1. garak0410's Avatar
    I received a review copy of an Acer Switch Alpha 12 Core i7, 512GB model.

    Coming from a long line of Surface Pro's (I've own every model of Surface Pro and now a Surface Book), I can't help but compare them to the Switch Alpha 12. So some initial thoughts:

    • Smooth performance.
    • The keyboard is almost identical to Surface, down to the magnet to press against the screen for more stable typing.
    • The track pad is not up to Surface Pro 4 Type Cover standards and not even close to Surface Book (but that is expected). Seems a little flimsily and cheap.
    • I don't think the keyboard is replaceable via retail channels, so not sure what to do if it goes out.
    • Basic gaming from Steam and GOG seem to be up to the task. Never expect high end gaming but it did fairly well.
    • The screen is decent, not as good as a Surface but it isn't bad. Automatic brightness seems a little funky, especially when on battery power, as it kind of clicks into place rather than a smooth setting.
    • The unit feels premium and well built.
    • I like that it has USB-C as that is the new wave of the future. Connected my Pixel phone via USB-C and it worked great.


    This is a solid machine if you are looking for something close to a Surface but don't want to pay the price. The keyboard is good and it is back-lit. Trackpad is fair.
    11-15-2016 10:17 AM
  2. kbagrows's Avatar
    I have the i5, 256 GB model, and completely agree with your assessment. Pretty darn good machine for a fraction of the cost of a Surface Pro!

    Once thing you didn't mention that I really enjoy is the fanless design. I really appreciate avoiding the fan that inevitably comes on at the wrong time (in bed, trying to read quietly).

    The only negative I perceive is the battery - it's so-so. But, for the price, I don't think you can beat the SA12.
    11-16-2016 04:09 PM
  3. garak0410's Avatar
    I have the i5, 256 GB model, and completely agree with your assessment. Pretty darn good machine for a fraction of the cost of a Surface Pro! Once thing you didn't mention that I really enjoy is the fanless design. I really appreciate avoiding the fan that inevitably comes on at the wrong time (in bed, trying to read quietly). The only negative I perceive is the battery - it's so-so. But, for the price, I don't think you can beat the SA12.
    I am actually thinking of using this as a daily driver over my Surface Book. Surface Book is a fine machine but do I dare say this one feels snappier. And what blows me away...GAMES. I actually loaded and played ALIEN: Isolation on a slightly lower resolution but with ULTRA detail and it was immensely playable for a unit that has no dedicated gaming GPU. I was stunned. Battery seems better than Surface Book to me...
    11-17-2016 02:07 PM
  4. convergent's Avatar
    Are you still liking the SA12? I had a SP4 for several weeks but just returned it and am going to wait and see what happens next week with the supposed follow on product. But after watching many online reviews of the SA12 and other SP4 competitors, I am thinking seriously about going that way and saving about half the price. How has your longer term experience been with the SA12?
    05-20-2017 10:10 AM
  5. Jonahtheblaze's Avatar
    I am done with Ace because i bought Switch 10 and it does not want to be charged on the dock mode. Its working fine when its undocked. Try to ask their support, but none of them are coming out to help.
    05-25-2017 09:18 PM
  6. garak0410's Avatar
    Are you still liking the SA12? I had a SP4 for several weeks but just returned it and am going to wait and see what happens next week with the supposed follow on product. But after watching many online reviews of the SA12 and other SP4 competitors, I am thinking seriously about going that way and saving about half the price. How has your longer term experience been with the SA12?
    Yes...it is now my wife's daily driver...she loves it. It is still a little quirky on power management but it is reliable and the screen is so good.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    06-14-2017 08:29 AM
  7. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I'm digging mine so far. Had it for about 48 hours now and have it all set up, more or less. Still contemplating Office or 365, Office or 365...

    Already have a 128GB Samsung microSD (U-3) and a 250GB Samsung T3 portable SSD that has a type C port, going type C to type C on the cable. I have a packet of Liquid Glass I need to get applied and I'm seriously thinking about a type C hub.

    Got mine through B&H and I think the price was pretty good at $574. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...pUvbUpU3703552

    Highlights:
    • The liquid cooled Core i5 (6th gen) seems to run cool even under a load and it is fanless so no noise
    • 8GB of RAM
    • 256GB SSD (SATA type)
    • Backlit keyboard (type cover) is almost a 1:1 clone of the Surface Pro 4 unit and performs well
    • This particular SKU includes the pen. It is only 256 levels of pressure, but I'm an annotator and not an artist so it's fine for me
    • The 2160 x 1440 IPS screen is pretty nice
    • Fast boot, fast access to apps and programs
    • 4800 mAh battery life is decent enough. I'm expecting 4-5 hours a charge and the included ultrabook style charger works fast at 19v 2.3a
    • 1x Type C and 1x USB 3.0 ports

    Notes:
    • You have to hunt for Creators Update and get it manually via Windows Update Assistant, but it seems to run it like a champ
    • With only the 2 ports it definitely needs a hub to expand - looking at this one https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B071S8VN...=1UFAGIYN7GYG5
    • Got my fingerprint reader dongle in the 3.0 port and I love how fast I go from cold start to desktop. This is my first SSD unit and I don't think I can go back now...
    • It's a bit heavy compared to SP4, the screen and pen are not as nice either, but the price was way less than a comparably equipped SP4
    • Build quality seems good so far
    • The Bluetooth connection to my Arc Touch mouse is rock steady, WiFi running like a champ
    • Cameras are pretty meh, but I don't really use camera on a tablet anyhow. Don't video chat and don't take pictures with the rear camera either

    Anyway, I like my Switch Alpha 12 very much so far and think I got good value for the money.
    fatclue_98 likes this.
    09-14-2017 05:07 PM
  8. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Pulled the trigger on the hub and I found this deal on Office 2016 installed: https://forums.windowscentral.com/mi...c-82-72-a.html
    fatclue_98 likes this.
    09-16-2017 08:04 AM
  9. RumoredNow's Avatar
    No stopwatch, just me counting up. 10 seconds from boot to the welcome screen. 7 seconds more to touch the fingerprint reader and land on desktop. 17 seconds boot to use. Not bad, IMHO.

    For anyone interested, I got this fingerprint dongle awhile ago: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Seems to be perpetually out of stock though, which is a shame because it has a small footprint and works really well. I imagine any similar reader would do.
    09-18-2017 06:52 AM
  10. RumoredNow's Avatar
    OK maybe it's silly for a grown man, but I liked it a lot and it relaxed me. I installed the Colorist app and enjoyed the heck out of coloring this Thai Fish.

    thai-fish.jpg
    09-21-2017 02:30 PM
  11. stodge's Avatar
    Is the Acer Switch Alpha 12 still a good buy in Jan 2018 at a low price?
    01-20-2018 09:42 PM
  12. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Is the Acer Switch Alpha 12 still a good buy in Jan 2018 at a low price?
    I think so. And don't discount that Liquid Cooling. Fanless Core i that doesn't overheat and doesn't make noise is a cool feature that actually works great, IMHO. Not sure where else you'll find that in a Surface clone.
    01-21-2018 05:15 AM
  13. stodge's Avatar
    Yeah, the liquid cooling is appealing. It’s just that its chipset is two generations old and its SSD is SATA, not PCIe. I wasn’t sure if the performance is not up to scratch these days.
    01-21-2018 09:05 AM
  14. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Yeah, the liquid cooling is appealing. It’s just that its chipset is two generations old and its SSD is SATA, not PCIe. I wasn’t sure if the performance is not up to scratch these days.
    Depends on what you are coming from. I left behind a 6th gen Core i3, 4GB RAM and an HDD. The 7th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM and SSD were a big performance bump.

    I guess it's all relative.

    Maybe a better question is whether it suits your needs. Gaming, not so much. Everyday browsing, streaming, Office, etc... Great. Inking is good with the pen: not shading artistically, but basic inking tasks are a pleasure. It's even a boost to my photo editing productivity. I do occasionally edit video and that improved as well.

    And which configuration at what price?

    When I was shopping 2-in-1's the Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD spec was unmatched elsewhere for under $600. I shopped pretty hard and felt I came out with a good deal. This was last September (2017).
    01-21-2018 12:03 PM
  15. stodge's Avatar
    I’m coming from an iPad and my uses:

    Social media
    Email, browsing
    Streaming music and Netflix (to Chromecast)
    Playing music on an SD card from the device
    Lightest gaming, e.g. Football Manager 2010

    I’m looking for something that can function as a tablet but is also a bit more than a tablet but less than a full blown laptop.

    I forgot to say it’s the 8Gb, i5, 256Gb for about CAN$850.
    Last edited by stodge; 01-21-2018 at 04:39 PM.
    01-21-2018 12:44 PM
  16. stodge's Avatar
    Depends on what you are coming from. I left behind a 6th gen Core i3, 4GB RAM and an HDD. The 7th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM and SSD were a big performance bump.

    I guess it's all relative.

    Maybe a better question is whether it suits your needs. Gaming, not so much. Everyday browsing, streaming, Office, etc... Great. Inking is good with the pen: not shading artistically, but basic inking tasks are a pleasure. It's even a boost to my photo editing productivity. I do occasionally edit video and that improved as well.

    And which configuration at what price?

    When I was shopping 2-in-1's the Core i5, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD spec was unmatched elsewhere for under $600. I shopped pretty hard and felt I came out with a good deal. This was last September (2017).
    7th gen? Im pretty sure the Acer has a 6th gen.
    01-21-2018 04:25 PM
  17. stodge's Avatar
    I forgot to say it’s the 8Gb, i5, 256Gb for about CAN$850.
    01-21-2018 04:39 PM
  18. RumoredNow's Avatar
    You're right, I misread something it is 6th gen Skylake. My bad.

    $850 CAD seems a bit high at this date. That equals about $681 USD. I paid over a hundred less...

    Does it come with the pen bundled in? So far as I can tell that was a Costco exclusive (i5, 8GB, 256GB + keyboard + pen). Costco either remaindered their left over stock or Acer pumped out some more after the Costco exclusive ended.

    It debuted at $799 USD. B&H blew out the last of their stock at $550 USD. Amazon US has the i7, 8GB, 256GB for $686 USD and that one debuted at $999 USD.

    I think that $850 CAD is a bit too much.
    01-21-2018 07:28 PM
  19. stodge's Avatar
    Im pretty sure it has the pen and keyboard though I was wrong, it’s only the 128Gb SSD. Things are generally more expensive in Canada and you can’t just do a straight currency conversion. The 850 includes taxes.
    01-21-2018 08:53 PM
  20. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I understand the Canada is more expensive thing. However, I think $130 USD or $162 CAD is a huge premium over the last known US price. That's 19%.

    Still though, if you like it and it looks like a good value relative to whatever else you can find in your market... They are solid devices. I love mine. Don't think 128GB SSD would be enough, but I don't know your storage requirements.
    01-22-2018 07:59 AM
  21. stodge's Avatar
    I understand the Canada is more expensive thing. However, I think $130 USD or $162 CAD is a huge premium over the last known US price. That's 19%.

    Still though, if you like it and it looks like a good value relative to whatever else you can find in your market... They are solid devices. I love mine. Don't think 128GB SSD would be enough, but I don't know your storage requirements.
    I don't disagree about the price disparity, but that's the reality of living in Canada. :)

    I think Costco has the i5/8Gb/256Gb for CAN$999+tax.
    01-22-2018 09:47 AM
  22. garak0410's Avatar
    My wife still loves her Switch Alpha. The only problem we've had is the power button is a little wonky as far as getting it turned on and to sleep. And we've had a FEW Blue Screens. No firmware updates available from Acer so can't try that.
    02-01-2018 12:13 PM

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