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CNET First Look
Acer Aspire P3 isn't an inspiring Windows 8 tabletBoring design and a Core i5 processor plus a weak keyboard make the P3 a functional but forgettable solution.
Hi. I'm Scott Stein and we are surrounded by Windows 8 tablets. They are everywhere, you cannot escape them, and they are continually changing. What are you gonna do? Well, Acer hasn't really made it that much easier for you because the Acer Aspire P3 is somewhere in the middle because you have tablets that came out last year that are using Intel processors that were third generation, Core i-series processors. Now, you have fourth-generation ones that are out and on the horizon at the high end. What that means is battery life. We could end up with much better battery life in tablets by the end of this year than when we started. This is running third-generation processors underneath. What you need to know is the battery life is not that great. It's about a little under six hours on our test and that's a huge part of the equation here because you're probably comparing to iPads or you're maybe comparing to other Windows 8 tablets using Atom processors. There may be eight or nine hours of battery life, but they don't perform as fast. And price-wise, this falls right in the middle of an uncomfortable graph because you've got $500 and $600 Atom-based Windows 8 tablets that are full Windows 8 then you climb all the way up to the Microsoft Surface Pros about $1000, and here, you've got an $899 or $799 Core i3 or Core i5 tablet here. It's not a bad set of specs because you've got an $899 Core i5 processor, 120GB SSD, 4GB of RAM, okay. So, it's really like an Ultrabook and Intel, heck. They even claimed, "This is an Ultrabook. They slapped that sticker on this thing," but really, Ultrabooks are laptops and this, this is a tablet with a keyboard case and that's the other problem here. This keyboard case is kind of like an iPad keyboard case. It's a snap-on. It folds down. It's Bluetooth. I mean, it will be okay if you attach an iPad or a tablet to it. But as a laptop replacement? It doesn't have a trackpad, it doesn't have a track point, and it has a common flimsy plastic feel. You have to pair it and it does do auto-paring, but you have to manage that a little still if it doesn't work and it's got its own charging port over here to be recharged later. That's not really that sleek or as cool, nowhere near a type cover on a Surface Pro. It's nothing like that whatsoever, and getting this thing out, I felt like I almost snap my finger trying to get this plastic thing off this. It's a pretty tight fit, and you know, it feels like it could break. It has a strange nylon outer coating, the point being this feels like a budget product here and the tablet itself is all aluminum and glass. It actually feels kind of nice. It's exactly like the W700 Acer Iconia that we saw last year. So, bottom line, it's kind of like a Surface Amateur. This is a tweener tablet. Bite your own wrist right now. I'm Scott Stein and that's a look at the Acer Aspire P3, but right now, it doesn't really aspire to be anything all that exciting.