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  1. azcruz's Avatar
    The Alpha Morph, some surprises.

    This model is Cherry Mobile's top of the line offering from the Alpha series of Windows devices. It's a tablet running on an Intel processor with a 16:10 ratio screen, and comes with a keyboard-cover-stand combination.

    First, let's get the specifications out of the way. Here's an Office Lens capture of the manual page that shows the device specifications-

    alpha-morph-specs.jpg

    Basic accessories

    The Alpha Morph comes with accessories in the packaging that includes an AC wall adaptor, USB On-The-Go cable, and the interesting keyboard-cover-stand. The documentation is minimal, just a few pages for the user manual, warranty card, and Office 365 activation card



    The keyboard part is narrower than my Type Cover, and has smaller key footprint. I was afraid it would screw up my already poor typing skill, or lack thereof.

    • sometimes I hit the space between the keys
    • the right SHIFT key is too small for my liking
    • I need to apply more pressure when typing as the travel is longer and there is more resistance compared to the Type Cover keys
    • the build quality and feel is very good
    • keys are not back-lit like my original Touch Cover




    The track pad is functional, and unlike the Type and Touch Cover track pad with dedicated left and right button, this one relies and single finger and two finger tap.

    The thickness of the keyboard is 8mm.



    As a cover, it works well. The flaps are magnetized and snaps well. Take note that the cover won't protect the sides, so those parts are vulnerable.



    As a stand, it took me a while to figure out how to put it up. I was hoping there will be instructions in the manual but alas, nothing. I'm poor with origami and that was what's on my mind trying different approaches to fold this thing. In the end, I just folded it as shown in the photo. It is also the way the magnets latch.



    With the way I folded the cover to make a stand, it will be impossible to use it on a lap. Desk use is OK as I found I can get two positions at 24 and 29 degrees. Not by much, but it helps.

    Overall, this accessory is useful and is surprisingly well built.

    Powered by Atom

    This is my first Atom-based device and I immediately installed PC Benchmark app that I've been using since getting the Surface RT.

    pc-benchmark.png

    I was surprised that the GPU test yielded an error, hence the N/A entry. Some interesting results...

    After installing PC Benchmark, I installed Nikon Capture NX-D which is a desktop application I use in my photo workflow when working with raw files (.NEF). Loading a 32MB file from a Nikon D800 is swift, but the full rendering (from pixelated to full resolution) takes about a second or two.

    Converting that raw file to JPG in highest quality at the same resolution required 1 minute and 20 seconds, and caused the Blogger web editor to reload in its entirety when I came back to edit this post. The result is a 14.2MB JPG file.

    It took Adobe Photoshop Express 4.6 seconds to load it. Applying a filter took 1.6 seconds, applying the Luminance noise reduction another 2 seconds, and the Color noise reduction another 2 seconds.

    Working with smaller JPG files from my Fuji X-E1 and Nikon 1 J1 is much faster for obvious reasons.

    The quality of the LCD is suitable for photo editing, the colors are very good and the black level seems to be better than my Surface RT.



    Sound quality

    I always test the sound quality of the devices I get to use, so it is with no exception that I copied a few albums to the Alpha Morph to play for casual listening. I have my FiiO Alpen charged and ready should I find the sound quality lacking.

    I am pleasantly surprised to find that the Alpha Morph possess very good sound quality. I initially used my Urbanears Tanto but later on moved to my Westone UM1 and Harman Kardon SOHO to further verify what I'm hearing.

    With the Tanto, I get full-bodied sound without the bloat. The top end extension is superb with lots of detail and texture. Micro and macro dynamics are surprisingly good, I had to load more albums from my Cherry Mobile Alpha Luxe. The FiiO DAC does not serve a purpose anymore, so it goes back to the drawer.



    Video, camera, etc.

    I played videos from //build and a few others from Channel 9 and they all played well without lag, and did I say they sound so good?

    The front and rear cameras are both 2 megapixels type and I wouldn't even bother using these to take photos. For Skype video conferencing it will be okay, so I'm not going to whine about it.

    It supports microUSB 2.0 and works well with various USB 2.0 devices such as the FiiO Alpen USB DAC, the USB transceiver of the Microsoft Arc mouse, USB memory stick, and Windows phones. However, none of my external drives worked. I would opine it does not have enough juice on the connector to power those disks.

    The microHDMI allows me to extend the display to my HP x2301 monitor just as expected.



    The build quality of the device is pretty good. The texture of the body is somewhat rubbery and it minimizes slippage. Although I have not dropped my Surface RT or the Surface Pro, I have much more confidence handling the Alpha Morph.

    The device is 2 mm thicker than my Surface RT at 11mm. I don't have a weighing scale but it seems to me that the Alpha Morph is just a tad lighter.

    Some technical thoughts

    The Z3735D Atom class processor used on the Alpha Morph is 64-bit, and even supports VT-x for virtualization. Technically, I could replace the 32-bit Windows 8.1 installed on this machine with a 64-bit version, but due to the fact that 1) Intel crippled this processor by limiting maximum memory to 2GB, and 2) memory is not upgradeable on the device, it may not bring any advantage.



    The battery is rated at 8,000 mAh and it lasted around 7 hours using the browser and Xbox Music, coupled with Adobe Photoshop Express.
    Last edited by azcruz; 12-15-2014 at 11:08 PM.
    12-15-2014 08:55 AM
  2. Indistinguishable's Avatar
    This is a nice little overview with some quality pictures. We need more of this kind of stuff around here.

    The lack of "lap-ability" on this one makes it a deal killer fro me.
    azcruz and sikarl like this.
    12-15-2014 10:14 AM
  3. azcruz's Avatar
    My first attempt was a Toblerone configuration, but I can't get it to fold that way.

    12-15-2014 06:34 PM
  4. sikarl's Avatar
    Hi!

    First of all, thanks for the review! It is probably one of the best and most detailed reviews about this particular tablet!

    Just have a few questions,

    1. You have had it for quite some time now, how has it held up, battery, features, post-win10 update-wise

    2. It is currently ona 50% sale on Lazada right now, do you think it would be worth it at that price point?

    Thanks! :)
    Indistinguishable likes this.
    09-14-2015 08:27 PM
  5. azcruz's Avatar
    1. I turned it over to my marketing staff. She loves it and battery life still holds up. She's not keen on putting Windows 10 into it, but I'll convince her.

    2. I thought it was ok at the original price at the time of release. Today, it will have competitors and at 50% it's a good buy. Maybe I should buy another one for my mother.
    sikarl and Indistinguishable like this.
    09-14-2015 09:18 PM
  6. Fiel Lomuntad's Avatar
    Got my Alpha Morph for a month now. Upgraded it to Win 10. I bought it to test Win 10 on a tablet before I start thinking of buying a super-expensive Surface tablet. My first impression is that I think it's faster than my old Acer Aspire One netbook.

    I've been using laptops for 10+ years now, but I've never used 'em on my lap. But the Alpha Morph is a tablet that can be detached from the keyboard and cover, so I can do something that I can't do with my laptop or netbook -- read ebooks in bed. I like reading ebooks before going to sleep because I can turn the bedroom lights off, and use the night mode of the ebook reader so the soft light from the tablet doesn't hurt my eyes. Five to ten pages and I'm off to dreamland.

    I primarily use the Alpha Morph for content viewing: reading ebooks, browsing the Internet, watching YouTube, going to FB, and the like. Sometimes I do "desktop thingees" like database programming, remote desktop connections, remote SQL Server connections, typing reports, etc -- if I have to. Alpha Morph's physical keyboard is not a good place to learn typing skills, if you know what I mean; but hey, when you're in a pinch, you do what you have to do with what you have.

    Between my old netbook and my new Alpha Morph, well, I'm liking the new one. It's more responsive, of course. But unlike my Android tablet, I can still do things in the Alpha Morph with what I do in my "regular" desktop and laptops. Now that is seamless...

    Is it a bang-for-the-buck deal? Dunno. It's inexpensive, and it's now discounted, but let's wait for 2 years, at least, and see if my Alpha Morph will still be alive by that time. For now, I'm happy with it.
    azcruz likes this.
    10-07-2015 08:20 PM
  7. King Bruce's Avatar
    Hi,

    Have you tried this for database programming?

    The price is inexpensive kc that's why I am considering to buy if such thing is supported other than browsing,etc which can be done with phone.

    Mejo ok kc kung supported some prog lang/db app para kahit wala ka sa workstation, you can still work on the go.

    thanks
    10-09-2015 12:11 AM
  8. azcruz's Avatar
    Hi,

    Have you tried this for database programming?

    The price is inexpensive kc that's why I am considering to buy if such thing is supported other than browsing,etc which can be done with phone.

    Mejo ok kc kung supported some prog lang/db app para kahit wala ka sa workstation, you can still work on the go.

    thanks
    Could you be more specific about "database programming?"

    Which database?

    If SQL Server, you can install the client tools on the Morph and connect to a server on-premise or on Azure (assuming you have SQL Server subscription). If you want a local database, you can install SQL Server Express Edition, but that would be a stretch given the limited memory and storage available.
    10-09-2015 12:45 AM
  9. keathkeath's Avatar
    Could you please make a review of the Cherry Mobile Alpha Shift? I'm really torn between those two.
    11-02-2015 06:27 PM
  10. azcruz's Avatar
    Could you please make a review of the Cherry Mobile Alpha Shift? I'm really torn between those two.
    I have to buy one to review one. I don't think it's going to happen.
    11-02-2015 10:49 PM
  11. keathkeath's Avatar
    Oh. Okay. Based on paper, which one would you recommend?
    11-03-2015 03:29 AM
  12. azcruz's Avatar
    Oh. Okay. Based on paper, which one would you recommend?

    Unfortunately, I can't recommend one that I've not used.
    keathkeath likes this.
    11-03-2015 04:40 AM
  13. keathkeath's Avatar
    Okay. I do understand. Thanks anyway.
    11-03-2015 10:45 PM
  14. Litstodomingo's Avatar
    Hi ask ko lang. meron po kayo ala mabibilihan ng tempered Glass ng alpha morph? di naman scratch resistant screen ng morph.
    12-03-2015 10:29 PM

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