Review Price £599.00
Like more or less every tech product on the planet, the Acer Iconia W700 has built-in Wi-Fi. There's just one problem: it doesn't work very well.
During testing, while the likes of the iPad mini, Samsung Galaxy S4 and our Lenovo laptop all held strong network connections, the Acer Iconia W700 repeatedly struggled to hold a connection, often dropping it entirely or loading web pages slowly.
We couldn't isolate whether this was a hardware or software problem, but whatever the cause it was a very annoying one.
Another point worth remembering is that, while it has 64GB of built-in storage, only 38GB of that is free to use once Windows 8 has taken its share. This makes the lack of an SD card slot all the more annoying. You can use USB flash drives to top that up, but that's only practical when using it docked.
Outside of these issues, performance is decent. Its 1.4GHz Intel Core i3 processor is noticeably nippier than the Intel Atom CPU used in the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, which means it copes with desktop apps far more comfortably. It's not powerful enough to run seriously heavy-duty apps, such as Photoshop (not without some slowdown, at least), but it runs most others competently and is only marginally less powerful than similar price ultrabooks.
Acer claims the Acer Iconia W700 battery (4,850mAh capacity) battery lasts eight hours. This is a little optimistic. We found it was closer to six hours during normal, everyday use. Were it a laptop that would be ok, but it's not great for a tablet and unlike most tablets it has a proper dedicated charger - it doesn't charge via USB.
It's another factor that limits the W700's portability, ensuring it will rarely leave the home or office it belongs to and even then only for short trips. In this respect it's little different to a laptop (e.g. most ultrabooks), and its awkward keyboard and dock ensure it's not an improvement on one.
The Acer Iconia W700 is not a bad product, but it makes more promises than it keeps. It's neither a great tablet, nor a great laptop replacement as its battery life is too short and the supplied accessories too cumbersome. The only genuine bright spot is the screen, but it's not enough on its own to convince us.
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