I ordered the case with my tablet, and I like it, pretty light and looks good. I'm really liking this tablet so far. I just installed FB Reader, which runs great even though it hasn't been updated since 2010.
The screen does have a weird coating on it, so it has a weird view when viewing it in different angles. It's not on the surface part of the screen, more like the internal. Not to justify my purchase, but for being the first 8" Windows tablet , it's not bad at all. I already knew the W3 wasn't going to be a top-notch device, but it does serves its purpose. I think it performs great, but when one is spoiled with higher end tablets, then yes, you'll think the W3 is junk.
This isn't really a review, more like some first impressions I jotted down. I can say I would have been willing to spend a hundred more on a device like this with a magnesium case (although the build quality is pretty good given the plastic and all) and a better screen, but frankly I am happy with Acer for just bringing a solid product to market so quickly.
I guess I should start by saying I bought this tablet for two main reasons, one was because it is a new (sort of) class of Windows tablets and the second because I was actually in the market for a 7 or 8 inch tablet to use as a portable entertainment device. I recently passed on my Galaxy Tab 7 Plus to a family member who was mourning the death of her Kindle Fire. I quickly realized I missed the device more than I had anticipated and was looking at the new Galaxy Note 8 as a replacement when the Acer W3 caught my eye. The potential of this device was enough to make me forget the Samsung and put in a preorder for the 64gig model through Office Depot on the 25th. Although I read reports on Engadget that the 64gig was not available at launch Office Depot reported it in stock and ready to ship on the 26th. Sure enough it went out the 26th and I received in on the 27th, along with the Acer branded case (which is nice).
The specs are widely known, this isn't an RT device but a Windows 8 Pro Atom based computer. Having experience with the Samsung Ativ 500 Tablet I expected the battery life to be good and it is, very good, on par with my Surface RT, and better than my Galaxy Note 10.1. Very impressive in fact for a device this powerful.
I haven't really read any of the reviews yet but the screen was a concern given some of the comments I had read and although it isn't a great screen it is good enough. I wouldn't want to sit around with a couple friends trying to share a movie or anything, the viewing angles are not great, but they are not as bad as I would have believed. One of the main uses I have for a smaller screen device is reading, and I happened upon a good book right after installing FB Reader (not a metro app, but runs great on Win8) and after spending about 4 hours comfortably reading that first day I can say this will fill the role of e-reader just fine, especially combined with the excellent battery life.
One other thing I noted, the Wi-Fi seems to stay connected while asleep with almost no noticeable drain on the battery and is instantly available on waking. This is a welcome feature as I've had great frustration in the past with waking a tablet and waiting for it to connect, even sometimes failing to connect and this kind of defeats the instant on experience you hope for from a tablet.
The W3 comes with a full version of Office Home and Student 2013, which is impressive in itself, although maybe unnecessary if you have an Office 365 subscription. It installed and synced up without issue and all my Word documents and OneNote docs were ready to go.
Although I haven't spent nearly enough time familiarizing myself with the device I think that will come quickly as this small computer, with great battery life, is comfortable enough to take almost anywhere and even allows me the power, and software, to get some serious work done if I absolutely have to. I was thinking back on the days of the UMPC and can't help but believe this is what Microsoft was envisioning years ago, unfortunately before the technology was up to the task.
A thought occurred to me, Microsoft took great pains to include a useful version of Office with the RT, and they seem to be doubling down on these small screen Win8 tablets. They are determined to ensure that windows tablets are more than toys, and I can't help but think in the long run this strategy will give Microsoft a competitive advantage.