Acer Switch Alpha 12 Review

A fair attempt at aping the Surface Pro.

Adetachable 2-in-1 that’s very much in the vein of the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Switch Alpha 12 is good alternative to the Surface, packing decent specs and produced with a generally thoughtful design. It also works out a little cheaper than the high-end Surface models; the i7/256GB Surface Pro 4 has only half the storage.

The model we looked at included the popular Intel Core i7-6500U processor, a mainstay of ultrabooks last year. It produced decent performance in our benchmarks, unsurprisingly similar to the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series. However, the battery life is a major problem — with a power-hungry processor but small battery, it couldn’t even hit four hours in our battery tests.

The Switch Alpha’s display is good, a cut above the common Full HD screen in 2-in-1s, although it falls short of the resolution and quality of the Surface Pro 4, and could use some color adjustment. The pen system is also a poor substitute.

That said, the keyboard, touchpad and audio are all first-rate. The backlit keyboard has excellent travel and feedback, and is one of the our favorites in the roundup. The fanless cooling system also keeps it completely silent, although it was no cooler in the lap than comparable models.

Ultimately, we’d find it a little hard to recommend the Alpha over a similarly specced Surface Pro. It is a little cheaper and has more storage, but the battery life is a major issue and its screen is not as good.
It’s not a bad product by any means, but it fails to stand out.


Despite similar specs to the Surface Pro and a great keyboard, battery life is a major issue.

7 Total Score
Acer Switch Alpha 12 Review

Despite similar specs to the Surface Pro and a great keyboard, battery life is a major issue.

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