59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
The No Compromise Tablet,
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This review is from: Acer Iconia W700-6691 11.6-Inch Tablet (1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U Processor, 4GB DDR3, 64GB SSD, Windows 8) Silver (Personal Computers)
I finally received my W700 yesterday and I really enjoy this tablet. I recently purchased an Asus S400CA touchscreen ultrabook with Windows 8 for my wife and enjoyed using it so much that I decided I wanted a touchscreen of my own. I was looking for something a lot more portable than my XPS 15 laptop so I decided on a tablet. After some searching on Amazon I found the Acer W700 and Samsung ATIV 700T. Both had very similar specs but a few key differences. The Samsung had a snap on keyboard that made it look more like a laptop and the Acer came with a Dock and Bluetooth keyboard. I liked the idea of a separate keyboard and dock, plus the Acer was $300 cheaper, so I chose the Acer.
When UPS dropped off the box I could not believe how heavy it was! There had to be a lot of stuff crammed in this little box! Inside I found the tablet (2.2lbs), AC adapter (.66lbs), keyboard (.88lbs), dock (1.2lbs) cleaning cloth and a mini HDMI to VGA dongle. Surprisingly I also found system restore DVD's and a nice brown leather case (1.0lbs). Most companies do not include restore DVD's any longer so kudos to Acer for including them. The ironic part is they included restore disks on DVD but the tablet doesn't have an optical drive!
The tablet itself feels very solid and well built. It has an 11.6" screen at 1920x1080 resolution and weighs about 2.2lbs. That sounded heavy at first but I read a book on the tablet before bed last night and the weight didn't bother me a bit. The tablet is mostly silver with a black bezel around the screen. There is a Windows button below the screen when it's in landscape mode. On the left hand side of the tablet is a micro HDMI port, USB 3.0 port and the power jack. On the right side are the power button, volume buttons and the headphone jack. On the top there is a Lock button and the fan vents. There are two speakers on the bottom.
The screen is very bright and clear and also has incredible viewing angles. The native resolution of the screen is 1920x1080 so some text can be a little small but this is not really a problem for me. I have watched a few shows on Netflix and also a few Blu-ray rips and they looked great on this tablet. The touchscreen is very responsive and supports up to 10 finger multi-touch.
For my battery test I charged to 100% and turned off the screen dimming options in control panel. I left the brightness levels at the factory settings and proceeded to stream music off Amazon cloud player and do some light web browsing for the next 3 hours. After that I streamed Blu-ray rips off my HTPC for the next 4.5 hours. All told the tablet lasted about 7.5 hours before it went to sleep. If you have a pretty light workload and turn the brightness down I think you may be able to achieve the advertised 9 hours of battery life.
I have found Wi-Fi performance to be very impressive on this tablet. I was surprised to find it has better performance than my XPS 15 laptop. The tablet supports A,B,G and N protocols and both 2.4ghz and 5ghz bands. Transferring large files over the 2.4ghz band from my HTPC I was getting 12MB/s and over the 5ghz band it was between 25 to 30MB/s. My XPS only operates on the 2.4ghz band and I average about 10MB/s so the tablets speeds are quite an improvement. Netflix and Blu-ray streaming worked without a hitch.
Sound on the tablet is good and powered by Dolby Home Theater v4. Music and movies sound good at any volume but the tablet will certainly not be providing the sound for your next party. At 100% volume it wont shatter your ear drums but it still has a great sound even in the low and mid-end. I will be using the tablet to listen to music at work so it should do the job nicely. I will note that placing the tablet in the dock noticeably helps with the sound quality and volume output of the tablet.
The dock is slightly larger than the tablet and has 3 USB ports on the back side. The USB ports are slightly recessed in the back of the unit and there is one port that is close to the case. You may have trouble putting larger USB plugs and devices into that port. The dock supports two viewing angles (20 & 70 degree) in both landscape and portrait views and is easily converted between the 4 positions. The only problem I have with the dock is that the 70 degree angle is too steep and makes it hard to view the screen dead on. This initially disappointed me but I discovered the included leather case has a kickstand feature with two positions and they work perfectly. Between the dock and the case you should be able to find an option that suits you.
The included Bluetooth keyboard is small and light weight making it perfect for when you are on the go and really need a keyboard. The buttons are close together and the keyboard has no palm rest but it only took me a few minutes to get used to it. It was paired to the tablet when I turned it on and I haven't had any trouble with it.
I will note there is a fair amount of bloatware installed on the tablet. Acer installs McAfee and a bunch of other apps that you may or may not want. I personally recommend uninstalling McAfee as Windows 8 already includes Defender. Office is also installed but it is just a trial version.
There are two camera's on the tablet and they are nothing to write home about. The quality of pictures is pretty grainy both indoors and outdoors. I won't say the quality is terrible but my Galaxy S3 takes better pictures. Video mode isn't that great and there is some jerkiness in the video. I would imagine it will work for Skyping in a decently lit room however. I did not buy the tablet for the cameras so this doesn't bother me in the least. Also, if you use the leather case the back camera will be blocked.
The tablet is very speedy and packs a lot of hardware into a small frame. It includes the newest generation of i5 processor, 4gb of Ram, 64gb SSD and Intel 4000 series graphics. The tablet boots in about 5-7 seconds and applications launch very quickly thanks to the included SSD. I have yet to load any games onto the tablet but when I get a chance I will amend my review with some benchmarks. Netflix streaming and Blu-ray decoding was smooth with no dropped frames.
To sum it up, this is an excellent hybrid device. The best part about this tablet is that can be a full-blown PC when you need it. There are no limitations on what apps you can run or what devices you can connect to it because it runs Windows. Honestly, using it is just plain fun!
I had a chance to load up Batman Arkham Asylum the other day and was pleasantly surprised by the performance. The tablet was able to run the game in 720p (1360x768) at medium graphics settings with no trouble. I had v-sync on and noticed a few dropped frames occasionally but the game played smoothly. Running the built in benchmark in Batman yielded a minimum FPS of 15, maximum of 71 and an average of 39. Pretty impressive for such a small device.
Decided to compare the difference in video encoding capabilities tonight between this i5 tablet and my i7 XPS laptop. The i5 is a dual core Ivy Bridge chip and the XPS is a quad core 2760QM Sandy Bridge chip. For the test I used Handbrake and converted a 26gb bluray rip of Batman Returns to a 2.6gb .mkv file using mpeg4 compression on both pc's. The XPS converted the file in approximately 2 hours (at 30% cpu utilization) and the Acer tablet converted the file in 2 hours and 30 minutes (at 80% cpu utilization). I was pretty surprised there was only a 30 minute difference between them. Batman Returns is 2 hours long so I think these are pretty good results for a tablet. I plan to test out it's ability to edit HD video in Premiere CS6 when I get a chance. On a side note, this thing has seen nonstop use since I received it!
Tracked by 4 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2012 3:41:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2012 6:40:56 AM PST
H. Goeller says:
Thanks for the thoughtful and thorough review.
Mine arrived last night and I offer the following:
1. It is heavy and solidly built. The faux leather case is nice and an unexpected pleasure.
2. The desktop is so tiny that my old and tired eyes needed +2.75 readers to see. Even with the glasses I found is exceedingly difficult to select options. I adjusted the display to 180%, which works for me!
3. I do miss the start button, but rather than 'chicken out' I thought about what I used it for and decided I could live with creating desktop icons for Computer, Control Panel, and Network. I'll bet Microsoft will soon offer an option to install a Start button.
4. I do not play games (not even solitaire) so I cannot address issues related to heat, fans, and battery life. Although I never heard a fan and only felt a slightly warm to the touch area of the case.
5. I turned on the W700 at 4:00, spent about an hour on the charger to run it up to 100%. I spent this time configuring my wireless settings and deleting the unwanted Acer installed software.
6. At about 5:00 I started playing in earnest. I backed the screen brightness down to about 75% and emailed, surfed, netflixed, Zineoed, and generally had a wonderful time playing with everything I could think of.
7. Around 11:30 I ran out of gas and retired. The tablet showed 25% power remaining. Also, I noticed that the predicted time to empty jumped all over the place. I suppose the OS evaluated what you are doing at the time and adjusted the time remaining accordingly.
8. At 09:00 I connected the W700 via micro HDMI cable to my Vizio TV. It immediately displayed the screen image and played sound from a recorded TV program I streamed. All worked perfectly.
9. I got tired of having to login each time I reset the tablet so I Binged how to do autologin. Nice!
10. I found a number of useful Apps and installed them. I especially liked that some of them located me on Earth and selected the proper weather forecast and local radio stations.
11. The Acer replaced a Toshiba Thrive tablet which I have had for a year. It is nice, but this Acer is an order of magnitude above. Of course, it cost about twice as much but is well worth it.
12. I don't care much for the Email program. It works, but that's about all I can say.
13. The W700 wireless does not work as well as the Toshiba. From my living room sitting position, I had to move about some to keep the video playing without stutter. I will probably relocate my router to see if I can improve things.
I know that in time more Apps will arrive, but for now I am content.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 19, 2012 12:39:21 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 19, 2012 12:40:06 PM PST
Nice additions!. I have been playing with this thing nonstop and it is easily the coolest pc I have owned. I am so used to using the windows ui that I am trying to use the same gestures on my android phone.. I did some gaming the other day and never heard a fan. Enjoy the unit!
Posted on Nov 22, 2012 6:16:38 AM PST
Twilight Dweller says:
You are lucky to have received yours. Many are still waiting. I think the price has gone up from $799?
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 22, 2012 8:20:16 AM PST
Hi. Yes, I got pretty lucky and managed to get one of these when they first went on sale. I bought it from Amazon and then cancelled the order because they went back out of stock. I then bought from PCNation and called them when they didn't ship right away and they told me it was on Backorder. So I cancelled it with them and saw that TigerDirect had them on Amazon so I called and asked if they had them in stock. They said they did so I ordered and got it two days later...
This model is $899 list. The model at $799 is the I3 processor and the $999 model has an I5 and a 128GB SSD.
Posted on Nov 24, 2012 3:37:49 PM PST
J. Young says:
Hello. Any chance you can comment on the quality of the cameras? Normal light and with darker areas? I do not plan on winning any awards for photo taking with a tablet, but the last 2 tablets i tried (different brands), were horrible at best.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 24, 2012 4:16:11 PM PST
Hi. I hadn't really used it till now but it is not wonderful. Pictures indoors with both cameras were a little grainy. Outdoors it wasn't much better. I would compare it to my old mytouch 4g phone. There is no flash so if it is dark you are probably not going to get a decent pic. Video is a little jerky but I would imagine if you are skyping in a decently lit room you would be fine. I will update my review as well. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 10:11:54 AM PST
MIS McGee says:
How do you all still like this tablet after a month? Does anyone have any feedback on using vpn, remote desktop, and Microsoft office?
I'm really curious what its like to put together a powerpoint presentation on one of these bad boys !
Posted on Dec 28, 2012 5:04:52 PM PST
Huan B. Nguyen says:
After a month and a half of usage, do you notice any issue or problem with the battery life and buttons getting stuck ?
I watched a youtube video review on this tablet, the person who made that video had the tablet for about 3 weeks and he began to have problems with battery not holding up well (from about 8 hours of usage dropped to about 5 hours), and buttons getting stuck, especially the power button on the site. He claimed that he used the tablet mainly for reviewing and he was not using it heavily at all. Have you experienced any of these problems ?
I'm a little concerned since I just ordered mine (not on amazon but from somewhere else). Please let me know. Thanks much.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 8:09:50 PM PST
Hi. I am still loving this tablet and use it every single day. It has prety much become my main pc. I have noticed the battery life is sometimes closer to about 6 hours when I use it for gaming but with normal usage it still lasts between 7 and 9 hours.
I have not noticed any issues with the buttons either. Mine are all working great but I dont use the windows button too much.
I think you made a good choice in picking one up! I am not sure how you feel about extended warranties but squaretrade has a 3 year with accident protectionfor about $150. I normally pick one up on large electronics purchases.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2012 9:55:10 PM PST
Huan B. Nguyen says:
Hello, thanks so much for your quick reply. I was a bit worried. It might just be his tablet then. I will consider about the extended warranty, thanks for that too. Btw, is the screen Gorilla Glass? I read on some reviews that the screen is Gorilla Glass, but it's not mentioned on the official specs sheet so I'm not sure.