybe that'll spill over to the professional space? I certainly hope so!
  • Retycint - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    The MX150 has a 25W TDP (vs 30W for 1030) and only clocks 100MHz lower, so it's anyone's guess as to why they decided to rename it. Perhaps it has to do with the prevalent notion that the x30m gpus are low performance and not worth buying? Since the 730m/930m didn't offer a significant enough performance increase over integrated graphics, but the MX150 turns out to perform slightly better than a 950M which is pretty impressive imo
  • Retycint - Thursday, August 31, 2017 - link

    The fanless liquid cooling system held up well enough against an i7-7500u alone, with barely any throttling, but I really doubt it can handle a 4c/8t AND an MX150 at the same time without extreme throttling, since even regular notebooks with fans struggle with throttling
  • Samus - Friday, September 1, 2017 - link

    I agree. I don't see how Acer is going to dissipate over 40w of heat under load in something this thin with no active cooling. Even with constant throttling, the life expectancy of the surrounding electronics over prolonged extreme temps is going to make the durability of this thing questionable.

    But who knows, I'm an engineer but not a system designer. They could be working some magic but simple thermodynamics dictates they are trying to do the impossible here.
  • Ej24 - Friday, September 1, 2017 - link

    The number of cores and threads doesn't matter. The tdp is still the same. In fact, it's probably a little less because the igpu will always be idle or not active at all. Also the extra die space required for two more physical cores along with the idle gpu die space will give way more surface area for thermal transfer. If anything it will be break even with precious generations.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now