This paper proposes a new concept of multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) detection, aiming at minimizing the average computational cost. The detection methods are adapted according to the estimated channel state information to deliver just-acceptable error rate (JAER) performance. Error rate models for two popular MIMO detection algorithms are derived given the channel matrix. From these models, a channel-adaptive-MIMO (CA-MIMO) receiver with detector-switching strategies is proposed. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed CA-MIMO detector meets the JAER criterion efficiently. Compared with the sophisticated Sphere Search (SS) MIMO detector, the average saving at moderate signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is around 58% to 72%, depending on different modulation alphabets. At high SNR, the CA-MIMO detector almost always switch to Zero-Forcing (ZF) detection, where the complexity is several orders lower than the SS detector.