Windows 10 2-in-1s: Acer unveils Switch Alpha 12, liquid-cooled Surface Pro rival

Windows 10 fans will soon have a new, cheaper 2-in-1 option than the Surface Pro 4 with Acer's $599 Switch Alpha 12.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Acer reckons the Switch Alpha 12's fanless design is a first for a notebook featuring Intel's Skylake chips.

Image: Acer/Microsoft

Acer has taken the wraps off the Switch Alpha 12, a fanless, liquid-cooled 12-inch Windows 10 detachable notebook.

The device gives Windows 10 fans in the market for a 2-in-1 a new cheaper option than Microsoft's $899 Surface Pro 4. Acer says the liquid-cooling and the omission of a fan in the $599 Switch Alpha 12 should keep it both quiet and cool.

According to Acer, the fanless design is a first of its kind for a notebook featuring Intel's Skylake sixth generation Core i processors and help it deliver an eight-hour battery life.

Acer has given the Switch Alpha's aluminum body a brushed finish, while the 12-inch touch display features a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel resolution.

Like the Surface Pro 4, it can be bought with an attachable keyboard and features an adjustable kickstand that can be set to any angle up to 165 degrees. There's also a backlit keyboard option.

The notebook will go on sale in Europe in May starting at €699, followed by a June launch in the US where it will cost $599.

Exact pricing will be announced as the device launches in different markets. It will be available with either 4GB RAM or 8GB RAM running on Intel's Core i7, Core i5 or Core i3 processors. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB or 512GB SSD.

The device also features the two Type-C ports, three USB Type-A ports, one HDMI port, as well as audio input and output.

Acer is offering a range of optional USB Type-C docks to connect the device to larger displays, as well as an optional pen to take advantage of Windows Ink, which will arrive with Microsoft's Windows 10 Anniversary update around the time the device goes on sale.

With the keyboard attached, the Switch Alpha weighs 1.25kg (2.76lb), which drops to 900gm (1.98lb) without the keyboard.

The new Windows 10 device follows the launch of Acer's new $300 14-inch Chromebook 14.

Acer on Thursday announced a slew of new machines, including the gaming-focused Predator 17 X notebook and Predator G1 desktop, which are built to support Oculus, HTC Vive, OSVR and StarVR virtual reality headsets.

Also arriving in May is the new Windows 10 Acer Aspire S 13 notebook, which will start at $699 in the US and €699 in Europe. It will feature an optional touch display and also run on Intel's Skylake processors with up to 8GB RAM.

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