In a bid to push the 2-in-1 concept even further, Acer has shoved liquid cooling into their new 2-in-1 Windows 10 device, the Switch Alpha 12. Somewhere between a laptop and a tablet, Acer has designed a custom liquid cooling system for the new device for fully fanless, silent operation.
The Switch Alpha 12 boasts the distinction of being the first liquid-cooled 2-in-1 with 6th Generation Intel Core Processors, to run efficiently and silently for a decent eight hours of battery life. Acer is definitely aiming this at a professional audience, claiming it is "ideal for places where quiet operation is appreciated – such as meetings, shared offices, classes and libraries."
"The Switch Alpha 12 is part of Acer’s new generation of mobile 2-in-1 products that focuses on providing exceptional performance, while also remaining cool and quiet,” said Jerry Hou, general manager of Commercial & Detachable Notebooks at Acer. "This new Switch Alpha line takes the best aspects of our award-winning Switch 2-in-1 product line and adds new features such as a fanless design, an ultra-thin attachable keyboard and the latest in mobile computing performance."
Along with Acer's LiquidLoop cooling technology, the Switch Alpha features 6th Generation Intel Core processors, a choice of 4GB of 8GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM and Intel HD Graphics 520, all inside an a sleek anodised aluminum chassis. It has internal storage options of either 128GM, 256GB or 512GB SSD, with an additional MicroSDXC slot. It also features a reversible USB 3.1 Type-C port boasting data transfers of up to 5Gbps from connected peripherals, and Bluetooth 4.0 for additional connectivity.
The Switch Alpha 12 is surprisingly small, just 9.5mm in height with a weight of 900 grams. With the keyboard connected, it weighs 1250 grams. The device features a 12 inch touch display with a 2160x1440 resolution. The webcam supports 1080p Full HD audio and video recording.
The Switch Alpha 12 comes with Windows 10, and utilises Continuum, a feature that allows convertible devices like the 2-in-1 to switch seamlessly back and forth between various operating modes. It comes with two choices of keyboard — one standard, the other with a backlight — along with an anti-slip multi-position kickstand and an optional Acer Active Pen for those who like to write and draw with the tablet.
Another optional extra is the Acer Usb Type-C Dock, which turns the device into a workstation with DisplayPort, HDMI, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports and three USB Type-A ports, along with both audio input and audio output for connecting a microphone and speakers respectively.
It'll be interesting to see how this liquid-cooled 2-in-1 stands up to its competitors on the market, though Acer claims that the cooling system will increase the longevity of the product, with no issues of airflow and venting to worry about.
"The 2-in-1 category continues to grow with new innovative designs coming to market," said Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Client Computing group. "The new, 6th Generation Intel Core-powered Acer Switch Alpha 12 is a great combination of performance, no-compromise computing and long battery life, making it ideal for work as well as playing on the go."
Australian pricing and availability have not been confirmed, but in the US the Switch Alpha 12 will reportedly start at a base price of $US600 ($785).