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Acer Iconia W3-810 is tiny and flawed
This device is the first 8-inch tablet to appear on the market. It was made for the new specs of Windows 8.1, which lowered the minimum screen resolution for these devices, and I was really looking forward to testing this after picking up a review unit at the Build conference this year.
Alas, Acer needs to go back to the drawing board. This device might tick all the right boxes on the spec sheet, but it fails in practice, thanks to a fuzzy low-resolution screen that hurts my eyes after an hour or so of use. The price of this unit has dropped to $299 but I still can't recommend.
HP Pavilion Elite m9600t: Vista-era desktop flops on Windows 8
This tank of a desktop PC was my main workstation in the final year of Windows Vista and the first year of Windows 7. It has a first-generation Core i7 and plenty of RAM and storage. So in theory it should be just fine with Windows 8.
In practice, not so much. Windows 8's fast startups are lost on a device like this, which takes 20 seconds or more just on text-based startup screens. And the Windows 8.1 Preview has a terrible bug with this model that causes it to crash every time it tries to resume from sleep.
The real killer for me, though, is the terrible interior design of this box, which is a tangle of cords and cages where I have cut myself more than once. This one will be recycled soon.
Dell XPS 8500 is a dream desktop
In case you haven't noticed, I like Dell PCs, and this one might be my favorite desktop ever. Inside, it's clean, uncluttered, and incredibly easy to work with. That sort of easy upgradeability is the point of a desktop machine, and Dell gets that.
This box has a 3rd Generation i7 processor and a couple of SSDs, making it wicked fast. It's also been flawless with every build of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 and even has a good selection of Windows 8 drivers. The killer feature in Windows 8.1 for me is its vastly improved multi-monitor support, which is ideal for desktops. I might replace this box someday, but it won't be soon.