When the Surface Pro line of tablets were first launched, they sparked off a lot of interest in 2-in-1 hybrid tablets. Tablets with keyboard were already around for quite a while, but premium build, the Windows OS and several usability features almost guaranteed that it would be a hit. Fast forward a couple of years, and the Surface Pro 4 made a very bold statement that Microsoft was here to stay in the hybrid tablet business. And when Windows 10 came into the picture, it became a lot more attractive. Now that Surface Pro 5 is imminent, we’re seeing some very cool hybrid tablets come to market.
One of the early competitors for Surface Pro 4 was the Acer Switch Alpha 12. It was a solid tablet that came with a starting price tag of about $650. It was the first liquid-cooled detachable on the market so it was completely silent, a big USP for the product. It also had a nice 2160 x 1440 display and came with its own keyboard case, and all of these features made it a solid buy. In fact, when benchmarked, it came through only slightly below the Surface Pro 4, as you can see below:
On the new Switch Alpha 12, the specs are even better: The Core i processors from Intel, the 12-inch QHD touch display, the 8GB LPDDR3 memory, the USB 3.1 (Type-C) port and the 8 hours of battery life make it a worthy rival for Surface Pro 4.
New Kid on the Block to Rival Surface Pro 5, the Acer Switch 5 with Windows 10
This year, the new Surface Pro 5 from Microsoft will have an equally worth opponent in the new Acer Switch 5, the sequel to the Switch Alpha 12. This time, it’s got the 7th gen Kaby Lake processor from Intel, a slimmer profile, 10.5 hours of battery life, a Full HD+ touchscreen display, LiquidLoop fanless cooling, magnetic attachable keyboard, a kickstand that goes up to 165 degrees, and the Acer Active Pen.
It also comes in variants with 256GB or 512GB PCIe SSD, up to 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM, and with either the Core i5 or i7 CPUs. It will also support Windows Hello with its fingerprint reader, and Windows Ink.
But this time it’s a little more premium, with a planned starting MSRP of $799 in the United States, and €1,099 (£924) in Europe. For the more price-conscious, there’s also the new Acer Switch 3, which will retail starting at $399 in the U.S. and €499 (£420) in Europe.
It should be a good competitor for Surface Pro 5, and will be launching in June 2017. Unless Microsoft announces an earlier launch for Surface Pro 5 – which we think they should considering their poor Surface sales numbers this past quarter – the Acer Switch 5 will actually come ahead of its Microsoft equivalent, possibly giving it a free run in the market until Surface Pro 5 comes.
Microsoft has yet to announced a Surface Pro 5 release date, but don’t expect it to come at their May 2 event, which could actually see the unveiling of the affordable “Chromebook killer” running on Windows 10 Cloud, dubbed the CloudBook. It’s quite possible that Microsoft will hint at a Surface Pro 5 launch at the event, considering the urgency caused by poor Surface sales between January and March, but there has been no confirmation of that.
Thanks for visiting! Would you do us a favor? If you think it’s worth a few seconds, please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. It would mean a lot to us. Thank you.
Primary Source: ZDNet