Acer Aspire Switch Alpha 12 S

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

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  1. Morbo66

    Morbo66 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Has anyone tried this usb-c charger yet to charge their switch alpha?

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I1OIRQ...colid=AR111XDOIAGR&coliid=I4DPP3UGQTBHX&psc=1

    Lumsing 48W dual port Quick Charge 3.0 and Type-C Wall Charger with Foldable plug

    The main review on amazon says it outputs 14.5v / 2A = 29watts on USB-C port which should be same as Apple Macbook 12 29w charger. It's slightly cheaper than Apple 29w charger, and it has an additional usb 3 quick charge port.
     
  2. Shutterfly

    Shutterfly Pen Pal - Newbie

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    No I haven't.
    This looks like a new entry to the market.
    If someone can give it a try and that will be great!

     
  3. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hey fellas, it is great to exchange infos about chargers that work and that don't, but I think it is important to understand a few basics so that this is less of a "guessing game".

    For the regular round barrel DC port on the SA12 it really doesn't matter which charger or power bank you use, as long as it supplies the right voltage (~19V). And of course you need the right tip to fit the SA12 either directly or through an adapter. In most cases, a device that needs ~19V will also take 18V or 20V. But really, for the regular DC port just get something that matches the correct specs and you are good.

    Now, when it comes to USB Type-C, that is a very complicated topic, but for power the main rule is the same: You need to supply the right voltage(s) that your device accepts.
    It also important to know the difference between USB Type-C which is really only a connector, and USB-Power Delivery 2.0/3.0 which are the specifications that need to be supported by the charger for a "USB-Power Delivery 2.0/3.0"-enabled device like the SA12.

    @Shutterfly already mentioned an Amazon.com comment by Asus stating a 19.5 V requirement for the USB-C port. Well, USB Power Delivery 2.0/3.0 over USB-C does do 20V (among other voltages), so that slightly different number is probably based on the general power requirements. Don't worry about the minimal difference here.
    Since the SA12 already needs ~19V for its normal DC port, it makes only sense that it needs about the same voltage when charging through USB-C.

    For example, the Targus 45W charger mentioned as working before does support 20V, as well as the Innergie charger that I tested. If you look at the specs of the USB-C chargers mentioned here, you will see that many of them do not support 20V, just like the Lumsing one mentioned in the post above. So it is not a surprise that these will not work.
    Sorry if it sounds rude, but if you use a charger with the "wrong" voltage, you can't blame anyone but yourself.
    Yes, I know it is frustrating because manufacturers of both devices and accessories do a horrible job stating and advertising these specs correctly. And there many devices and accessories in the market that are not spec-compliant. Consumers shouldn't have to play detective and/or hunt for and compare details in the specs. But that's the sad reality we live in.

    Thanks for the info on this one. I had thought about gettting a similar power bank for 18650s before, but this one seems better suited. Reviews seem to be relative ok, and it is good way for multiple uses of 18650s. I guess I' ll get that one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  4. Shutterfly

    Shutterfly Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I agree with your statements here.
    I have previously posted my experience with RAVpower and iVoler chargers as well. Both supports 20V usb-c output, but neither worked on SA12.
    Besides the voltage requirement, there must be something else in SA12's customization of usb-c charging protocol that prevents the above mentioned charger supply the correct voltage.


     
  5. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well, it could also be an issue with the chargers, or the cables. Could be a bad design or of course just a single faulty unit. If all the specs seem to be ok and something still doesn't work, the problem is, it is very hard to find out what is wrong.

    Ideally, one should do an analysis like this, which of course no normal consumer would do:
    http://gtrusted.com/review/google-u...ok-pc-w8h05pa-through-its-thunderbolt-3-ports
    The "Plugable USB 3.1 Type C Power Delivery Sniffer" is also a great tool, just a bit too expensive:
    http://plugable.com/products/usbc-tkey/

    I wouldn't be surprised if the iVoler and RavPower charger are not 100% spec-compliant to the USB-Power Delivery specification. I am very certain that the Innergie charger is 100% USB-Power Delivery spec-compliant. Innergie is a subsidiary of the Delta Group which makes a lot of power supplies for a lot of companies including many PC manufacturers.

    So it is good to share experiences with bad chargers or devices, but everyone needs to make sure that the tested charger "should" work based on the specs.
     
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  6. Morbo66

    Morbo66 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    So I've had the Switch Alpha for a few days now, thought I'd add my impressions in case anyone else is still reading this thread for real world reviews instead of just talk about chargers.

    I got the i5 8gb 256ssd from local Microcenter for $699 which is $50 off the normal price of $749. Really good deal if you have a microcenter near you. For comparison, Amazon has the i3 4gb 128ssd version for $599. The 8gb ram makes a big difference in win10 imo.

    From a use case perspective - this is not my primary machine, I got the alpha as a secondary machine to take with me on vacation and to use in the living room when i'm watching tv. So battery life was not a huge issue for me, i'm not going to be using it nonstop all day long as my primary machine. I'll boot it up, do some stuff, then put it back to sleep, and not use it again for 24hrs etc.
    So if i can get 6 hours out of it I'm pretty satisfied. I like that the keyboard is removable so if i'm just watching youtube/movies I can use the kickstand and the keyboard isn't in the way.

    Like some other reviews have mentioned, the screen is BRIGHT. It's a very nice IPS screen, with decent color representation and good viewing angles. I have it down to 5% brightness on battery, and it is still bright enough to light up my living room at night if I don't have the overhead lights in my living room turned on. I think this is the best part of the switch alpha. It's a much better screen than some other devices I've looked at in this price point, it's gorgeous.

    I'm getting between 5 and 6 hours of up time doing mostly normal web browsing and occasional youtube (in chrome, which i've read uses more power than edge). Better than i expected based on some of the reviews i've read. A word about the wifi - i was getting pretty terrible wifi performance out of the box, until I changed the driver settings in device manager to only use 2.4ghz. I noticed the out of box driver is an atheros driver which i haven't had a lot of experience with. Not sure why Acer didn't go with the Intel driver, it's listed as available for download on acer's Switch alpha driver page, but out of the box it is an atheros driver. It's not very smart, it was stuck on my 5ghz band even though the performance was terrible. We're talking dial up modem slow. Once I changed the driver setting to force it to only use the 2.4ghz band, wifi performance is as good as my work laptop on my home network (an hp elitebook 9470 with intel driver).

    Trackpad on the keyboard is ... not great. It's usable, and a little slow in tracking. I've got the speed in both mouse settings and win10 trackpad settings to the max, but i still have to pick up my finger and reset sometimes. The trackpad material gets "grippy" if my hands are hot/sweaty. I turned off windows mouse acceleration setting and that made it a little better, but still nothing to write home about.

    I ran the battery down to 2%, to see how long it would take to do a full re-charge using the stock acer a/c brick charger. It took just under 3 hours to fully charge, not bad for that tiny 45w a/c charger.

    The keyboard material is this fuzzy microfiber type material, and it picks up a lot of dust easily.

    So overall, I really like it. The little small annoyances like the trackpad and acer bloatware aside, I think it's a great device. If you can get to a microcenter and pick up the i5/8gb/256ssd version then it's an even better deal.
     
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  7. collindv

    collindv Pen Pal - Newbie

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    As far as installation, it is pretty straight forward. Just remember to go into the BIOS settings and turn off secure boot (may require setting a BIOS password, i don't remember). From there just download the zip file, unzip it, run the installer and select the ISO file & c:\ drive for the install. Installation is very quick. When you reboot you will get a menu where you select remix or windows 10.

    Undo is as simple as running an uninstall.exe program in the C:\RemixOS folder

    Battery life is pretty good, possibly better than windows. Wifi works perfectly. The trackpad and keyboard work well for me at first boot, but after turning on from a standby they no longer work for me and require a reboot to get working.

    It runs really well speed wise and has run every program I have thrown at it without a hitch. The only other thing I have noticed with mine is that the auto rotation does not work. I do not think there is driver support for the rotation sensors in the switch alpha. It can be manually rotated however, so just an inconvenience. It is mainly meant to be used in landscape mode anyway.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
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  8. collindv

    collindv Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Seems like the update today (3.0.206) has fixed this problem!
     
  9. Shutterfly

    Shutterfly Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I came across this people's profile on google plus:
    https://plus.google.com/+BensonLeung
    https://plus.google.com/102612254593917101378
    Benson Leung and Nathan K. seem to be quite expert on USB C charging. They have given high remarks on Anker's 5 port 60W charger, and declareed it's fully compatible with PD protocol:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D8C6ULO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I received it today and after plugging it in, to my greatest disappointment, I got the SAME cycling disconect & reconnects.
    At this point I am suspecting Acer didn't implement a standard usb-c charging protocol, and that's why I have yet to have much luck. Benson/Nathan also analyzed Apple's usb-c charger, and found it is designed with wider compatibility to support devices that do not follow the rules. That also explains why apple charger works.
     
  10. kvoram

    kvoram Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Benson Leung is definitely the go-to guy when it comes to USB Type-C. I highly recommend reading his posts and the links he posts. He became quite famous when he started identifying a boatload of bad USB-C cables on the market. While there is still a lot of crap out there, thanks to him some manufacturers already fixed their stuff.

    Regarding that Anker 5-port 60W charger and the review of that Nathan guy, I am rather skeptical. It is strange to me that he says "excellent" while at the same time stating that it does not properly communicate its 20V capability. That doesn't make it crap, but far from excellent. Since the SA12 likely needs 20V, that could very well be the reason for this charger not working with its 20V issue.
    On other pots, that Nathan also identified two bad USB-C chargers from RAVpower, so I wouldn't be too surprised if the one not working with the SA12 also might have been RAVpower's fault. I don't mean to defend Acer, as I really don't knwo whether it has USB-PD issues or not. The reality is you cannot trust any manufacturer of a device or a charger or a cable etc. until it has been tested properly by a trustworthy source with expert knowledge.

    For me the only folks that I would trust blindly in that regard right now are Benson Leung and the folks from gtrusted.com.
     
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