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Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph Review




When Cherry Mobile announced the Alpha series, a lot of people were wowed mainly because they were bringing Windows to an affordable scale. The Alpha Morph is the 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet, which as the name implies, morphs into something like a laptop with the detachable keyboard dock. So, did Cherry Mobile succeed in creating the ultimate affordable tablet-laptop hybrid? Read on our full review to find out.

CM Alpha Morph (1)

Design and Construction

The Morph is off to a good start with its construction, but not so much in design. The front side is made and designed out of the things you’d expect from a 10-inch Windows 8.1 tablet, and the back is all soft touch material. The sides have a specific angling to them which makes the tablet comfortable to hold, but it still does have quite some heft.

The right side is clean from anything, below is the place for docking, above is the volume rocker, while the rest of the ports are on the left side, with matching labels for each! First off, the volume rocker on top is confusing, secondly, the ports could have lost the labels as it makes the Morph look cheap, and third, we wish the ports were evenly distributed across the device. The buttons aren’t so clicky either.

CM Alpha Morph (7)

The Alpha Morph feels really nice in the hand, but using it was the thing that proved to have problems – it’s quite bulky while the buttons and ports were all too confusing and uninspiring.

There is a capacitive Windows Start button up front, and even when the device is asleep, it weirdly works – and that’s a bad thing. Simply touching the button will awaken the device.

Display

A 10.1-inch 1280 x 720 LCD display rocks the front of the Alpha Morph, and we like it. You can make out with pixels if you look closely, but to the average consumer getting a device at this price range, it is more than satisfactory. It would have been better if it were slightly higher in pixel count, but it’s okay.

CM Alpha Morph (3)

The colors and the viewing angles of this display are above average, and it’s fairly bright to be able to use outside but not in direct sunlight. We did however find the display showing off cooler tones than warmer ones, but it’s a small complaint.

Multimedia and Usage

A lot of people use tablets for their media, and if you happen to experience the Alpha Morph, you’ll find that watching videos on it is more than just enough. This is all due to, like what we’ve said, the colors, the good viewing angles and the decent resolution of the display. The audio you’ll hear on the other hand is only very similar to those you hear on smartphones, only a lot louder; it lacks depth and bass, and the highs and mids are the only ones heard for the most part. It’s decent, but having them firing off the back isn’t helping its case. Rest it on its back and you’ll get muffled sound – loud muffled sound nonetheless.

However, let’s be real. Not a lot of laptops even twice the price have stunning displays and great audio feedback, so these things aren’t really a bad thing to start with.

CM Alpha Morph (4)

CM is packing in a keyboard dock for the Alpha Morph: it has no battery but it acts as a stand, hoping that you may look at the Alpha Morph as a machine to get tasks done. However, I honestly didn’t enjoy using it. The keyboard is cramped especially if you have big hands, the left and right clicks can only be accessed by holding down the Fn button and the trackpad is cramped and doesn’t feel good as well. On the bright side, the trackpad does support a few gestures like scrolling, and the keyboard is quite usable if you get used to it – but we really do advise you to get an external mouse (which will require you to use the bundled adapter, no USB port), because right clicking is a huge pain.

CM Alpha Morph (5)

Another small thing is that when the tablet is docked, when you close it, the tablet doesn’t immediately turn the display off – which consumes battery and cause accidental presses when you forget to turn it off.

The cameras on the Alpha Morph aren’t anything special to talk about, just like any other Windows tablet for that matter. For the sake of describing it though, it’s usable for video chats online, but nothing more. Not even your selfies.

Performance and Benchmarks

Rocking an Intel Atom CPU at 1.33GHz, this device is a beast! I don’t see a lot of hiccups and lags especially on Windows 8.1, and with 2GB RAM, it’s far from disappointing as I find the performance comparable to other higher priced tablets rocking similar internals.

CM Alpha Morph (2)

From multitasking with a few applications to going around YouTube videos and many other tabs in Chrome, the Alpha Morph is no slouch. You will be getting more than what you paid for when it comes to performance.

CM Alpha Morph (1)

Here are the scores of the Alpha Morph in the Windows Experience Index:

  • Processor: 5.9
  • Memory (RAM): 4.5
  • Graphics Score: 4.1
  • Gaming Graphics: 4
  • Primary Hard Disk: 6.9
  • Base Score: 4

Do have to note that it does get hot on the lower left corner where you charge the device at times. It won’t burn your fingers, but it does get uncomfortable.

Battery

The 8,000mAh battery inside the tablet is mediocre at best. Watching a YouTube video from a full charge will only last you an hour on 50% brightness and 100% audio, but the life could be longer if you watch videos offline and if you have earphones on. The setting of the battery mode was set to balanced, as there were no other modes configured when reviewing the device out of the box. We also left the device asleep for a few days and it didn’t do so well conserving battery when not in use.

CM Alpha Morph (6)

For most users, we suggest configuring your device well to conserve battery, and to hug a wall to charge when possible. You’ll be able to get stuff done with the Alpha Morph, but only enough for the day.

Conclusion

I like the Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph, because it’s the local company telling us that it’s not only interested in bringing only Android to the Philippines. With a 10.1-inch Windows 8.1 convertible coming from Cherry Mobile, people may finally be able to get some work done for just Php11,999.

CM Alpha Morph (2)

However, it’s the little things that kill this tablet: waking up the display by accidentally tapping the capacitive button, not being able to sleep when you close it with the keyboard, bad button placements, a serious need for a mouse and more. Overall, the Alpha Morph is a great tablet for its price, but the experience you’re getting will be only equal to or less than what you paid for.

Cherry Mobile Alpha Morph specs:
10-inch HD IPS display @ 1280 x 720 resolution
1.33GHz Intel Z3735D quad-core processor
Intel HD Graphics – Gen 7
2GB RAM
32GB ROM
Up to 64GB via microSD
2MP rear camera with BSI sensor
2MP front camera
Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n
USB OTG ready
8,000mAh battery
Windows 8.1 OS
Bundled Office 365, 1TB OneDrive

What we liked about it:

  • Sturdy and solid soft-touch construction
  • Loud speakers
  • Trackpad supports scrolling gestures
  • Keyboard case is still good to have despite flaws
  • Great performance
  • Bundled Office 365, 1TB OneDrive

What we didn’t like about it:

  • Wakes up by the touch of the capacitive Start button
  • Only 720p
  • Cramped keyboard and trackpad
  • Clicking with the keyboard case is a pain
  • Display doesn’t turn off when closed with keyboard
  • Gets hot
  • Mediocre battery life



Bob Freking occasionally contributes articles to the website. He is a UST Graduate of Commerce & Business Administration, Major in Marketing Management, and a full-time Sith Lord with three dragons.

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16 Responses

  1. ocommon says:

    ang ayoko sa cherry eh mahina ang hardware. Kaya laging mahaba pila sa service center nila. Madaling masira kahit anong ingat mo.

  2. Daves says:

    What’s this? Walang reklamo na paid article o reviewer ito tulad ng ibang past articles? Himala!

    May isa ring YouTube video na ginamit ang Morph para sa DOTA 2 ata. Hindi mabilis, pero hindi rin lag so not so bad.

    So far, wala pa akong nakikitang reklamo tungkol sa quality nito. Unless meron na somewhere, hehe.

  3. john says:

    can it read external dvd rom drives? my acer iconia is not able to read dvd roms which is not as described in your review of the acer iconia w4, you wrote it can read external dvd rom drives

  4. exo15 says:

    Windows 8.1 pro? or Windows 8.1 RT?

    Windows 8.1 = you can install all your regular software and programs.

    Windows 8.1 RT = you cannot install your regular programs and software. You can only install apps on the Start screen on the Windows Store app. Same as you Windows Phone.

    Which is which?

    • someone says:

      Windows RT is for ARM based devices. Since the Alpha Morph uses an Intel Atom CPU, it’s running Windows 8.1 (not RT).

  5. snowthen says:

    I’ll buy either a Windows phone or tablet when Windows 10 rolls around. I just don’t like those tiles. Windows 10 has relegated it to the Start button.

  6. nokinoks says:

    parang may napakalaking kulang sa performance review neto x.x

  7. Alex says:

    Hmmm? I’ve been able to tap to click, tap with two fingers to right-click, tap-hold to drag, and scroll with two fingers. But I still prefer using a Bluetooth mouse when possible, as the trackpad sucks.

  8. ERICK says:

    I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH VIDEO CALL USING FACEBOOK.THERE IS NO CAMERA INSTALLED.CAN YOU HELP ME HOW TO FIX THIS.THANK YOU,,,,PLEASE……

  9. Jeremy says:

    Can I install windows apps in it? or plug usb drives and usb printers? Thanks!

  10. alcampado says:

    can i attach a sim using the usb port.

  11. mary says:

    Yong sakin, bigla naalang di na nag On- While using it, simple Fb browsing lang- namatay nalang bigla, dina ulit nag power On… It has full battery. And it doesn’t turn on kahit nakasaksak charger. Anyone who have the same issue? Baka matulungan niyo ko please pano ba ito.

  12. Tali Batab says:

    CMAM is a “pwede na (minsan)” tablet. I’d rather use it as a display than use the device and expect it to hang (freeze) if not reset (that is if the buttons will work).

    No. It is not a dependable gadget for me. And NO, I do not recommend it.

  13. Roland says:

    Nawala yung original adapter para sa Alpha Morph namin — none of the Cherry Mobile shops have them. Phased-out na ba to? Also, nung dumaan ako ng Acehardware, they have several kinds… can someone help kung ano dapat ang bilhin i.e. wattage/voltage, etc.?

    Thank you!

  14. Jade says:

    I have a problem with this thing,
    First of all IT DOESN’T GIVE JUICE (Charge) AT MY LAPTOP AND THIS THING WAS BOUGHT LAST YEAR
    AND FOR SO MUCH CAREFUL AT THIS IT WILL STILL BREAK..
    AND EVEN IF ITS PLUGGED IN ITS CHARGING BUT IT DOESN’T GIVE BATTERY LIFE, AND ALL OF THE SUDDEN IT SHUTS DOWN,
    “LIKE, WTF!”

  15. tristan says:

    Naguupdate din po yung os nito?

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