I’ve just seen this Acer Switch Alpha 12 review from Lisa at Mobile Tech Review:
This tablet comes with Window 10 Home and a detachable keyboard, so it is a laptop and tablet all in one. Let’s go through the specific features.
It looks very similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, has a solid aluminium construction, and is completely silent thanks to the liquid cooling system. The stand is pretty good, has a wide range, and has a nice rubber section on it which makes it a bit easier on your legs if you are resting it on your lap. It’s absolutely fine for propping up while typing or browsing the web, but if you want to use it while drawing using the pen, you may find the pressure you place on the screen will cause the stand to slide down.
Controls & Connections
It had 3 buttons on the left side: the Windows button, the volume control, and the power button. Just be sure to press and hold the power button because it won’t do anything if you just press it quickly.
On the right side, there are a bunch of different ports: power socket, headphone/mic combo jack, microSD card slot for extending the storage, USB 3.0, and USB C 3.1 which can be used either to charge it with a USB C charge or to plug it into an external monitor.
Overall, it is a nice looking tablet, considering the price.
Cameras & Speakers
The speakers are placed above the display. They sound okay, but not great. There are two cameras: a 5 megapixel one on the back and a 2 megapixel one on the front. Again, these okay but not the best. It just means you shouldn’t buy this specifically for listening to music or taking high-quality photos.
It’s so great that the keyboard comes included with this tablet because it means you can use it as a laptop PC as well. It looks just like the Surface Pro 4 keyboard, but the two are not interchangeable because the connectors won’t fit. It can get dusty, which is a shame but not a major problem. It also has sharp edges which means it can dig into your legs a bit if you are resting it on your lap.
But back to the positives. It is very nice to type on and the trackpad is fine. The keys are backlit, which is great if you are using it in the dark or low light situations. You can position the keyboard flat on the desk or prop it up against the tablet, whichever you prefer. If you do prop it up, you will find it is rigid enough not to flex while you are typing on it.
It also has a holder for the pen, which brings us nicely to the next feature.
It is a Synaptics pen, which has 256 levels of pressure sensitivity, compared to other pens which have 1,000-2,000. However, you will probably only notice the difference up to 512. After that, it doesn’t seem to make much difference.
It’s not quite as good as the Apple Pencil for doing serious art or design work, but other than that it works fine. If you are drawing just for fun, you are unlikely to have any issues with it. It’s actually great for writing notes in Windows Journal, which comes free. It has palm rejection, which means it won’t register your hand as it rests on the screen while you are drawing or writing, but you have to touch it with the pen first so it knows you’re not just using it as a normal touchscreen.
A couple of significant minus points: the eraser on the back has jagged edges. It would have been nicer if it was rounded because that would be kinder to the screen. Also, the pen goes to sleep quickly, so you have to press the button on the side to wake it up again.
It has a 12″ QHD (2160 x 1440) 3:2 IPS screen which is nice and sharp and can go extremely bright. It has good black levels considering how bright it goes. It is definitely bright enough to use outside, but you may sometimes have a problem with glare from the shiny screen, although that’s true of most tablets. The color saturation is fine but not quite as good as the Surface Pro 4.
Performance & Battery
There are several different versions of this tablet at different price points. If you go for the lowest price, this is what you get:
- Intel® CoreTM i5-6200U processor Dual-core 2.30 GHz
- Intel® Shared Memory
- 4 GB, LPDDR3 Memory
- 128 GB SSD
If you pay a few hundred dollars more, you can get this:
- Intel Core i7-6500U Processor 2.5GHz (Up to 3.1GHz)
- 8GB LPDDR3 Memory
- 512GB SSD,
Although they say the battery lasts up to 8 hours, it actually only averaged 5.5 hours in tests.
Who’s it for?
If you are wanting to do serious art or design work, the Surface Pro 4 might be better. However, if you want to be able to draw for fun, hand write notes, or just want a great all-round tablet/laptop, you can’t really go wrong here.
However, I realise this website is about tablets under $100, and this one is nowhere near $100. You will be surprised what you can get for less than $100. For example, take a look at our range of kids tablets or 10-inch tablets.
I hope you found this Acer Switch Alpha 12 review, but if you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the comments section below.
All the best,