Acer is releasing a follow up to its highly regarded first Windows 8 Tablet, the Acer Iconia W700. The new device is called the Acer Aspire P3. It’s a 11.6 inch Windows 8 Tablet that comes bundled with a Bluetooth keyboard. In this article, we review the Acer Aspire P3 technical specifications, our initial impressions, and how the P3 stacks up versus the competition.
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Acer Aspire P3 Specs
Here’s what we know so far about the Acer Aspire P3 Specs:
- Model(s): Acer Aspire P3-171-6408, Acer Aspire P3-171-6820
- Operating System: Windows 8 64-bit
- Processor (P3-171-6408): Intel Core i3-3229Y 1.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
- Processor (P3-171-6820): Intel Core i5-3339Y 1.5 GHz Dual Core Processor
- Memory: 4GB of Ram
- Hard Drive/Storage: 120GB
- Display: 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 IPS display
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Audio: Speakers, Microphone
- Cameras: 1.MP Front Facing
- Ports: VGA, micro-HDMI, USB 3
- Battery: 6 Hours of Battery Life, 4-cell Lithium Ion (Li-Ion), 5280 mAh
- Dimensions: 7.5 inches x 11.6 inches
- Weight: 1.74 lbs
- Accessories: Included Keyboard Case
Acer Aspire P3 Release Date
The Acer Aspire P3 release date is expected sometime in the summer of 2013. Acer has yet announce an exact release date. We will update this section when the date becomes official.
Acer Aspire P3 Price
The Acer Aspire P3 price will be $800 for the Intel Core i3 model and $900 for the Intel Core i5. Note that these prices include a keyboard case. Most often, a keyboard accessory costs extra. The $800 price is the lowest you will likely find for a brand new Intel core based tablet. Note that the Acer Iconia W700 has been seen selling at a discount in the $700 range.
Acer Aspire P3 Pros and Cons
Acer Aspire P3 definitely has some things going for it. At $800, its price is at the low end of Intel Core based Windows 8 tablets. The included keyboard case enhances the value of the device, and allows the P3 to function as both a productivity tool and a consumption tool. With its pluses, the P3 also has its share of minuses. We examine the Acer Aspire P3 pros and cons below.
Acer Aspire P3 Pros
Her are some of the advantages and benefits the Acer Aspire P3 has versus the competition:
- Low price for an Intel Core based Windows Tablet: While $800 is still pretty high for a tablet, Windows 8 compatibility and Intel Core hardware should justify the premium cost.
- Ability to run Desktop caliber apps: Since the P3 runs Windows 8, it can run the same programs you use on your desktop. This includes applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, iTunes, etc.
- Includes a keyboard case: To get the most out of Windows, you still need a keyboard. In my opinion, any Windows Tablet released in the near future must include an optional keyboard accessory. Acer goes the extra mile by including a keyboard case, which adds to the value offered by the P3’s low price.
Acer Aspire P3 Cons
Here are some of the disadvantages and drawbacks the Acer Aspire P3 has when compared to the competition:
- Doesn’t use Intel’s new Haswell Processor: The current generation of Intel based Windows 8 Tablets struggle to achieve a balance in terms of performance, battery life, and price. Intel’s new Haswell processor promises to deliver on all of these points, and appears to have achieved them with the recently released new MacBook Air laptops. I really wish Acer would have waited to release the P3 with the Haswell processor.
- Short battery life: Rated at only 6 hours, the Aspire P3’s real world battery life will be well below the average for tablets.
- No touchpad or pointing stick: The included keyboard doesn’t have a touchpad or other pointing device. I strongly urge Acer to consider including at least a TrackPoint style pointing stick with all of its tablet keyboard accessories. A pointing device is required to make use of legacy Windows 7 and Windows XP applications.
- No SD Card Slot: Sure, you can make use of the included USB port for accessing external storage but in this price range, an SD card slot is kind of expected.
- No stylus digitizer pen: I am also disappointed that a digitizer pen isn’t at least an option for this device. This will definitely put the P3 at a disadvantage when being compared to other tablets in this price range.
Acer Aspire P3 Versus the Competition
Here’s how the Acer Aspire P3 compares to other Intel Core Windows 8 Tablets:
Acer Aspire P3 vs Acer Iconia W700: For about the same price, the Acer Iconia W700 offers better performance and longer battery life over the P3. Recent versions of the W700 even include a keyboard case accessory. While the P3 is lighter, thinner, and has a ‘better’ keyboard case, the W700 is still a better buy.
Acer Aspire P3 vs Microsoft Surface Pro: The only key feature the P3 has over the Microsoft Surface Pro is the starting price of $800 which includes the keyboard case. For the additional cash, MS Surface Pro offers Windows 8 Pro, better performance, a dockable digitizer pen, better resolution, an SD card slot, dual cameras, and more.
Final Thoughts and Buying Advice
Let me first say that I like Acer products. I purchased several Acer netbooks in the past. I purchased an Acer laptop for my nephews graduation present. I currently own the Acer Iconia W700 and I just ordered the Acer Iconia W3. I think Acer makes great products and I look forward to their future offerings.
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the Acer Aspire P3 at this time. The primary show stopper is that it doesn’t use Intel’s Haswell processor. As a result, the P3 performance and battery life suffers as a consequence. If the P3 was a re-packaged Acer W700 with a cool keyboard case, I would probably sell my W700 and order the P3. Instead, I don’t plan to buy another Intel based tablet until a compelling Haswell based device is released. I suggest that you do the same.