Acer's sleek Windows 8 tablet: the Iconia W700
The Acer Iconia W700 is a hefty 11.6-inch tablet that runs the Windows 8 operating system. It can be paired with Acer's own wireless Bluetooth keyboard and a cradle dock, turning this portable tablet into a full-fledged mobile office.
Available on October 26, the Iconia W700 comes in three versions. Two models both have 64GB of storage, but the $750 version runs on an Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge processor while the $850 is equipped with an i5 CPU under its hood. The 128GB model, which houses an i5 processor too, is estimated to cost between $950 to $1,000.
All three versions of the Acer Iconia W700 sport an 11.6-inch, 10-point touch screen. The IPS 1080p Full HD display has a resolution of 1,920x1080 pixels, and when I handled the device, text and pictures were rendered crisply and brightly. On the left side, it has a Micro-HDMI output and a USB port.
As mentioned above, the tablet can be paired with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, as well as a cradle dock. The dock includes three more USB ports, and it can tilt the Iconia W700 either 70 degrees or 20 degrees, depending on how you want to use it.
By itself, the W700 weighs 2.3 pounds and is easy to hold and navigate. It can easily fit into a large shoulder bag or backpack without taking much space. Its silver aluminum build keeps it lightweight, but it's also attractive. The smooth finish gives the tablet a more luxurious feel, and I appreciate the simple and sleek aesthetic.
The tablet runs on the Windows 8 OS, meaning you'll get your usual slew of Microsoft staples like the live-tile start screen, Internet Explorer, Xbox Live, Zune music and video portals, access to SkyDrive cloud computing, and Skype.
Keep in mind that not all Iconia W700 tablets have the same CPU. Again, one of the two 64GB models features an Intel Core i3 Ivy Bridge processor, while the other runs on the faster i5 CPU. The 128GB unit is equipped with an i5 as well.
All three units, however, sport an Intel HD Graphics 4,000 chipset with 4GB of memory and promise 8 hours of overall usage time and 7 hours of Web browsing. They also feature Dolby Home Theater v4 audio-enhancing technology and Bluetooth capabilities.
On the back of the device is a 5-megapixel camera, capable of recording 1080p HD video. The front-facing 1-megapixel camera can record in 720p HD.
Though I've only spent a short amount of time with the tablet, the Acer Iconia W700 looks promising. Its graciously sized screen is vivid, the processor's performance was zippy and quick, and it's always interesting to see more Windows 8 devices hit the market.
However, there are some huge drawbacks. Its clunky cradle accessory is cumbersome to use and, most importantly, its nearly $1,000 price tag (for the 128GB model) is hefty. That alone may be enough to discourage the average customer from biting.