Recently launched Switch Alpha 12 tablet, by Acer can be said to be an affordable version of Surface Pro 4. It is definitely cheaper but offers much more than Surface Pro 4. Priced at $700, Switch Alpha 12 come with a dual-core i5 processor, 8GB memory and solid state drive of 256GB and all this including keyboard. While on the other hand, the cheapest version of Surface Pro 4 will cost you $1000 and comes with Core m3 processor, 4GB memory and solid state drive of 128GB, and an extra $130 for keyboard.
The tablet frame can flex a little but is durable. It is 0.59 inches thick and weighs 2.8 pounds which is heavier than Surface Pro 4, but it is still easy to carry around. Alpha 12 comes with a kickstand with rubber grip so that it does not slide or wobble on smooth surfaces. The kickstand can rotate 180 degrees which means it can be viewed at any angle. The keyboard can be connected to the tablet with the help of strong magnets and has rubberized felt texture, which attracts dust quite easily. Overall, the tablet is not the best in terms of design, look and feel, but it’s cheap and powerful, which is the main requirement.
The touch screen of the tablet is very smooth and accurate. The tablet also comes with an Aspire Active Stylus V worth $50, which is battery-powered and is a great tool for drawing and controlling. The keyboard has keys spaciously arranged chicklet keys and backlight which are switched on by default. The touchpad on the keyboard is quite small and has stickier texture. The touchpad is smooth, accurate and supports multi-touch gestures.
Alpha Switch 12 has two USB 3.0 ports and one Type-C port as well. There is also a microSD card slot, one audio jack as well. The tablet also supports Bluetooth 4.0 and is embedded with a Qualcomm Atheros card which is 802.11ac compatible provides you a wireless connectivity.
The Tablet sports a stunning 12-inch display with the resolution of 2160×1440 pixels, which means sharp and clear pictures. The display is bright and does not compromise on the richness of colors, which means there won’t be any problem while using it outdoor. At maximum brightness, the display contrast ratio of the laptop is 620:1 which is not very high but is decent enough for a crisp text display. The audio, on the other hand, is a little disappointing. There is no bass but the treble is clear. The speakers are loud enough and are decent for watching videos.
In terms of performance, the tablet has a dual-core Intel i5 processor with 2.5GHz Core i5-6200U and 8GB memory. With this processing power, the tablet runs smoothly and efficiently. With 256GB of Kingston SATA SSD, the sequential read speed is 488.6 megabits per second and the write speed of 333.9 megabits per seconds which is almost half of what Surface Pro 4 provides. Switch Alpha 12 is embedded with Intel Graphics 520. Therefore, if the resolution and the settings are reduced a bit, modern games like “Heroes of the Storm” give the performance of 62 frames per second which is decent enough for a good experience. The tablet comes with a 2 cell Lithium Polymer with 4870mAh, so the battery lasts for around 3.5 hours while the Surface Pro 4 lasts for 6.5 hours. Switch Alpha 12’s cooling system uses liquid instead of fans. At idle processing, the maximum temperature would be 84 degree Fahrenheit.