There are plenty of Windows-powered tablets with slim keyboard covers, varying in price, power and performance.
If you’re finding it hard to choose, Acer’s latest device could well be the ‘Alpha’ in the pack.
The Switch Alpha 12 is an impressive-looking (and good looking, too) 2-in-1 tablet. Powered by Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 processors, it has a 12-inch, touchscreen, with 2,160 x 1,440-pixel resolution. Ours was an i5 with ample 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.
It’s thin and very lightweight, 1.26kg combined and 900g as a stand-alone tablet. Plus, it also comes complete with a magnetically-attaching, full-size keyboard, that’s surprisingly strong – if anything, a little too hard to separate! The neat kickstand just pulls out – no fiddly latches or buttons – and can hold and tilt the screen to the exact angle needed.
To top it off, two front-facing speaker provide some pretty good sound quality, and access and data transfer proved nice and easy via a USB 3.1port.
Strong and silent
So far, not too shabby at all. But after using it for a while, one thing becomes highly noticeable – it’s very, very quiet. Silent, in fact. Normally, that’s a sign of a low-power machine. Not so, the Switch Alpha 12, as the specs already show.
Why the lack of whining noise? Well, the fan-less design is achieved thanks to a space-agesque heat pipe cooling system to cool its high-performance CPU. Acer calls it the LiquidLoop Cooling System and it’s certainly a novel way to keep a slim tablet cool.
As for cost, starting at $1,399 (Education RRP for i3, 4/128) it’s very well priced and you get plenty for your money (including keyboard cover and stylus).
Strong and silent. That pretty much sums up the Alpha 12.