December 11, 2012
- Stylish aluminum design
- Good-looking 1080p display
- Solid performance
- Long battery life
- Mediocre camera quality
- Thick and heavy for a tablet
The Acer Iconia W700-6465 is a pricey 11-inch tablet that features an aluminum design, a beautiful display and an detachable keyboard and dock. For a tablet, it is thicker and heavier than most others and the camera is also not up to par.
With the release of Windows 8 almost two months ago, we've seen a flood of tablets and laptops to take advantage of the touch-based operating system. Acer made the Iconia W700 a hybrid of both an Ultrabook and a tablet and it is definitely on the right track, but it still has its flaws, especially in portability and price.
The design of the W700 is absolutely beautiful with a sharp, sturdy aluminum back that wraps around onto the sides and front. It is larger and thicker than a typical slate tablet as it measures 11.6 x 7.5 x 0.5-inches (wdh) and weighs 2.0-pounds (3.6-pounds when docked). For a comparison, the iPad weighs only 1.4-pounds and is over a tenth of an inch thinner. Because of the added weight, we did find it slightly uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.
The 11-inch LED-backlit display has a native resolution of 1920 x 1080-pixels, so it is full HD resolution. The glass is made of Gorilla Glass 2, which is extremely scratch-resistant and used on many other popular tablets. The display's viewing angles were very wide, so multi-person viewing is no problem. Overall the display's quality was good and provided vibrant, bright images much to our delight.
Bundled with the Iconia W700 is a Bluetooth keyboard and dock. The island-style keyboard has a similar silver (plastic) finish to match the aluminum on the actual tablet. We found typing on it to be a fairly good experience with our only complaint is the keys being jammed close together. Three AAA batteries power the keyboard.
The while and silver docking station allows the tablet to slide into place from the right with both USB and power connectors on the left side. On the back of the dock, there are three extra USB 3.0 ports. There's also a removable kickstand that can be inserted either horizontally or vertically. The shape of the dock is rather body and awkward, but it does offer that added connectivity when you need it.
Acer includes a few ports on the tablet itself, which include a mini-HDMI port, a full-size USB 3.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a power input. The only thing lacking is perhaps an SD memory card slot.
Acer pre-installs many third-party applications on the tablet. Some of these include Skype, Netflix, eBay, ChaCha (a search engine), Skitch (a photo editing app), Encyclopedia Britannica and many others. There's also a Social Jogger app, which pulls together all of your social media accounts into one app. Adding applications is easy because of the Windows Store, which lets you access a decent selection of apps and games. The Windows Store's selection is limited now because of its young age, but it's rapidly growing.
The 5-megapixel rear-facing camera left us disappointed. Images looked washed out and lacked sharpness.
The Acer Iconia W700 is powered by an Intel Core i5-3317U (1.7GHz) CPU, 4GB of RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics and a 128GB solid-state drive. In a PCMark 7 benchmark, the tablet scored 4,426. This beats out the ultraportable laptop category by over 1,000 points, which is a good measure for comparison. In our real-world use, we found it speedy and played streaming media with no problem.
Battery life with the W700 tablet was great at almost 7-hours, which beat out the ultraportable average. It is about 6-hours behind the Apple iPad tablet, but this is arguably a different type of tablet.