Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 S

Discussion in 'Acer (Gateway)' started by sonichedgehog360, Apr 7, 2016.

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  1. efjay

    efjay Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Just download the file and run it, it will execute automatically, good idea to be plugged into power as well.

    Sent from mTalk on my Acer A12
     
  2. efjay

    efjay Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Mobiletechreview has posted their review:



    And also a comparison with the SP4:



    One interesting thing noted was that it does charge from the USB-C port with an apple charger so that's good for getting a spare charger.

    Sent from mTalk on my Acer A12
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  3. thundergodz

    thundergodz Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Awwww, the top of the pen is not a eraser >.<
     
  4. FZelle

    FZelle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Please watch the smackdown at 6:40 "both have eraser function".
     
  5. efjay

    efjay Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    We have the pen and the end has no eraser function.

    Sent from mTalk
     
  6. DRTigerlilly

    DRTigerlilly Tablet Lead Mod (Retired) Super Moderator

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    thought the diamond cut for an eraser was odd..
     
  7. Diogenes5

    Diogenes5 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Greetings all. I joined the community because this is the only place that seems to have any information on this device and thought I'd share my thoughts.

    I got my Alpha Switch for $499 before tax at microcenter so I'm obviously very happy with the price. I actually sold my old note 12.2 pro to get this device because it wasn't getting updates and I wanted to get a device with better one-note support (The instant handwriting to text conversion mainly).

    Performance and Battery Life - Solid. I actually throttled the 6200u inside to 50% on my main power profile to save battery life. I don't notice much of a performance difference but I think I am getting an extra hour of battery life. My power app usually says I have about 6.5 to 7 hours when I am using the device without using wifi at the same time. I think with AC wifi being active (like watching a youtube video or active surfing of the web), the best the tablet can do is around 5 hours though which is a shame but not too bad in my experience. The battery is about 35000 mWh and the battery usually drains at about 5000-7000 mWh when surfing the web when I check making battery life about 5.5 hours. This is with power profile where the cpu is throttled to 50% at max.

    Gaming-wise, hearthstone ran smoothly at least and I'd expect most basic games to as well with a Intel 520 inside. That being said, after only 15 minutes, the tablet gets too hot to comfortably hold. Hearthstone is by no means intensive so that's kind of disappointing to me the tablet gets so hot.

    I plan only to use this tablet for light use and notetaking as I already work and code on a macbook pro retina 15-inch so I am not really suited to delve into overall performance. I am most happy to be able to throttle the thing to have a decent 6 hours of battery life on the go and then be able to max out performance and have a full-speed i5 6200u when plugged in.

    Value - I was actually planning to get this at Costco for $699 with pen. I will end up paying around $540 for the device (buying the pen separately) thanks to the Microcenter deal and couldn't be happier. My pen is in the mail and as long as it works fine for casual one-note usage and pdf markup, this is a remarkable deal. I only wanted a device with 8gb of ram and 256gb of SSD space as I know how awful windows storage and ram management is. I despise having to wait for web-pages to load or having to micro-manage my storage. Any device with less than that is unsable to me. Is there any other device out there with an i5 cpu, 8gb of ram, 256 gb ssd, and 1440p IPS screen you can buy for $500 new at retail? I don't think so.

    General usage and stability - I have had some stability problems. Skype for Business constantly crashes on this thing but I don't know if that's a microsoft office problem or an acer problem. The device has a slow wake from sleep time and is sometimes unstable upon boot making me have to reload (programs don't respond). This puts me on the precipice of wanting to return the thing but I paid so little for it, I'd rather just keep it if the issues can be worked out. It has only happened a few times but if I am in a time-critical situation like a meeting, I would be very pissed. It takes about 30 seconds to reboot.

    The tablet gets pretty hot if you have the processor under sustained use. Some might say it's inconvenient to have a tablet become basically untouchable under load but I prefer to have the option to have a full i5 processor that can run full blast when I need it to at a desk plugged into the charger. It's more useful for my workflow than just having say an m5 device that can't be faster than what it is.

    Ports - I really like the connectivity on this device. I don't know if the usb 3.1 is thunderbolt (I have no thunderbolt devices) but I appreciate the fact that it is full-speed. The fact that it has both usb-C and a normal usb 3.0 port to me is also great especially since you can charge the device through the usb-c port! It works with my macbook 12 charger but not my anker desktop charger which can only do 2 A and how many volts. Apparently the device needs about 3 amps and 15 volts to charge properly. Headphone jack works as expected and microsd is nice. I actually was considering the TabProS but the biggest deterrent to me was the poor storage space and the lack of any microsd slot to make up for it. Oh yeah there's also definitely a microphone somewhere on this thing. Some people in other forums say there is none. It recorded my voice fine.

    Keyboard - I rate the keyboard really highly. I normally use a cherry brown-switch mechanical keyboard with o-rings on my desktop and my macbook pro retina scissor switch keyboard on the run and those are considered among the best-in-class. There's good tactility and travel and it is a scissor switch mechanism which is nice. It's also backlit which is doubly nice. And the keyboard is full sized and not 90% or some super weird layout like the macbook 12. Gestures seem to work well on the trackpad too. This would've been a dealbreaker for me actually if the keyboard had been bad since I consider myself a keyboard-phile. The Galaxy TabPro S was my second choice and its keyboard was really, really terrible to me. It had no travel, no scissor switches, and was compacted (90%) making typing awkward.

    Screen - Solid IPS screen. This thing is really, really bright. I use it at 0% half the time when there is little ambient light and find it comfortable to use at 10% in most lighted rooms. The colors are pretty good to me. I do not do graphical work so I can't say I can judge that well but I can tell the difference as I have both my macbook retina and desktop monitor calibrated with ICC profiles for better accuracy. I was leaning towards the tabpro s just because it has an oled screen but Samsung decided to use a low-quality one with pentile subpixel arrangment and poorer gamut and accuracy than they use on their phones or other tablets. For example, I use a tab S for movies and reading and it has a color gamut exceeding Adobe RGB and amazing color accuracy. The IPS on the Acer is still pretty good to me. I don't notice much IPS glow and gamut is obviously much higher than a TN. The surface pro 4 is suppose to be better but side by side I couldn't tell. The pro 4 is a little more color accurate (which doesn't matter once you adjust the icc profile for both of them) and has supposedly a wider gamut but I couldn't really tell. It's not earth shatteringly better in that regard. You'd have to go to a high-quality OLED monitor to really wow.

    Pen - This is a blank area for now. My pen is in the mail. I bought the Dell Active stylus and it does not work because this device is too new. People are saying the pen is terrible but I am not an artist. I only need this thing to take basic onenote notes and mark up pdf's. Hopefully it can do that.

    Overall, I'm pretty happy with the device. It could use about 2 more hours of battery life under load but for the price I can't complain. The fact that it charges over USB-C means I can just buy a portable battery later if I feel the need anyways. Just need to make sure the pen is good ...
     
  8. Don1

    Don1 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Which model does microcenter have for $499? Their website is almost always not functioning for me.

    Well the site is working again and now the price is $599, still better than most but probably not good enough for me to drive 100 miles round trip to get one. The price is in-store only.

    edit2: I found the $100 student coupon and at $499 that made it worth the 100 mile drive..time to set it up.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  9. mkaicher

    mkaicher Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just received my Alpha Switch 12 yesterday. I purchased the i5, 256 Gb, 8 Gb memory configuration with the pen from B&H photo for $745 with free shipping and no sales tax. I did not read this forum until after purchasing the device and was very worried I had made a mistake after reading some of your posts. However, after using the device for the last 24 hours, I am quite satisfied with my purchase. I have never owned a tablet or laptop with digitizer pen technology. I needed a device that would replace my current laptop while also allowing me to take handwritten notes. The stylus with this device isn't great. However, it is more than adequate for taking handwritten notes once you find the right pen style, line thickness, etc. to suite your handwriting. I am using One Note, and I've found that I need to use different settings depending on whether I am writing in cursive or print. Also, for some reason I have yet to determine, my handwriting looks just fine when using One Note but not so great when using One Note 2016. Also, my handwriting looks completely normal using the note taking feature in Microsoft Edge. While the Acer pen is definitely not as fluid and pleasurable to use as the Microsoft surface pen or Samsung S-pens I have tested, it functions well enough for note taking. There is some noticeable lag at times depending on which app I use. Given the price tag, I cannot complain. I believe a comparable SP4 with the keybord would have cost me $1300-1400.

    Can anyone explain why my handwriting would look different between One Note and One Note 2016? It appeared as if One Note 2016 did not have any smoothing effect while One Note did. Does anyone know of some other note taking apps worth trying? I've already tested Bamboo Paper, which worked quite well, and Plumbago, which was okay...

    I got a little over 5 hours of battery life after streaming a 2 hour movie, browsing the web with both edge and chrome, and testing different hand writing apps. I did notice some strange behavior with the auto-brightness feature while watching a movie. Turning it off did in settings did not seem to solve the problem.

    Hopefully some future updates will smooth out some of these problems down the road.
     
  10. efjay

    efjay Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Cant really recommend any note taking apps to try myself as Onenote is the main one I use; good to hear you're having a good experience with it in that area. I find its ok as well, just not for very fine writing as has been discussed. Keep an eye on Acer's site for updates, they have posted 2 already so hopefully we'll see improvements in the future. Also might want to try posting on Acer's forums with any problems you have so Acer support is aware.

    Sent from mTalk on my Acer A12
     
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