Acer Iconia W700 review

High-end 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet

TODO alt text

The Acer Iconia W700 is certainly a step forward for full-fat Windows tablets, and one of the few we've seen that can genuinely offer the experience of a full laptop and a tablet as well.

Devices like the Sony Vaio Duo 11 or Toshiba Satellite U920T have erred too much towards the laptop form factor, while the current crop of Windows RT tablets suffer from usability issues, a limited ecosystem and are far too expensive.

The Acer W700 has found a useful niche, and we can genuinely imagine having it docked into a desktop type set up at work, before watching a movie and using the increasing amount of Windows 8 apps on the way home.

We liked

The dock setup works, as long as you don't want to take it with you, and the range of connectivity means it's easy to hook the tablet up to an HD screen. The pin-sharp screen is a joy to use when in the new Windows 8 UI mode, and it's just as good for media consumption as work.

The price is also exceptional, when you consider that the Samsung Ativ Tab, which runs Windows RT, comes in at £549/US$649.99 (around AU$836). For roughly the same price here you get full fat Windows, Intel Core power, the dock, a high quality leather case and a mobile keyboard.

We disliked

The docking system doesn't have the same quality feel as the rest of the Acer Iconia W700, and while it does make it lightweight for when you do need to travel, it ruins the premium experience. We also feel that very little thought as been put into the dock's design, and the bizarre design is a nightmare to carry.

Of course, for £590/US$799.99 you won't get high-end Ultrabook power, especially when Acer has been so generous with extras, build quality and that gorgeous 1080p screen. However, we have serious reservations about whether there's enough grunt here to future-proof the Acer W700 for all kinds of PC use, from graphics-heavy applications to multitasking large numbers of programs.

Finally, while we loved the usability of the Acer Iconia W700, we feel there's little flexibility in its use. It works if you're regularly in one place, such as your home or office, where the dock can be set up and left. Taking the whole package of dock, stand, case and charger will be a drag, so think about how you'd use it before buying it.

Final verdict

The Acer Iconia W700 comes the closest of all the tablets we've seen to being able to replicate the experience of a laptop, in a true tablet form.

While you certainly get a lot for your money here, we worry that the poor performance limits the life of this hybrid PC, and would push those looking for a rich Windows 8 experience to look at the Intel Core i5 version.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4000
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
Solid State Drive Capacity128 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyICONIA W700
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-3317U
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameAcer
Form FactorHybrid
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size29.5 cm (11.6")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)950 g
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderNo
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0 + HS
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height11.9 mm
Width295 mm
Depth191 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesW700
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelW700-53314G12as
Product NameICONIA W700-53314G12as Tablet PC
Product LineICONIA
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberNT.L0EEK.002
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationAlways on it

The ICONIA W5 Series is the world's first Intel® CPU-based tablet with Acer Always On technology. Simply press it and it's on and updated, like a smartphone -- with up to 3 weeks of standby power. Acer Always Connect links to hotspots in 2.5 seconds, while AcerCloud lets you access files on all your devices, anytime.

Package Contents
  • ICONIA W700-53314G12as Tablet PC
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year