What in the world? A laptop run by a liquid cooling system rather than the typical fan designs we have always seen, and by Acer? Acer has been one of the most in the news, busy tech companies in the past couple months, with its most recent Chromebook 14 for Work, and the Predator Z1 curved monitor collection. Now, there’s the new Switch Alpha 12, said to be the “first 2-in-1 with liquid cooling, which allows it to pack in a powerful Intel 6th Generation Core Series CPU without the need for a noisy fan”.
Announced at the company’s New York press preview last April, the Switch Alpha 12 has a lot to encourage and compliment it’s lovely $599 price. The laptop, being touted as “efficient” and “cool”, is one hot commodity. When it comes to fanless and noiseless laptops and desktops, there is reason for the hype, as they tend to provide more room for better hardware, thus better performance, and battery life overall.
As Acer engineered the Switch Alpha 12, it designed its cooling system, dubbed LiquidLoop Cooling, with a liquid component triggered once your system’s heat level is up, essentially pulling that heat away from the device’s CPU to circulate through the pipe. Extreme Tech says, “This allows it to radiate heat before circling back to the CPU”. Like other fanless devices, efficient cooling keeps operating and mechanical sounds to a minimum. It also allows for that “better hardware” I mentioned, to fit within its thin enginerring. As most ultrathin tablet-to-laptop devices tend to rely on Core M Intel processors to meet these skinny demands, inside the Switch Alpha 12 lives Intel’s Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs. Not only an impressive spec we know and love about the Microsoft Surface Pro, but an overall feat for anything this thin.
The 12-inch convertible features dimensions of 11.5 x 7.93 x .62 inches, and a 2160 x 1440 display (just shy of the MacBook Retina). The Alpha 12 weighs 1.98 pounds as a standalone tablet, and 2.76 pounds once complete with it’s included magnetic keyboard (remember the Surface Pro’s keyboard costing an extra $129? I’m sure I wasn't the only one who found that annoying). Soon, Acer plans to offer an active stylus for the display, dubbed the Active Pen, and said to maintain 256 levels pressure sensitivity.
For the $599 configuration, besides said display, a nice 128GB to 512GB of SSD will provide premium-level storage, with RAM options from 4GB to 8GB (Acer). Finally, charging and data are made possible thanks to the Switch Alpha’s use of USB Type-C (good to see most everyone gettin’ with the Type-C program these days), and USB 3.0 for external peripherals. Laptop Mag reports great interactions with the display, appearing vibrant with strong viewing angles, and an overall responsive experience when navigating the system. Benchmark tests aren’t available at the moment, yet it will be especially important to see just how well the LiquidLoop Cooling and Core processors go hand in hand. The Acer Switch Alpha 12 will launch in June, where we will see more specifics on configurations and its higher price ranges.
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