Acer Aspire Switch 10 (SW5-012) Bottom Plate

The Acer Aspire Switch 10 (SW5-012) was a Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop that easily separated into two parts. For my teardown purposes, this meant I could work on the keyboard base while the main display module is sitting in the sun to soften the glue holding it together.

When this computer is in laptop mode, the main module communicates with its keyboard base through these robust-looking pogo connectors. I’m not sure I can find a good way to reuse them, but I’m definitely trying to salvage them intact so I’d have the option in the future. It was pretty trivial to pull the top part, and extracting its counterpart from this base is my current objective.

I flipped the base over and saw several straightforward Philips screws. Laptop fasteners are usually hidden, or require an annoying esoteric tool, so this was a delightful surprise. I pulled out a screwdriver, removed (almost) all of them and pulled off the base plate.

A loud crack announced the fact that there were actually two more screws hidden under a gray strip of plastic, and pulling the base apart destroyed plastic around these hidden screws. I’m glad I have no intention of putting this thing back together into working order.

Flipping the bottom plate over, we can see the internal structure. It has a surprising complex of reinforcement ribs. Interestingly, the network is not symmetric. Not top-bottom, and not left-right, yet it speaks to a clear purpose that was not obvious from just looking at this piece.

In any case, these reinforcement ribs reminded me that this laptop, as small and thin as it was, never felt flimsy or gave the impression it would flex and break apart in my hands. Credit goes to reinforcement ribs like these and other thoughtful touches scattered throughout the design of this tablet.

There are two pieces of shiny metal that appear to serve no immediate purpose, my guess is that they are counterweights like I tend to see in other tablet/laptop convertibles. The one on the right has a thin strip of plastic as electrical insulation so it doesn’t short out the circuitry, and those circuit boards are likely the reason why reinforcement ribs are not symmetric.

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