Sunday, September 8, 2013

Acer Iconia W3, 64GB Windows 8 Pro tablet for $250

Just got this device at Office Depot.

The price was $299, and I got $50 off for opening their credit account. I have to say, for the price, the device is AMAZING. It has a true tablet form factor - 8.1" screen, and not very much frame around the screen.

When I first saw it at the store with the price tag, I thought it was RT, but then I looked at the CPU and it was Intel ATOM, so... it turned out to be the real thing!

Up to now, I did not own a tablet. I don't like severely restricted operating environment (no accessible file system, restricted applications, etc), and this device lifts all these restrictions.

It is still primarily a tablet. You should not buy it as a "lightweight" laptop replacement - it is just not powerful enough for that.

But it's a tablet that can run Office, VideoLAN, and pretty much every utility application written for Windows. It does not restrict your file system access. It can connect to SMB file server in the way normal Windows can - in other words, it is a tablet that does not have all the stupid, artificial restrictions of a typical tablet.

And, of course, it is still a tablet. It runs forever on a battery charge. I don't know if it will last the full advertised 8 hours, but I walked around with it for 2 or 3, and the battery indicator has barely dropped. It has a touch screen, and the screen itself, while not as fancy as on Surface, is very readable.

It is light (MUCH lighter than Surface or iPad), it does not heat at all, and the 64GB version, after all is said and done (and Office installed), leaves you with about 30GB of free space and an expansion microSD card for more. The UI is snappy, and CPU power is enough to play every video that I tried.

And it's just $250. Amazing!