[Note: This review was part of a group test of 14 big screen tablets published in the February 2014 edition of PC & Tech Authority magazine]
When we first pulled the Acer Aspire P3 from its box, we experienced a touch of déjà vu. This is because the P3 is remarkably similar to the Acer Iconia W700. It also has an 11.6in screen, it’s 11mm thick and it weighs a hefty 790g. It’s encased in the same aluminium shell, and finished in matte silver.
The difference between the P3 and the W700 is the specification and the bundled accessories. The internals have been upgraded from a Sandy Bridge to an Ivy Bridge Core i3 CPU, the screen has been downgraded from Full HD to 1366 x 768, and the P3 is bundled with a rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard case/cover instead of a simple case. This keyboard is usable, but it’s crying out for a touchpad or trackpoint.
As the only Intel Core-based tablet in the group, its performance blows away the competition. In every mobile benchmark we ran it topped the tables. In our Real World Benchmarks, it attained a score of 0.42, and we have absolutely no concerns about responsiveness: the P3 feels as slick as the best tablets on the market.
This is the sort of power that will allow you to happily run demanding applications such as Adobe Photoshop or any video-editing software. The quality of the IPS display is decent, too, with a top brightness of 419cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 838:1. The downside is poor stamina. In our looping video test, with the screen set to 120cd/m2 brightness, it lasted only 5hrs 46mins.
Despite this, there’s plenty to like about the Acer Aspire P3. It will run full-blown Windows apps, it’s significantly faster than the Atom-based Windows 8 tablets it was compared to for this review (this review is part of a group test of 14 big screen tablets), and its raw speed outstrips the Android and iOS-based devices, too.
At $999, it’s a pricey option, but if you’re after a serious tablet for serious work, it’s a decent all-rounder.
A powerful, Core i3-powered Windows 8 tablet, but battery life of the Acer Aspire P3 lags behind the competition.