Don't count on using the included Bluetooth keyboard with the W700 if you're traveling. It doesn't attach to the unit in any form -- it's a completely freestanding piece of hardware. You don't need the dock to have the keyboard work with the W700, but juggling both keyboard and display on one's lap is a hopeless endeavor without any simple way to gang them together. The Bluetooth keyboard doesn't even include dedicated F keys, but its Fn key lets you access those and a slew of Windows 8-specific hotkeys (charms, sharing, search), which is handy. While the included stitched-leather carrying case does let you prop up the W700 at a variety of angles, it doesn't include an easy way to tote the keyboard.
I'm not enamored of how, even after all this time, PC makers still preload their systems with software that no one uses. Acer's systems are particularly bad in this respect, so be sure to set aside some time to sponge things down and make a full-scale backup afterward. Among the inclusions: the McAfee Internet Security suite, a trial edition of Microsoft Office 2010, Spotify, and the Acer Ring. The last is a full-screen application launcher and media management tool with an interface that's even more baffling and counterintuitive than Windows 8's Modern UI. In some cases, Acer Ring and the Modern UI conflict directly.
I did appreciate the presence of a live update package from Acer that scanned the system for driver or firmware revisions. It's one fewer task for you, and right after I uncrated the W700, it found an update for the Intel video driver -- probably the OEM component that'll get the most software refreshes, come to think of it. The W700 also did well in my Netflix playback test, racking up 3 hours, 20 minutes on the most power-conservative battery setting.
The Acer Iconia W700 works best if you plan to take it on the road without its keyboard and are comfortable using it on a desktop with a minimal variety of viewing angles. If you're seeking a Windows 8 tablet that will also serve as a laptop, look elsewhere.
This article, "Acer Iconia W700 review: A mixed bag of Windows 8 whatsit," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in computer hardware and mobile technology at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.