In case you weren’t already aware, Cherry Mobile has transcended from being just a phone company to a PC company. It began with the first wave of Windows-based Alpha devices and now Cherry Mobile has begun to refresh their Alpha lineup again, starting with the Alpha Shift. The Cherry Mobile Alpha Shift isn’t exactly new, but it hasn’t been heavily reviewed yet either. So I was pretty stoked when I got to get some hands on time when I visited their offices a few weeks back. Check it out!
When docked, the Alpha Shift looks like just about any notebook. Forgive the smudges. It’s a touchscreen device after all.
Here’s the Alpha Shift with the keyboard dock removed. As a tablet, it’s pretty heavy when using it one-handed. But then, this is a 10.1 inch Windows tablet we’re talking about. One thing I don’t like though is that the bottom bezel (in landscape) is significantly thicker. That’s where the keyboard dock locks onto, so there does have to be a bit of an allowance. It’s still a bit of an eyesore though, but no biggie.
The back has a brushed aluminum look that gives the Cherry Mobile Alpha Shift its pogi factor. It’s just plastic though.
To the side are the ports, which are essential to any Windows notebook or tablet. There’s the micro SD slot, micro USB port, 3.5mm headset jack and charging port. It’s important to note that the micro USB port is for data transfers and USB accessories only as it can’t be used to charge the tablet. Also, unlike the Alpha Morph, the Alpha Shift’s Windows key is on the side of the device as well and can easily be mistaken for a power/lock button by first-time users.
These are the ports that the Alpha Shift uses to lock onto the keyboard dock.
This is what the dock and hinge look like. Unlike the Morph that can only be propped up at a fixed angle, the Alpha Shift has the advantage of being adjustable.
And this is the keyboard dock. Unlike, the ASUS Transformer series that the Alpha Shift is emulating, there’s no built in battery. However, it does come with 500GB of storage built into the dock.
The keys are laid out to maximize the space that the keyboard dock can offer. It’s a little on the smallish side, but it’s good enough for portable productivity, and it can’t be any worse than those netbooks some of us were using a few years back. The trackpad also looks better than the one that comes with the Alpha Morph’s keyboard. I tested it out and it was slightly more accurate.
Overall, I really like the Cherry Mobile Alpha Shift and the idea of having that kind of portable productivity and storage with me. At Php13,999, it certainly looks like a great option for students and young professionals who want bigger storage than the Alpha Morph can offer.