'It's the start of something big'. That's how Anand Lai Shimpi, founder of popular tech site AnandTech describes the Iconia W700 tablet Acer showed recently at Computex in Taiwan. Powered by Intel's Ivy Bridge platform and featuring Thunderbolt, USB 3.0, a 1080p IPS display and 8+ hours of battery life, Anand had a chance to get an in-person demonstration of Acer's upcoming 'desktop in a tablet' and was quite impressed with what he saw. While perhaps a bit thicker than he would have liked this is still a 'work in progress' and the final design promises to shave a few more milimeters off the W700s thickness and grams from its weight. This is no ordinary table though...it's a sign of a sea-change in computing...and we'll get into why after the video below where you can see it in action.
If there's one thing that stands out about this tablet demonstration it's that it's one of the first times that Anand really 'gets' how this can truly be the only computing device you own. It's wicked fast as a tablet, but with the shown docking station up above and with that 'oh so handy' thunderbolt port...you can attach a drive array for virtually unlimited storage, of course an external keyboard and even an external discrete graphics processor and/or larger monitor. Since it runs on an x86 CPU you'll have virtually hundreds of thousands of real, desktop applications you can run in Windows 8's desktop mode and that's not even taking into consideration the thousands of Metro apps that will start appearing once Windows 8 hits its stride. Pricing is expected to be around $799, maybe with a 64GB SSD...or perhaps a bit lower to compete with the higher-end iPad to which it will inevitably be compared. But let's be honest. This is more than an iPad. This is a full fledged laptop in a tablet capable of real work with real desktop-sized applications. It's capable of far more than any typical Android or iOS device. It's the future of computing.