Acer Iconia W700 review: A mixed bag of Windows 8 whatsit

Acer's Windows 8 tablet with dock stand and keyboard just doesn't measure up as a convertible

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I'm not enamored of how, even after all this time, PC makers still preload their systems with software that no one uses. Acer's systems are particularly bad in this respect, so be sure to set aside some time to sponge things down and make a full-scale backup afterward. Among the inclusions: the McAfee Internet Security suite, a trial edition of Microsoft Office 2010, Spotify, and the Acer Ring. The last is a full-screen application launcher and media management tool with an interface that's even more baffling and counterintuitive than Windows 8's Modern UI. In some cases, Acer Ring and the Modern UI conflict directly.

I did appreciate the presence of a live update package from Acer that scanned the system for driver or firmware revisions. It's one fewer task for you, and right after I uncrated the W700, it found an update for the Intel video driver -- probably the OEM component that'll get the most software refreshes, come to think of it. The W700 also did well in my Netflix playback test, racking up 3 hours, 20 minutes on the most power-conservative battery setting.

The Acer Iconia W700 works best if you plan to take it on the road without its keyboard and are comfortable using it on a desktop with a minimal variety of viewing angles. If you're seeking a Windows 8 tablet that will also serve as a laptop, look elsewhere.

Acer Iconia W700-645 at a glance

 
Price $999 MSRP
Processor Intel Core i5-3317U @ 1.7GHz
Memory 4GB
Storage 128GB SSD
Weight 2.09 lbs.
Dimensions Height: 11.6 inches. Width: 7.5 inches. Depth: 0.47 inches.
Display 11.6 inches @ 1920 by 1080 pixels
Battery 4850 mAh
Ports 1 Micro USB 3.0, 1 Micro-HDMI out, Ethernet via included USB dongle, VGA out via included dongle
Radios 802.11a/b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0+HS
Touch UI 10-finger multitouch
Management features None
Sandra 2013 score 3.34kPt

This article, "Acer Iconia W700 review: A mixed bag of Windows 8 whatsit," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in computer hardware and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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