Acer is turning plenty of heads with its Iconia W700 tablet. Billed as a high-performance mobile PC in a tablet form factor, the Iconia W700 is Acer's first Windows 8-based tablet in the U.S.
With its 11.6-inch display, the tablet is a little larger than the popular sizes. It features a full HD 1080p resolution screen and runs Intel HD 4000 Graphics. The new tablet also sports Intel Core i3 or Core i5 processors, which pave the way for more productivity in the tablet form factor.
"With Windows 8, bigger is in fact better because you are actually planning to do work on them. Ten inches is nice for an iPad, but the Windows 8 tablet's killer app is Office, so the baseline of performance is far higher," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "Acer is more closely building for the target sweet spot for this product than some of the folks that are doing iPad knock-offs."
Acer's Proprietary Tech
The Iconia W700 measures less than a half-inch thick and weighs 2.3 pounds. It offers up to eight hours of battery life and is WiFi-enabled. The tablet comes pre-installed with location and travel applications with its integrated G-Sensor, E-Compass and Gyro-Meter.
Customers can choose a 128-GB or 64-GB solid-state drive for powering on the device. Acer points to its Acer Green Instant On technology, which promises a six-second boot time and instant-resume functionality in 1.5 seconds. Acer Always Connect gets users online to previously used hotspots in as little as 2.5 seconds. And the AcerCloud lets users share content between the Iconia W700 and other PCs.
The tablet features a Crystal Eye webcam for photo and video capture, as well as video chat and Web conferencing. The HD 5-megapixel rear camera captures full HD 1080p video. The front-facing HD 720p camera is recommended for video conferencing and photo-taking for social networks. Dolby Home Theater boosts sound for headphones and built-in speakers. A dialog enhancer works to make audio capture crisper and clearer for video conferencing and video e-mails.
The Acer Iconia W700 will be available on Oct. 26 in several configurations at prices ranging from $799.99 to $999.99. That's quite a price hike from the iPad, which is the highest-priced tablet on the market.
"Apple sets the bar for price, so I think the price could be an issue for some people. You are paying a little extra, but that extra is giving you full notebook capability in terms of performance," Enderle said.
"If the market gets that, then it will sell all right. If the market looks at this and thinks, 'It's $200 more than an iPad and the iPad is my gold standard,' then it won't do as well. The market has to value the extra capability of running Office as worth the $200. For $200 you are getting a PC on top of your tablet."