Windows tablet (Acer Iconia W5)
Test device:
Acer Iconia (Windows 8)

An update on our quest for an excellent experience on all tablet devices.

Courtesy of Microsoft, we received an Acer Iconia W5 with Windows 8.

Not familiar with Iconia tablets?

They are on par with Microsoft's own Surface. You can run tablet-optimized apps but you can also run all your Windows desktop applications as well. You attach the keyboard, you hit Desktop and you have a regular notebook computer.

We tested Riftforge mission gameplay in both modes.

In "desktop" mode, we've played some of the newest missions in both IE and Chrome. Not surprisingly, it worked like a charm every time. The only thing we've noticed for the first mission load is you need a good Internet connection. However, that's hardly specific to Windows or tablets.

In tablet mode, we used Internet Explorer 10 in its incarnation as a touch-optimized app. This version includes support for HTML5, CSS3, and it also provides hardware acceleration.

The overall experience of playing on the touch screen is very positive. The animation of skill effects and attacks is flawless and is executed without any delays. Actions feel responsive and smooth, certainly smoother than iPad retina which usually delays animations by about half a second.

Another thing we liked about the Iconia concept is that you can dock it and start using the mouse. It definitely speeds up unit selection and movement. On an iPad, you are stuck with the touch screen.

There was a minor browser compatibility issue in terms of interpreting touch events when it came to the minimap coordinates. We resolved it in less than 15 minutes with the help of IE's developer tools (F12).

All in all, we are very happy with the results. Give it a go yourselves and let us know how it goes at the technical forum!

Update: We'd like to thank Raya Yunakova from Microsoft Bulgaria for volunteering an Acer Iconia W5. We'd like to keep it for another month or so for "testing" but unfortunately, we ran out of problems to solve in less than a day!

Update: With the launch of Windows 8.1 and IE 11, we'll be back for more testing. Hooray!

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