Acer Iconia W500 the Windows Tablet PC has lots to offer but is it enough?
Acer Iconia W500 is the latest arrival on the market, and it has one of the noblest goals in mind: combine productivity and mobility. One of the most distinctive features is the use of a dockable keyboard, which you will learn more about later on.
It is equipped with Windows 7 home premium OS. This isn’t really the first Tablet PC to be fitted with Windows 7, but the other previously known ones aren’t completely full-blown tablets either such as the Asus Tablet PC Slate. Along with the OS you now have the entire MS Office suite available, from Excel spreadsheet to PowerPoint presentation and Microsoft Word.
The 10.1-inch multi-touch screen offers clarity and precision with an HD resolution and LED backlights. It already comes with a 32GB internal hard drive, an eye webcam with a resolution of 1280 x 1024, hi-def audio, and 2 full-sized USB ports and Bluetooth. It doesn’t offer any other method of Internet connection other than Wi-Fi, but you can add other components through Bluetooth.
The powerful dual-core AMD Fusion C-50 processor with 1GHz, which is normally not found in other Tablet PCs, even in the other two Acer Iconia Tablet PCs, A500 and A100. But that can be easily explained as the other two are fitted with an Android OS, which is almost always paired with the NVIDIA Tegra processor.
It has a somewhat more polished sophisticated look, with its back made out of aluminum; but it doesn’t really compare much to Samsung Tablet PC the Galaxy Tab, HTC Flyer, and iPad with regards to style. Also, with a weight of 3.5 pounds, it is much heavier than the others. The good news is W500 has a competitive price at around $500.
It’s Running Using Windows, All Right
What sets the Acer Iconia W500 apart from the rest is Windows 7 Home Premium, which is perhaps the best choice for productivity. It offers the familiarity factor that most of us have with Windows. The use of Windows 7, moreover, provides users with a dedicated control bar as well as larger icons that look stunning in the HD multi-touch screen. Thanks to the processor, the Tablet PC is very responsive, and you won’t have any problems dragging or pressing icons.
Of course, if Windows 7 is utilized, MS Office will never be far behind. You’ll have the entire suite with you, and you can even have your own native e-mail, which is Outlook. One may say that majority of the Tablet PCs already have access to word processors and spreadsheets, to name a few, but the Office Suite still belongs in a league of its own.
The only thing that may get you worried is the fact that Windows 7 isn’t really meant for Tablet PCs. It’s more suitable for PCs, laptops, and netbooks.
Then There’s the Keyboard
Another distinctive feature of Acer Iconia W500 is the full-sized keyboard, which also comes with a rubber mouse nipple. To make sure that it’s really compatible with Windows 7 OS, you’ll find the standard Windows logo right at the keyboard.
There’s no doubt that the keyboard is highly useful as it speeds up the use of the different Office applications. Moreover, it’s been designed to be removable, so you can still make use of your Tablet PC without it.
However, the keyboard also has some issues. For one, there’s something strange with the way it’s supposed to be attached. There are two prongs that sit at the back of the laptop PC, where you’re going to attach the keyboard. Thus, while other Tablet PCs with dockable keyboards can be titled front and back for ease of reading, this one can’t. Also, the rubber mouse nipple isn’t as responsive as the screen itself, as you need to press a little harder if you want to move the cursor as fast as you want it. There’s nothing spectacular with the way the keyboard is built, and its almost-plastic look makes it kind of tacky.
What Else Can You Expect?
All in all, Acer Iconia W500 is a pretty good Tablet PC for productivity, and it comes with several other features such as the Acer Ring Control interface, which is one of the coolest you’ll ever see. To launch the application, you simply need to place your five fingers on your screen and “grab” it. It definitely makes you think of your favorite sci-fi movie. The interface then gives you access to the different social and fun applications that already come with the Windows 7 package. These include SocialJogger, which combines your social accounts from Flickr, YouTube, and the social networking site Facebook.
How It Compares with other Tablet PCs
Acer Iconia W500 is definitely way cheaper than the Motorola Tablet PC Xoom, which is one of the priciest Tablet PCs in the market—yes, even more expensive than the ever-popular iPad from Apple. It is also so different from the two iPads, which are powered by iOS, an operating system that’s proprietary to Apple. The iOS is also the most popular operating system, and thus apps are abundant. The Acer Tablet PC Iconia can be easily compared to the Asus Tablet PC the Pad Transformeras this also has a dockable keyboard which is much better designed.
The biggest disappointment is the keyboard; a better quality design would have been welcomed. Nevertheless, if you want a Windows Tablet with its solid-state hard drive, speedy processor, and clear graphics, the Acer Iconia W500 is still a great option.