Acer Alpha Switch 12 Active Pen

cppcpp Member Posts: 2

Hi, just purchased the alpha switch 12 a week ago. One important point of the laptop for me is the active pen. Was disappointed to find that

1. pen is lagging

2. line drawn on one note is not smooth. the pen output is wavy.

the above 2 points/issues cause the handwritten to be flat and wavy.

Does anyone out there have the same problem?

Regards,

«1

FAQ & Answers

  • chuakmchuakm Member Posts: 5

    i dont like the pen too, it can draw but cant write properly

  • gbardachgbardach Member Posts: 36

    Tinkerer

    yes, the pen is absolutely terrible for writing. My HUAWEI M2 10.0 has a much better pen

  • thundergodzthundergodz Member Posts: 4

    i have the same problem too, not too wavy but super laggy .Thinner tips on onenote keep getting my stroke missing like on word that require me to lift my hand(like t missing an arm). While words that have loops in them like a, b, d, o, 0, the pen keep shrinking the loops and it make my words look like a tiny blob of black.

  • gbardachgbardach Member Posts: 36

    Tinkerer

    Acer probably used a digitizer of one of the less known manufacturers (Synaptics?).

     

    Maybe the can improve the quality with firmware updates but I doubt it.

     

    It is unfortunate because otherwise the device is excellent for the price (I guess they had to economize somewhere).

     

    I believe that every tablet should have a digitizer and pen as input. For keyboard input I prefer a clamshell type ultranotebook with touchscreen because it more comfortable and secure to use it on the lap. (My Lenovo Yoga 900 is not heavier than the Acer Switch Alpha with the keyboard!)

     

    Holding a relatively heavy tablet (that includes all 12" tablets) for activities like reading a book is not convenient. There is a practical and very light holder on the market for this: https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Tablet-Holder-iPhone-Samsung/dp/B00MP0J0YK/ref=pd_sim_sbs_147_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41pd9bGhyrL&dpsrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&psc=1&refRID=8T2TM5GX88BJTVHFR83A. It is excellent for conveniently holding a 12" tablet in portrait mode (without the keyboard).

  • thundergodzthundergodz Member Posts: 4

    Agree with gbardach on that 2 in 1 now a days need to have a good working pen that goes with it. That what makes 2 in 1 detachable so attractive. To be able to use it like a tablet to take notes and draws and to use it like a ultrabook with the keyboards. If acer place a decent pen (like the dell 750-AAGN) , this unit will be a the best entry level luxury 2in1 surface like product ever. Sadly the pen really kill it, the lag is unberable when writing fast making all my handwriting look like ***** and smudging blob of black. Really hope they can have some firmware update that can fix this issue , i would be really happy and i would even recommand this over any other surface like unit out there if they get it working.

  • CanadaloonCanadaloon Member Posts: 38 Enthusiast

    Hi, I have had my Acer Switch Alpha 12 for a week now and have had no probems with the pen. My stylus came with it and is Part#  NP.STY1A.006. Which the US Acer store lists as "Aspire Active Stylus for Switch Alpha 12." I don't know how other Acer styluses would work with it. I have used it in OnNote, MS Journal and MS Sticky Notes and have had no lag and both writing and drawing have been faultless. I have never used a stylus before and was wondering how it would work. Maybe the units that went out before mine had driver issues or something.

     

    The handwriting recognition has been good as well although I prefer to type. When I have used it just as a tablet and written my notes and things it has worked really well.

     

    Sorry to hear that others are having issues. Cheers, Canadaloon

    Love my Switch Alpha 12!





  • thundergodzthundergodz Member Posts: 4

    Can you show some example of your writing? I did some discussion on another forum discussing about the pen (you can see it here - http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/acer-aspire-switch-alpha-12-s.69500/page-13). We found that a it depend on how fussy you are about your writing. I am planning to do homework like how i did it before on my dell venue pro 11, which did a bit better in the writing form compared to the one from acer. It seems like there is lag in the pen, i have seen the pointer trailing behind my pen when i write and seem like the replaceable tip and soft nib make the accuracy and the stroke a bit off, you can spot wavy line or non-smooth line on smaller tip pen and if you test it on onenote(without pressure sensitivity) there where you can see the problem stand out like a sore thumb.

  • CanadaloonCanadaloon Member Posts: 38 Enthusiast

    Hi, sorry for the delay, my son was home from school and we had lots of family stuff to enjoy. Here is a sample of my poor handwriting on the Alpha 12. I did it on my lap and my writing is not great, but it should give you an idea how it responds. The "very fast" is as fast as I can write, especially the lines. I hope this helps clarify things. If you have any questions feel free to ask. My Acer is Model SA5-271-57QF.

     

    Handwriting on Alpha 12.png

    Love my Switch Alpha 12!





  • deanparkdeanpark Member Posts: 2

    Thanks for posting your writing sample. It looks completely acceptable.  I wish mine did the same.  I just received the stylus, today.  It is the correct one (.006) but is quite laggy.  If I write very slowly, it will track OK, but at a sensibly normal speed, it is poor.

     

    I have the Alpha 12 model with the i7, 8gb/512gb.  As the fastest of the series, it should work better; as yours seems to.  Maybe there will be some driver updates.  I just purchased my computer on 8/5/16, but the manufacture date on the back says 2016.05, which probably means May.

     

    If a moderator is watching this site, perhaps he/she can direct me to some updated drivers.  I love the computer, but not very happy with the stylus.

     

    Thanks, again, for your sample.

     

    Dean 

    Saint Louis, MO

     

    [edited for privacy-please do not post personal or unique information such as but not limited to full names, email addresses, phone numbers, full serial numbers, etc.]

  • gbardachgbardach Member Posts: 36

    Tinkerer

    Welcome in the club! 

     

    There are several posters here in this and other threads who complain about note taking with the Acer Switch Alpha 12.

     

    You cannot write fast and legible with this device because of the lag which is unfortunately hard coded in the controller chip of the digitizer and the the electronics of the pen. This means the firmware cannot be updated. Also there is no driver, the OS has built-in pen capability.

     

    BTW it has nothing to do with the CPU. You get excellent results with stylus-enabled Android tablets which have comparatively much less powerful CPUs. In fact since you already spent a lot of of money on the most expensive version of the Switch Alpha I am advising you to buy an cheaper Android Tablet for fast note taking. You can easily transfer your notes to the Alpha Switch.

  • CanadaloonCanadaloon Member Posts: 38 Enthusiast

    Hello again,

    I had posted the handwriting sample from my Acer Alpha Switch 12 and it appears I am very lucky to be getting the results I am. My unit was made in 2016.06 if that matters at all. After reading all the problems people are having with the stylus and writing I wonder why mine works???? I have never owned a laptop or writable tablet before and it was not until I started reading all the posts that I realised what an issue it is with this model. I have used it in MS Word to make notes since my post and it worked well in that as well. The conversion to text worked okay too.

     

    I suspect that my Acer Alpha Switch 12 has a magic fairy in it ;-) It is most puzzling!! If I can send setting or anything which may help understand the issue let me know. To judge by the postings, my stylus should not be working well?

    Love my Switch Alpha 12!





  • deanparkdeanpark Member Posts: 2

    I'm not sure what magic fairies eat in order to thrive.  I suggest you find out.

     

    Thanks for your help, both of you.

     

    Dean

  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 19,596 Trailblazer

    I just picked up a Switch 12 Alpha from Costco yesterday and don't see any issues with writing using the pen. What apps are you trying? I tried paint and onenote...

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • deanpark1deanpark1 Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    Good for you.  I just use OneNote and paint, as well.  It's not that the pen doesn't work, it just works very slowly.  I'm not a fast writer, but when I write at normal speed, the pen fails to recognize small loops, such as in 'e' or 'a' or 'l'.  After writing a word at normal speed with letters such as these, the word is nearly impossible to read.  However, if I write very, very slowly, it's just fine.  So, it's really not worth the effort.  I'm better off just writing on piece of paper.

     

    I"m glad yours works better.  It's hard to understand why some of the pens/computers work well together, and others don't

     

    Dean Park

  • billseybillsey ACE Posts: 19,596 Trailblazer

    I'm guessing a background task that's using enough resources to lower the sampling rate on the stylus. Either mine doesn't have it running or it's running in a idle state.

    Click on "Like" if you find my answer useful or click on "Yes" if it answers your question.
  • Diogenes5Diogenes5 Member Posts: 2

    I bought the official Acer Switch Alpha 12 pen because it apparently seems to be the only one that works on this tablet.  I had bought a Dell AAGN-750 at first to see if I could save money.  It was detected but could not write.

    The pen works fine.  It is fast and responsive in one note, windows live note, windows screen write, and windows sketchbook.  I am on Windows 10 Anniversary edition and bought my tablet the first week of August.  This tablet is a keeper for me now that I know the pen works well.  

    As for some of the FUD in this description, really am disappointed in some of the quality of the posts in this forum.  Like the doofus in this thread that overgeneralized his bad experiences.  I'm sorry you have a bad experience and I'm glad you shared it, but saying that everyone should get some *** chinese tablet to take notes is because this tablet is incapable is a fallacious, overgeneralizing statement.  

    If I was an artist, I might care more about the Pen not being as good as the Surface Pro, but I only need this thing to take handwritten notes and mark up PDF's so I'm very happy.

     

    [word filter avoidance]

  • gbardachgbardach Member Posts: 36

    Tinkerer

    You may not have noticed it: almost all of the consumer hardware hails from Asia. The majority of the factories are in China (Mainland and Taiwan). In fact Acer is a Taiwanese company. So don't  speak in a derogatory  manner about Chinese products. Your Iphone is made there too...

  • cppcpp Member Posts: 2

    Hi, does the dell pen works better? Can you please share a sample from one note? Thanks

  • deanpark1deanpark1 Member Posts: 13

    Tinkerer

    I hate to be whipping a dead horse; however, could the Anniversary update to windows 10 have any effect on pen performance?  My Alpha 12 updated yesterday and I decided to compare some of the existing pen-entered text from my OneNote program with new text using the exact same characters.  Perhaps, I'm just getting used to the pen or unconsciously writing slower, but it seems to be better, now.  I'd like to believe that.

     

    Dean Park

  • gbardachgbardach Member Posts: 36

    Tinkerer

    I did not notice any difference.

     

    But it may well be that Windows is at least partly (or may be mostly) to blame for the bad handwriting. I have no access to a Surface tablet or to another Windows tablet so that I can compare my handwriting there.

     

    I posted several times that with the S-pen and on some other Android Tablets the handwriting is much nicer and the handwriting recognition even without training is much superior. May be that also is the case on the Ipad Pro  but again, I have no comparison.

     

    There are no reviews on the Internet that compare handwriting results on tablets with different OSs or even different tablets with the same OS. And most people own only one tablet and therefore really don't know if the other tablets show better results.

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