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A Liquid-Cooled 2-in-1? Acer's Switch Alpha 12

Following leaks revealed earlier this week, Acer officially revealed the Switch Alpha 12 during an event in NYC. The Switch Alpha 12 is a newcomer to the flourishing 2-in-1 convertible laptop market, but with numerous vendors occupying this arena, Acer’s latest contender has to go above and beyond to stand out. It did do primarily by implementing liquid cooling, a first for the 2-in-1 market and a surprise given the lack of a fan.

Creative Liquid Cooling

Cooling for the Switch Alpha 12 is handled by LiquidLoop, Acer’s proprietary closed-loop liquid cooling solution. Up to now, liquid cooling on a mobile device was essentially absent, save for the Asus GX700, a high-end gaming laptop behemoth, but gamers and mobile power-users rocking thin-and-light laptops run into thermal throttling issues that liquid cooling can easily address.

Acer’s LiquidLoop, though, eschews huge radiators, pumps and all the conventional bulky parts associated with liquid cooling systems. Instead, as coolant passes through the loop over the processor, the heat generated by the laptop expands the gas within the loop, propelling the coolant through the circuit. The intended result is a silent and cool 2-in-1 laptop.

Under The Hood

The Switch Alpha 12 has 6th-Generation (Skylake) Intel Core processors (Core i3, i5 and i7 options) within an anodized aluminum chassis. The detachable backlit keyboard offers 1.4mm of key travel and connects to the display via a flexible magnetic hinge. Also included with the Switch Alpha 12 is Acer’s optional Active Pen stylus.

The device has a 12-inch 2160x1440 touch display with an IPS panel supported by Intel HD Graphics 520. It also has a 1080p web camera, dual front-facing speakers, 128/256/512 GB SSD options, and either 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR3 SDRAM.

The Acer Switch Alpha 12 will be available in China and EMEA in May starting at ¥5,999 CNY and €699 respectively, and available in the U.S in June, starting at $599.

Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom’s Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter. 

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  • Jrood1989
    So it has a heatsink... Laptop's have been doing that forever. Most heatsinks now days have liquid filled sealed tubes for heat exchangers...
    Reply
  • hellwig
    So it has a heatsink... Laptop's have been doing that forever. Most heatsinks now days have liquid filled sealed tubes for heat exchangers...

    Yep. Liquid systems tend to be active. As far as I know, a "passive" sealed tube working on differential temperatures to move a coolant is a heat pipe.

    Reply
  • Jrood1989
    Yes heat pipe is the work ibwas looking for. Long day at work has my brain fried.
    Reply
  • McWhiskey
    "Also included with the Switch Alpha 12 is Acer’s optional Active Pen stylus."

    Is it included or an option?
    Reply
  • Jrood1989
    The option is included, so you can choose. They don't hoard them all for themselves.
    Reply
  • LuxZg
    Yup, not sure if they added anything special to the cooling mix, but sounds like vapor chamber plus some kind if heatpipe system, which is a norm these days in laptops, graphics, pretty much all aftermarket PC coolers, and even some phones. So not sure how it's different enough to warrant such title on TomsHardware of all places. I could understand reading that in local newspapers, but not Tom's *shrugs*
    Reply
  • photonboy
    The ONLY way this makes sense is:

    Heat pipe->
    Heatsink (may be small)

    It's a fanless system, but saying it's "liquid cooling" isn't accurate AFAIK. I thought that implied a pump/rad etc.

    Anyway, I don't understand what's different between this and other mobile devices with heat pipes.
    Reply
  • JackNaylorPE
    Liquid ? It's hard to gauge were we see more exaggeration and outright misrepresentation:

    Advertising, Electronic Media, Politics or Hollywood's "based upon a true story".

    And they even doubled down on it ..

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/acer-liquid-extend-primo-laptop,31657.html

    Reply
  • photonboy
    The ONLY way this makes sense is:

    Heat pipe->
    Heatsink (may be small)

    It's a fanless system, but saying it's "liquid cooling" isn't accurate AFAIK. I thought that implied a pump/rad etc.

    Anyway, I don't understand what's different between this and other mobile devices with heat pipes.
    Reply
  • tntom
    So this is neither Liquid cooled or Water cooled. It has a sodium filled heat pipe like every other device on the market.
    They simply named it Liquid as part of their marketing. Liquid Extend, Liquid Jade Primo, Liquid Zest Plus; which are names for both SW and HW.
    Reply