Hands-On with Acer’s Windows 8 Tablets

Acer easily had one of the biggest presences at Computex 2012 in Taipei, Taiwan last week, and they didn’t waste it. Aside from plenty of Ultrabook news, the Taiwanese company also announced its first two Windows 8 tablets – the Acer Iconia W510 and W700.

Processors are unknown for both, but what we do know is that both tablets will be running Windows 8. Keep in mind, that’s the same full version of Windows 8 that will be running on desktops and notebooks, so when using these tablets with a keyboard, it’ll be virtually the same as using as Windows 8-powered netbook. There was no mention of these running on Windows 8 RT, the operating system designed with ARM Cortex processors in mind, so there’s a good chance we might be seeing something from Intel powering these two tablets.

The W510 has a 10.1” IPS touchscreen display and comes with a keyboard where you can actually dock the tablet. The keyboard dock gives the W510 extra battery life, maxing out at 18 hours. When docked, the display can be folded all the way back so that the keyboard is used as a presentation stand. MicroSD, microUSB, and micro HDMI ports are all present, along with an extra full-sized USB port located on the keyboard dock.

The W700 looks to be the heavy hitter of the pair, though, with an 11.6” full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution touchscreen display. Instead of a keyboard dock, the W700 comes with a docking stand that can be positioned at 70 degrees or 20 degrees, and can work in landscape or portrait mode, though Windows 8 in portrait mode doesn’t exactly look like a thing of beauty. The W700 has a rear-facing 5 MP camera and a front-facing camera, along with a dedicated Windows button that will act as a home screen button, taking you back to the Windows 8 Metro UI. Dolby Home Theater will be supplying the audio. The W700 also boasts a pretty impressive array of ports – a micro HDMI port, three USB 3.0 ports, and a Thunderbolt port. Add in the brushed aluminum finish, and it sounds like this thing is only an external keyboard away from replacing a lot of people’s laptops and tablets alike. A shorter eight hour battery life suggests that the W700 might be packing more heat processor-wise than the W510.

Acer has not disclosed pricing or availability information yet, though we know it will be sometime after this fall’s release of the finished Windows 8 OS.

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