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.
Cracking Open: Amazon Fire illustrates dramatic drop in cost of tablet tech
TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler cracks open the Fire and explores the tech inside Amazon's $50 tablet.
Get an Acer Iconia 8-inch tablet for $59.99
Though it's a refurb, it's indistinguishable from new and far better than most tablets in this price range.
Tablets in 2014: Thinner, better, but predictable
The year 2014 was jam-packed with new tablet models, but not all of them rose to our expectations. Check out the best (and worst) of the year.
The Chromebook gains and Microsoft responds
Chromebooks continue to give Microsoft and Windows trouble. And Microsoft continues to make a case against them.
Intel reveals second super-slim tablet, vendor ties at Computex
Chip giant is showing off an even thinner version of its tablet design and announcing collaborative efforts with Acer and other device makers. Also on tap: the desktop, 2-in-1s, and a 3D camera.
Get an 8-inch Acer Iconia Android tablet for $99.99
It's no iPad Mini, but neither does it cost $400. Could this super-cheap slate fulfill your tablet needs? Plus: three bonus deals!
Tablets of CES 2014
Tablets and laptop hybrids abound at CES.
For Android tablets, 8 (inches) is the new 7
<b>commentary</b> Today's selection of Android 8-inchers, while rather pricey, are showing more creative differentiation than we're used to seeing in the 7-inch category.
Microsoft ad slates iPad mini, reviews say otherwise
Microsoft's new ad for the first small Windows 8 tablet comes up short in a few different areas.
Ballmer: 'We made too many Surface RT tablets'
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted the company can't shift its stock of Surface tablets.
Acer Iconia W3, the first 8-inch full Windows 8 tablet, is £280
Acer's new Iconia W3, announced today at the Computex show in Taiwan, is the first to cram full-fat Windows 8 into a dinky 8-inch tablet.
Acer umming and ahhing over Windows RT tab, waits for RT 8.1
Acer is waiting for the next version of Windows RT before it decides whether to launch a tablet running that OS.