Switch Alpha 12 is Acer's shot across the bow at Surface Pro 4

Acer Switch Alpha 12

If there's one drawback to crafting the world's leading 2-in-1 laptop, much less anything, it's the rivals that will inevitably rise to fight it. Meet the Acer Switch Alpha 12, the firm's claim to the industry's first fanless 2-in-1 notebook to use a sixth-generation Intel Core i Series processor.

That's a rather specific first, but it's just more thing for Acer to hang above the Surface Pro 4, something all Microsoft's partners are after since it launched the Surface Pro 3 back in 2014. So, how else is Acer aiming to one-up the 2-in-1 competition?

The obviously 12-inch Switch Alpha 12 features a kick-stand design very similar to that of the HP Spectre x2, supporting an IPS 2,160 x 1,440 pixel-resolution touchscreen display (3:2 aspect ratio) and equipped with an optional backlit keyboard.

Acer claims that you'll squeeze eight hours out of its internal battery, and it's pitching the machine as a device you can get work done on thanks to its full-size keyboard that sports 5.85mm of travel.

At 2.76 pounds it's not likely to trouble you when slung into a backpack for transportation. Storage options include 128GB, 256GB and 512GB SSDs, which can be bumped up using its MicroSDXC slot.

For graphics, it uses Intel's HD Graphics 520. Businesses can order the Switch Alpha 12 with an integrated Trusted Platform Module and Windows 10 Pro installed for increased security.

You'll be able to pick one up in North America from June, starting $599. UK folks will be able to pick one up earlier in May, with configurations starting at £550.

Joe Osborne

Joe Osborne is the Senior Technology Editor at Insider Inc. His role is to leads the technology coverage team for the Business Insider Shopping team, facilitating expert reviews, comprehensive buying guides, snap deals news and more. Previously, Joe was TechRadar's US computing editor, leading reviews of everything from gaming PCs to internal components and accessories. In his spare time, Joe is a renowned Dungeons and Dragons dungeon master – and arguably the nicest man in tech.