The Good The Acer Iconia W700 can work as a tablet or a small desktop, and it has a high-res screen and excellent battery life.
The Bad The non-adjustable stand limits viewing angles, and you'll need an external mouse or touch pad for efficient Windows navigation.
The Bottom Line One of the only Core i5 slate-style Windows 8 systems we've seen, the Acer Iconia W700 asks few compromises for full-time use, but the design isn't for everyone.
Laptop power in a tablet package
Few systems have had as polarizing an effect in the CNET offices as the Acer Iconia W700. Some felt this full Windows 8 touch-screen tablet and keyboard combo looked ridiculous, or was unwieldy for everyday use. Others liked that it has an Intel Core i5 processor and a full 1,920x1,080-pixel display for a not-inexpensive, but still reasonable, $999.
The truth is somewhere between these two poles. At first glance, the W700 looks a mess, but at the same time, it's hard not to like. For me, the aesthetics of the tablet and its unique side-sliding stand offer a hint of retro-futurism, and I likened it to a leftover "Space: 1999" prop. But, I mean that as a compliment -- too many laptops, tablets, and accessories follow the same overused design cues.
Using a touch-screen slate with an Intel Core i5 CPU makes a world of difference over models that attempt to get away with a low-power Intel Atom processor, and over the not fully baked Windows RT as well. For the most part, this is a combo creation/consumption machine, capable of doing nearly anything a traditional laptop or desktop can.