Acer iconia w700 review: laptop power in a tablet package


The tablet balances size, performance, & battery life with some success.

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Andrew Cunningham - Jan 22, 2013 4:00 pm UTC


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Our Windows 8 device đánh giá so far have focused on two types of computers: laptops (like Dell"s XPS 12) that attempt to convert themselves into chunky tablets, and Windows RT tablets (like the hãng asus VivoTab RT) that plug into some sort of keyboard accessory to lớn become awkward laptops.

Acer"s Iconia W700 is neither: it"s a pure 11.6-inch tablet with no keyboard dock or flippable screen, but lượt thích Microsoft"s upcoming Surface Pro it includes Intel"s Ultrabook-class Ivy Bridge processors rather than the ARM or Atom processors used by other Windows 8 và Windows RT tablets.

This has implications for the tablet"s size, weight, battery life, and performance—does the W700 strike the right balance, or will we have to keep on waiting to get a good high-performance tablet? Let"s dig in.

Body & build quality


Enlarge / The W700 is a nicely built tablet with a great 1080p screen, though it"s a bit less responsive to touch input than others we"ve tested.
Andrew Cunningham

Enlarge / The back of the tablet is flat with slightly rounded edges.
Andrew Cunningham
Specs at a glance: Acer Iconia Tab W700ScreenOSCPURAMGPUHDDNetworkingPortsSizeWeightBatteryWarrantyStarting priceOther perks
1980×1080 at 11.6" (190 ppi)
Windows 8 64-bit
1.7GHz Intel vi xử lý core i5-3317U (Turbo up khổng lồ 2.6GHz)
4GB 1600MHz DDR3 (non-upgradeable)
Intel HD Graphics 4000 (integrated)
128GB solid-state drive
Dual-band 802.11n, bluetooth không dây 4.0
1x USB 3.0, micro HDMI, headphones
11.6 × 7.5 × 0.5" (294.6 × 190.5 × 12.7 mm)
2.1 lbs (0.95 kg)
3-cell 4850mAh Li-polymer
1 year
5.0MP camera, webcam, volume rocker, screen orientation lock button

The W700"s speedy processor means that it needs more battery và cooling than most ARM tablets, and it shows in the tablet"s size and weight: it"s 0.5" thick & weighs 2.1 pounds, a noticeable step up from the Microsoft Surface"s 0.37" và 1.5 pounds. If you"re already used to lớn the balance of a widescreen tablet, you can take the W700 pretty much anywhere a Surface or Nexus 10 would go—it"s still a much better tablet than even the best of the convertible laptops we"ve seen so far, & the steadily improving state of the Windows 8 ứng dụng store is making it a bit easier lớn get things done without needing khổng lồ jump khổng lồ the desktop (though most Windows apps are still going to run on the desktop for the foreseeable future).

During use, the most notable difference wasn"t its size, but its fans. ARM processors have gotten us used lớn quiet, fan-less tablets, but the W700 has a pair of vents on its đứng đầu edge to lớn help dissipate that Ivy Bridge CPU"s heat. The noise isn"t deafening but it"s definitely audible, và once the tablet has been on for a few minutes they seldom shut off even if you"re just sitting idle at the Start screen. The fans also kick up to a more audible whine when the tablet is under load. The volume is in line with the fans in most Ultrabooks, but psychologically it takes some time to get used to that sound emanating from a tablet.

Weight and thickness aside, the tablet feels good lớn hold—its aluminum back and sides are solid and don"t flex, & the texture makes the tablet easy to grip without feeling too "grippy," like the Nexus 10. All of its ports, buttons, and switches are located on its left, right, và top edges—the orientation lock is on the top; the power và volume buttons và headphone jack are on the right; and the single full-size USB 3.0 port, micro HDMI port, and power jack are on the left. Two tinny-but-listenable stereo speakers adorn the tablet"s bottom edge, but unfortunately there"s not an SD thẻ slot to be found on either the tablet itself or its included dock.


Enlarge / The Ivy Bridge CPU necessitates a pair of fan vents on the vị trí cao nhất edge, which can be slightly distracting. Chú ý the screen orientation lock.

Enlarge / Most of the tablet"s ports—a micro HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and a nguồn jack—are on its professionally tuned left side.

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Enlarge / The tai nghe jack, volume rocker, & power button are on the right side. The power nguồn button is a bit mushy, & it didn"t always respond the first time we pressed it.
Andrew Cunningham
Enlarge / Two speakers adorn the bottom edge of the tablet.
Andrew Cunningham

Almost all of the tablet"s front face is consumed by its screen và bezel, with the exception of the narrow aluminum strip along the bottom that houses the physical Windows button. The screen itself is a set of good & not-as-good—the 1920×1080 resolution & excellent viewing angles of the bright, colorful IPS panel are a definite high point. The cảm biến part of the display is slightly less great—there"s a fair amount of flex in the glass, & while in general the display was good at picking up cảm ứng input, we had more trouble than usual swiping in from the edges lớn invoke the Charms thực đơn or switch between apps.

Compared khổng lồ the 1366×768 display in the Surface, an 11.6-inch 1080p display also causes a few problems in the desktop environment depending on whether you"re using the tablet with a mouse & keyboard or trying to lớn navigate with touch. If you"re using primarily touch, you"ll definitely want khổng lồ scale the desktop to lớn 125 or 150 percent to make buttons & UI elements more tappable—the Start screen and apps bởi a pretty good job of scaling automatically khổng lồ take advantage of the extra pixel density, though.



Most of the Windows 8 và Windows RT tablets we"ve looked at so far have been convertibles, computers that try to lớn take advantage of the new operating system"s split personality. The W700 accomplishes this not by use of a keyboard dock, but with a pair of accessories—a cradle-like dock and a brown faux-leather case—that help prop it up when it"s not in tablet mode.

The dock serves as a charging cradle, three-port USB 3.0 hub, and monitor stand, but it"s obviously not meant to lớn be mobile—it"s much too chunky for that. Rather, it"s something that sits on your kitchen counter or desk for when you want to lớn connect a keyboard and mouse. A công nghệ bluetooth không dây chiclet keyboard with a decent layout & good key travel is included, but you"ll have to bring your own mouse.


The kickstand on the back of the dock is solid & can be used to lớn prop the tablet up in either landscape or portrait mode, but it"s not adjustable. That one angle is good for desk use, but if you put it on your kitchen counter (or another place where you"re likely khổng lồ be looking down at it while standing rather than sitting) it becomes less useful. Small holes at the bottom of the dock also amplify the tablet"s built-in speakers, though they don"t fix the fact that you"re still listening khổng lồ small integrated speakers with no bass to lớn speak of.


Enlarge / The dock has a removable but non-adjustable kickstand, three USB 3.0 ports, và a nguồn plug, but no SD card slot. The tablet"s micro HDMI port remains accessible when docked.
Andrew Cunningham
Enlarge / The dock also allows you to prop the tablet up in portrait mode.
Andrew Cunningham
Enlarge / The stand includes handy instructions on how lớn use it, including "don"t take it in both of your hands & snap it in half, you idiot."

The worst thing about this dock is probably its bulky, plasticky construction, which stands in contrast khổng lồ the solid body toàn thân of the tablet itself. It would also be much more useful with an SD card slot và an adjustable stand.

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The tablet"s carrying case is more helpful when you"re away from the desk. An included instruction sheet shows you how to lớn fold it into two different "modes"—a "video mode" that props the tablet up at a steep angle, and a "typing mode" that props it up at a shallower one. Functionally it"s similar to lớn one of Apple"s Smart Covers, but it covers the tablet completely, thus offering a bit more protection.