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.
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.