And the flood of Windows tablets begins! With only four months or so to go before Microsoft finalizes the OS, we had a feeling Computex 2012 would bring lots of Win8 devices, and it looks like we won't be disappointed. Acer just used its press conference here in Taipei to launch its long-awaited first Windows 8 slates, the Iconia W700 and Iconia W510.
That first flavor packs a relatively massive 11.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) display with touch support for up to 10 fingers, and ships with a cradle that positions the device at 70 degrees for landscape viewing or 20 degrees for touch use. It offers more than 8 hours of battery life and also includes a trio of USB 3.0 ports, along with Dolby Home Theater for enhanced audio. Acer appears to be marketing the W700 as a "desktop replacement" when paired with a cradle and keyboard. Unlike the W510, the dock is only used to hold and position the device -- you'll need to use Bluetooth to add an external keyboard. The tablet includes a bevy of connectivity options, including Thunderbolt, micro HDMI, USB 3.0 and a power jack on the left side, a pair of red-grilled speakers on the bottom, and a power button, headphone jack and volume rocker on the right. There's also a five-megapixel autofocus camera and microphone on the rear, and a Windows key and front-facing camera flanking the large, high-res display.
Acer Iconia W700 Windows 8 tablet hands-onSee all photos
The Iconia W510 includes a 10.1-inch IPS display and a detachable chiclet keyboard dock that doubles as an extended battery, enabling up to 18 hours of use. You can also rotate the device 295 degrees for presentations -- assuming you're lecturing a small group and not a packed auditorium, of course. On the bottom, there's a docking port and latch, speakers on each side, a SIM card slot, microSD, micro-USB and HDMI ports, followed by a volume rocker and microphone on the right, along with a power button, lock toggle and headphone jack up top. The dock itself includes a full-size USB 2.0 port on the right hand side and a proprietary connector on the left. Both the tablet and dock are very thin and light, and offer very responsive performance -- no qualms there. Sadly, there's no detailed specs, pricing and availability to speak of just yet -- we're hoping to see that hit later in the week. For a closer look, hop over to our pair of hands-on videos just past the break.
Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet hands-onSee all photos
Myriam Joire contributed to this report.
Acer Presents Windows 8® Tablets
Featuring multipurpose viewing on Full HD touchscreens
TAIPEI, TAIWAN (June 4, 2012) – Acer presents two of its newest Windows® 8 tablets at Computex Taipei. The ICONIA W510 evolves the computing experience with three different modes of touchscreen operation, while the ICONIA W700 is the best-performing Windows 8 tablet with the added versatility of a cradle. Both designed to set new standards in ergonomics and user-friendliness.
The most unique part of the W510 tablet is the tri-mode, allowing users to touch, type and view. Aside from the conventional tablet mode, it can be used in productivity mode. A detachable keyboard dock can be connected to the tablet for optimal typing as well as extending the battery life up to 18 hours. Rotating the tablet 295 degrees allows it to be used in presentation mode, which is excellent for watching a video, browsing a webpage or viewing a PowerPoint presentation.
In addition, the W510 has Always On, Always Connect technology, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen, providing a wider viewing angle with more vibrant, consistent and accurate colors. It is an everyday tablet with convertible functions, smartly designed for modern day explorers whose primary needs are freedom of usage for slate, keyboard and hands-free touch.
Acer's W700 comes with a multipurpose cradle that allows for several viewing options. When using it in landscape, it can be tilted up to 70 degrees for better viewing, or 20 degrees for convenient touch. Furthermore, it can be used vertically like a portrait for easy browsing and reading. The W700 also has three USB 3.0 ports for expansion.
The W700 is equipped with an 11.6-inch Full HD touchscreen as well as Dolby® Home Theater® for multimedia pleasure; it is set to become the optimum-performance Windows 8 tablet for modern day explorers on-the-go, at home or in the office.