on May 13, 2011
Before you read my review, I'd like to point out that you may see Acer pictures on Amazon that make it look like different machines with different prices. They are not. There are two models available the W500 (this model) has Windows home premium and W500P, has windows professional. Now on to my review of the W500:
Received my Acer Iconia 32gb windows 7 W500 Tablet/ netbook from Amazon yesterday and immediately I unwrapped and fired it up mounted in the keyboard. After starting, I removed Adobe reader 9.1, Acer games, Ebay world, Skype4.1, and reloaded Skype 5.3, added Firefox with the grab and drag add on for easy tablet use, added sumatra pdf (takes no space compared to adobe9.1, removed live essentials and more. My previous computer was a Asus T91mt tablet/netbook, right away I noticed the following about this Acer, screen is much brighter and more detailed, audio is louder especially on earphones, installed my 32gb SD card from my old computer with all my files and I could easily transfer to various folders on the computer. I adjusted the stick mouse and found it easy to operate. (But I am a old IBM user so you may want to use a USB mouse while in the keyboard mount) I have read reviews that the screen is top heavy and could fall out of the keyboard. Not so. Although the screen is heavier than the keyboard, I found it sits attached to the keyboard very nicely, I even leaned the screen and keyboard way back and it still would not tip and in fact I'm typing this review on my lap now!!! (Leaning the screen forward toward you while in the keyboard it could come out since that's how you remove the screen) Haven't experimented with the tablet yet, but I can see it is well built! Very well built! As a test, I played a 1080 blu-ray movie (the Mask) from my SD Card on this unit and it played with out a glitch. This is a movie that would not play on any of my previous netbooks and I've owned 4 of them. I have read in other reviews that this computer handles everything thrown at it. I also read the match up of the INTEL dual core 550N against this AMD C-50 CPU/GPU and the AMD blew away the intel. It took AMD 5 years to develop this special processor, a blend of a Processor and a graphics chip on one die! Very Incredible. AMD calls it a APU. Goodbye CPU! I can do everything on this machine that I do on my desktop, connected to my home wireless N in seconds, connected to my wireless HP network printer in seconds. More to come! So far very happy! This unit blows away my former Asus T91mt tablet/netbook! I am so glad that I didn't get sucked into the hype of all the latest tablets with honeycomb 3. I'll keep my android software on my phone where it belongs! I must mention there is a review by Sticky on the other listed Acer W500 on Amazon that was very passionate and convinced me to purchase this computer and he was right on with his review!
It has only been a few days later. I can't stop playing with this unit!! I skyped with my grand daughter 50 miles away and the incoming picture and audio was perfect. I was told my audio was noisy (I later found the microphone setting in windows was boosted to 30+) I adjusted that. I can't think of one item I don't like about this computer. Its so quiet! Tablet is bright, very detailed and easy to surf the web etc. The tablet has a nice border, which makes the unit easy to hold so you are not putting your fingers on the glass. Bought a Targus capacitive stylus. Perfect for drawing and writing and browsing on the tablet. This is a must have, especially if you use the Microsoft journal that comes with the netbook for writing or printing notes directly on he screen. (Plus it keeps the glass clean) Tablet is fantastic, it came from the factory with a clear very thin plastic screen cover. You can use the screen with the cover on or take it off. I peeled mine off, but I didn't notice a difference in response. Screen is very responsive. I haven't read all the gestures that can be performed, I know if you hold your finger or stylus on the screen it will act like a mouse right click. I like the windows button (which lights blue), which allows you to access the task bar and start menu with ease. My old Asus tablet had a problem accessing the task bar especially if you set it to hide position. Not with this unit! Still experimenting!
UPDATE: (a week later)
Love this machine. Purchased the Targus TSM148US mini bag. It is in my opinion the perfect bag for this machine, holds the keyboard and screen with plenty of room for your power supply and earphones , capacitive stylus and more etc. I also purchased the tablet holder by Arkon, it is a folding tablet stand and this solves the problem for people that complained that the screen doesn't fold while attached to the keyboard. Works like it was built for this tablet! I am also using my android phone with PdaNet app to get internet on the train via blue-tooth. Very cool! I'm easily getting 6 hrs of battery life browsing the web, even more with the wifi off and reading my Ebooks using kindle, my skype sessions with my grand daughter are incredible! The video and audio are perfect! Also I like Internet explorer 9 as a touch browser. This Acer is better than any previous netbook I have owned. This machine is a keeper. Brightest screen I have owned in a netbook, great screen detail, with windows 7 I can do everything I need in a computer! I could go on and on.
UPDATE (1 month later)
All the above still stands, this is to date the best netbook/pc I have ever owned. It is super quiet, bright screen and nice clean resolution. There is a new bios update at the Acer site. I ran it and upgraded my bios to 1.08 This is truly a very well built tablet and after a month of use, I'm enjoying it more and more. I just played a HD Movie file that was 1920 x 1080 with not even a glitch. My dual-core 2.5ghz desktop at work can't play this file with out glitches/pauses. This machine is incredible! One last point, I don't remember if I mentioned it in the past but this computer has been reported to accept SDXC cards. Why is this important? SDXC are the newest SD cards and they can go up to 2 terabytes!! Of course at this time a 2 terabyte card would cost you 5k, but you can purchase a 64gb sdxc card for about $115 dollars and this means this computer unlike many other tablets will always have the room for your future programs!
UPDATE (2 months later)
Everything above still stands. In fact, my main laptop was a HP 14 inch dual core machine. I gave it to my brother, this Acer is my main laptop, Netbook, Tablet, what ever you wish to call it. Bright screen and very quiet. BTW, I stopped using pdanet and switched to the virgin mobile 2200 mifi to get internet on the train. It is a fantastic product. No contract, buy from wally and you will get a free 1gb upgrade of data per month.
UPDATE (January 2013)
For those that will question a use of a windows tablet. There is no doubt that if you want a tablet, a windows tablet has many more functions then a android tablet and windows 8 is perfect to install on this unit. For the year 2011 this was a nice tablet/laptop but now its 2013 and OMG there are so many choices out there with windows 8 already installed. There is the HP surface, the Lenovo ideapad, the Lenovo twist and much more. All these mentioned are now better than this machine. Technology gets better every year. So I too have moved on, Presently I am using the Acer Aspire one 722 netbook with the C60 processor but I am looking at one of these models mentioned above. For those who still have their Acer w 500 I bet you installed windows 8 on it to improve touch screen functionality! Right now its the only way to go!
on April 27, 2011
I have had this tablet since it was released two weeks ago. The look and feel of the unit is great. The touch screen is very responsive and HD videos look great on it. You get 2 gigs of system mem and 32gig SSD. Of course you get a full operation system in win 7. Web surfing is no problem the only site I have had a problem with is the Apple movie trailer site. I am not sure if it is the unit or the fact I am using Explorer 9.
Wifi connections worked great and the keyboard add on is very easy to use but be warned you can not use it on your lap unless you have a laptop tray or flat hard surface to place it on then on your lap. When put together the tablet part is a bit top heavy. I have used it to watch Unbox video and did some netflix streaming. Installed office, Itunes and a PC stragey game all worked with no problem.
The bad:: I wish I could say all is great with the unit but sorry to say the biggest thing that is holding the unit back from 5 stars is that it only has a 32gig SSD. And out of the box the user has just 17gigs of that to use. Believe me that is not a lot of space thses days. My Itunes collection took up over 10gigs and adding office on top of that was really killing the SSD. I did try and find and remove the bloatware stuff but found very little of it. I did not see away to open the case and replace the SSD with a larger one. The other bad spot is the cameras recording video on the rear mounted cam is not that great I found dropped frames and jerkness in the video. Also both cams are 1.3meg I think the rear should be at 5mp.
New to the unit is an APU not a CPU. What the APU is a combined CPU and GPU. On the APU is a 256meg graphics card and I have to say it performed very well. The battery life from my use was showing about what most reviews say 5 to 6 hours. The screen can handle at lest 5 touch points which I tested. Not sure if it handle 10 it is hard to get 10 fingers on the screen at one time.
Portablity is no problem I have a small case that I carry the unit with keyboard and my ipad all in the same case.
Over all I enjoy using the unit that cost less then some Honeycomb tablets and the added keyboard made me like this unit over the 16gig Asus Transformer. There is room for improvement and I hope a patch to fix the cam. All in all if you need something portable and touch with a full operating system this is a great unit.
May 2 2011 Update
Last night I tried more netflix streaming useing wifi and battery and I was met with a lot of lag. It got worst when I went full screen. I then switched to Amazon Unbox streaming for a movie I owned and it was perfect no lag very smooth end up watching the entire movie on battery. I know Netflix uses siliver light that could be the problem.
on August 12, 2011
I am an electrical engineer, so i'm kinda geeky and technology oriented. I was looking for a tablet that can be used to do some real work, install some softwares i need, and I want a tablet with highest price-performance ratio.
Apple Ipad is for entertainment and have low price-performance ratio. Android tablet has decent price-performance ratio, but i can't install softwares,(apps are not really considered softwares to me). So my choice is the only Windows tablet and i came across this one. After checking out other reviews and youtube videos, i bought this immediately when there was a deal. Here's my experience after using this a while:
Fantastic Fantastic Tablet!
The hardware: AMD C-50 apu is really doing a good job, 2 GB ram at 1066MHz and a SSD is simply fast enough. I have workstation with AMD 6 core CPU, 16GB 1333MHz ram and SSD with r/w speed of 250MB, which is lightening fast.With comparison, i have to say that the tablet is pretty good! Of course it's slower, but definitely within my tolerance range.
The screen: beautiful and bright. i have IPS monitors, but still find the tablet screen to be very sharp and crisp. Personally, i don't like glossy screen, too shinny for me, but that's me. Touch is very sensitive and accurate.
The battery: upto 3 hrs of straight video playing. With power save mode, i can get 5-6 hrs of normal use, ie,surfing internet with wifi on,running some programs, reading pdfs. You can't charge this with a USB, that's not really a downside for the tablet, since USB port output power is simply not enough. Ipad and android tablet has ARM architecture which have much lower power consumption compare to the laptops or netbooks that have x-86 architecture.You'll never see a laptop that have USB charging function.
The keyboard: a bit small, but you'll get used to it. Can be very handy when working on some Word documents. but, dock and undock process can be cumbersome, and the screen tilt is fixed when docked.
The speaker: loud, the sound quality is decent.
The camera: the tablet came with front and rear 1.3MP camera, you can do video chat with it, the picture quality is not that great, but i personally don't care. for emergency, i can just use the cellphone camera, for other case, i have a DSLR.
Other: the tablet does have ventilation, but it's very quite even when CPU is 100%
My usage for this tablet:
I used this tablet to do 3D-design work. Yes you heard me. Since this APU have a HD6250 gpu inside, it handles 3D graphics very well, 3D structure rotation,zooming all works pretty smooth.
I also installed Hamachi software to create a vitual LAN between this tablet and my workstation. Then i remote control my workstation from the tablet. So once i get my 3D design finished on my tablet, i'll send the design to my workstation to let it simulate for hours(very CPU and RAM intensive, so tablet can't handle and it's not intended anyway). If you have a smartphone like android, you can turn your phone into a mobile wifi hotspot, so the file transfer can be done anytime, anywhere. Very convenient! Windows tablet shines when it comes to real work.
I use it as an e-reader as well, holding it is a little bit heavy, so you can grab a tablet stand, put it on the docking station or just put it on table. if you go to school, you can use this to take note by hand writing, just get a stylus pen. You can also install MS office suite for obvious reasons.
Internet surfing is smooth, i would prefer to turn the smartphone into a wifi hotspot and use the tablet to surf, much better experience.
The tablet have 2 usb2.0 ports, so you can transfer files to/from other device, even charging your dead cellphone,lol.
Watching video is also nice, playing 720p very smoothly.
Major Pros: VERY HIGH price-performance ratio, good hardware spec, using win 7 can get some real work done , nice screen, docking keyboard is handy, having USB 2.0 ports IS GREAT
Major Cons: a bit heavy, isn't the best look tablet(which i dun care :P), docking and undocking can be cumbersome, screen is a fingerprint magnet
I can't really comment on the reliability of the acer product, since i haven't use this for that long. So far so good, i'm very satisfied with the purchase and would recommend this tablet to anyone.
I would like further comment on the tablet. The screen is a fingerprint magnet, but the back of the tablet is not. The back is made of plastic, have a ok touch feeling. It's not as fancy as Ipad's metallic back, but Ipad trades off wireless signal strength for the looks.
I'm a cellphone antenna designer, and large metal piece could be bad for antennas, it act as shield to block out the signals. So Ipad does have signal strength problems which ppl complains about losing wifi connection(do a google search:iPad WiFi Woes - Myth or Reality?), because there's freaking large piece of signal blocker. So if the wifi signal is from a particular angle, you may have weak wifi signal. Therefore, many manufactures sticks to plastics,ie, thinkpad,dell's inspiron. Plastics is cheaper to make and have less signal problems.Maybe it's less aesthetic then shinny metallic looks,but when you frequently losing or having weak wifi connections, you'll find this to be very annoying and frustrating.
For this tablet, wifi signal strength and range is great. I had 1MB/s download speed.
Tips: install programs on SSD, get a SD card, move my documents,my music...etc, all the storage related folders to SD, incase you need to reinstall win 7 on tablet, you don't lose anything.
do a optimization for SSD, stop unnecessary programs that runs on startup, so you tablet runs faster~
for gesture controls, you can customize win7 build-in gesture control called flicks, you can also download a very useful software called flicks2, it greatly extends the number of gestures you can use, quite convenient
on April 20, 2011
24 Hour Review
I have had this tablet/netbook/convertable for a day and I'll relay my first impressions.
First the oddities.
1. When attached to the keyboard, it sits at one angle. No ajustment. This doesnt bother me much, but it might some people.
2. The keyboard is slightly off center to the center of the screen. This does bother me a bit as a touch typist; and the home ribs on the F and J keys are the line at the bottom.
Oddity or benefit?
The keyboard needs to be traveled with imo. The tablet portion locks into the postion with the keyboard which forms the protective side for the screen.
1. Audio quality from the headphone jack is excellent. (Pandora + Monster Turbines)
2. Very nice looking screen, with fast seeming pixal response.
3. Touch Screen is responsive and acurate. My sausage fingers do sometimes miss, but people with normal sized hands shouldn't have any problems.
4. Full size SD slot. Not micro. Sure you can use micro on a adaptor, but why pay that much extra?
Will update as I get more time with it.
Day 2 Update...
Basic battery test; Wifi streamed Pandora, headphones, powersave mode, LCD off about 60% = 5.4 hours until Windows started on the "automaticly sleep" stuff at 7% battery remaining.
on April 28, 2011
Windows touch devices have been out for a decade at least, most being bulky and for use with pens. Many had resistant screens instead of capacitive ones that have become so popular. The Acer W500 is one of the new tablets released after the iPad let people realize what hardware really works on a tablet, but with the full functionality of a Windows computer.
Windows 7 is wonderful with a touch screen, no matter what you read elsewhere, and I find the W500 exceptionally responsive. Things like Windows Flicks, Chrome touch addons, and Win Gadgets make the browsing experience just as good as non-Windows tablets. There is nothing like having a tablet design in the same size and weight range as the iPad (which I also own) that also gives you the full computer experience. After having this for about 4 days, the iPad started to look like a huge gimmick. Don't get me wrong, I love Apple products. I had an iPhone for 18 months, and still have a Mac Pro as my main device at home. I use the HTC Thunderbolt now so have also gone deep into the world of Android. After all that there's nothing like having a tablet that does every single thing that a normal computer does. I'm not limited to buying apps or something simple like not being able to have two programs on the screen at the same time. Anything you can do on a Win7 machine, you can do here. This means Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc, will all work normally without any special subscription or apps. It goes without saying that Flash works fine, and you can have Microsoft Word or Open Office installed, along with VLC, Photoshop, FTP Clients, Chat clients. Just the other day I was reading an article, downloading a program, listening to music, had a movie paused and minimized, and chatting with multiple friends on gtalk/facebook. No matter how good multi-tasking is on Honeycomb/iPad, it can't show more than one of those thing happening on the screen at the same time.
If you are in the Droid or iPad echo-sphere, go ahead and stay there, but boy are you missing out. This tablet has not a single limitation, and at the end of my couch surfing morning, I bring it into work, plug into my 20" monitor, and do my normal days company work with corporate e-mail and programs on the exact same machine.
on July 25, 2011
First off, I'll say my review is based on the fact I bought the W500 to replace an Acer laptop, which I use almost entirely for running my small business. Aside from my monster PC used for editing videos, I run my business and personal stuff pretty much entirely with Google Apps, and OpenOffice for editing/creating MS Office compatible work. So I don't need a big hard drive, 6-core processor, or automatic features that let me tell all my pretend friends on Facebook how much I need a cup of coffee.
I don't play games...at all...on the computer.
I work from home, so I don't need 4G in my computer. I have a wireless router. I use Google Voice for telephone service, and Google Video Chat for videoconferencing, both of which are completely free. Both work exceptionally well on the W500, using my wireless router and cable internet.
I didn't want my tablet PC to be a phone...no 4G needed...no Android or iPhone junk. I don't need "apps". The only "apps" I use are Google Apps, which I use to run my small home-based business, through the Google Chrome browser. Email, Calendar, Documents, Blogger (my website), Youtube for video hosting, telephone service, video conferencing, and more, all free and work exceptionally well on the W500 using my wireless router and cable internet. When I do need a cellphone, I use a cheap prepaid that cost me about $30 a year for all the "minutes" I need.
For even better sound quality, I picked up the affordable Logitech USB Headset H360 (Black) headset, which makes voice/video calls sound amazing.
I find the 32gb hard drive plenty big. About the only thing I have loaded besides Windows 7 is OpenOffice, Kindle for PC, and Google Chrome/Voice/Video. The drive is less than half full! All of my docs, pictures, and videos are hosted on the web.
I deleted the mounds of crap the W500 came loaded with, and removed/turned off a bunch of the Windows 7 garbage. Acer has some sort of "social jogger" application which I deleted first. I think Facebook is pretty silly, and don't need to tell a girl I sat next to in 3rd grade that I had tacos for dinner. After deleting all that junk, turning off a bunch of services, and letting Windows spend the day updating itself, the W500 is lean and runs fast. I think it boots up in like 15-20 seconds. Yes, updating a new install of Windows is a PITA...it always is. Just buy a case of beer, and spend the day getting them all installed so it will quit bugging you and let your computer perform like it should.
I think the battery life is awesome. Checking email throughout the day, browsing Amazon, checking my bank accounts, and finding a place to eat, the battery will last almost all day! Then again, I'm not comparing this to a cellphone...it's not a cellphone...it's a tablet PC. My Acer laptop doesn't last a couple of hours...with a NEW battery. And then the batteries die after a few months, at which time you have to replace them. My Acer laptop pretty much had to stay tethered to the AC power cord, which defeated the purpose of having a mobile PC.
Plus, a laptop is so heavy, it's not like you can carry it when running errands/grocery shopping. I maintain my shopping list in Google Docs, print it to a PDF onto the W500 desktop before I leave the house, and drop the W500 into my small messenger bag. No more printing paper shopping lists. Wanna browse the internet in the local coffee shop/bar? No need to clear a table and setup a whole office with a laptop...just pull out the W500.
I'm not sure what all the negative comments are about the keyboard are either. It's ingenious, and works great. No, the screen angle isn't adjustable...but it's already at a perfect angle for me. I leave the keyboard in my den, along with a wireless mouse and mousepad, to use the W500 when I'm out of my office. Then I just pop the tablet off the keyboard when I go down to the bottom floor to the kitchen. It's totally mobile...unlike a heavy/cumbersome laptop. Wanna take the keyboard with you? It doesn't take a bunch of difficult steps, like some suggest. The tab pulls straight up off...no catches/releases to press. Then you just lay it face down on the keyboard. one side is automatically locked with two magnetic pins that pop out, and the other end has a manual lock, to keep it from being accidentally pried apart. The whole process takes about 2 seconds...it couldn't be any easier. If you're using the keyboard on your lap...then you probably should buy a "laptop" instead. Yes, it will obviously be top heavy when on your lap...why wouldn't it be?
The software keyboard works great, especially with a stylus. I got one of these, that also has a regular pen in it. Works perfectly: TouchTec® II Capacitive iPad Stylus and Ball Point Pen for Apple iPad 2, iPhone 4 and Droid Phones - 7mm (Black)
It has a full sized SDHC card reader, which is awesome for uploading photos/video straight to my photo/video host website from anywhere with a wi-fi connection. I put a Transcend 32 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card (TS32GSDHC10) in there "just in case", but haven't put anything on it yet. I may use the card to store my library of CD's, which I have converted to MP3. (Yes, I still buy all of my music on CD, convert to MP3, then store the CD for safekeeping. I'm old, I guess!)
The full sized HDMI connection is also really cool. I plugged it right into my big flat panel TV, and the picture was absolutely amazing! It would probably be really cool to use for video conferencing from my den, on the big TV.
Yeah, both of the USB ports are on the bottom...which are blocked when the keyboard is attached...but the keyboard has two USB ports on it. I only use my USB mouse and USB headset when I'm using the keyboard anyways, so that works fine for me.
The touchscreen works great for me. For better accuracy than my fat fingers can produce, I use the stylus.
Screen flip/rotation works great. Most importantly, it has a manual locking switch on the bottom, so the screen isn't flipping all around when carrying the tablet in my hand. I only need it to be oriented one direction at a time! ;) Also, when you have it locked in portrait position, it will automatically go back to landscape when attached to the keypad.
This thing has been a great investment for my home based business. I can run my business on it from any room of the three-story loft, and reply to emails from potential clients instantly, which is VERY important in landing jobs. If you actually have a personal life (or pretend one on FB) and a real day job away from the house, and want all the fun and games "apps" can bring, a cellphone tablet running Android and a battery that lasts for days might be a better option. If you need a full blown Windows 7 personal computer to take care of your professional and household operations, that you can carry with you anywhere in a small pouch, I don't know of a better option out there. I love mine!
on September 4, 2011
I got this Acer W500 2 weeks ago - And LOVE it! It will take some tweaks to get this machine up to speed, but well worth it.
First off let me say that I looked at getting a Xoom or Ipad I have a droid phone and love all the things it can do, but it did not meet my requirements for working with the programs I use extensively like Photoshop, OneNote and Outlook. After searching for many months this machine seemed to do everything I need to keep my business going.
This tablet was shipped quickly and includes almost everything you need to use: The tablet (screen), keyboard, power cord and recovery DVD's. I would recommend purchasing an SD card and external DVD player, as well as a case to carry it.
First thing I did was remove all applications I did not need. I hate bloatware and would rather have a clean machine to begin with. Removing the bloat, updating windows, and updating the BIOS took a good day's work. One thing I kept on the machine was the Acer backup manager. After all my work, I made an image of my machine and can always go back to my `clean state' whenever I need. As with all my PC's, I will reload every 9 to 12 months. Although I made an image, I have not tested this as a restore yet. I have never been a fan of Windows Backup and it has failed me in the past.
I removed the following to make this customized for the way I work:
* Acer games (had to delete the folder after uninstall)
* Bing Bar
* Ebay worldwide
* Clear.fi client
* Office 2010 (had to delete the folder after uninstall)
* Social jogger (had to delete the folder after uninstall)
* Times reader
* Virtual earth 3d
* Nook for PC
* MS Touch Pack
* Acer VCM (will need a reboot)
* McAfee (will need a reboot)
* Acer screen saver
* Acer touch application Suite
* Acer welcome center
* Acer registration (I registered first)
* Acer Device Control
* Bluetooth suite
* Acer device control
I also deleted the Netfix folder and the Skype folder. These were not installed and I would rather make sure I have installed the latest and greatest instead of what was current at the time of shipment.
Then I changed windows folders to single-click instead of the double click that I am used to with a mouse. This makes touching the screen so much easier! It's kinda funny that when I go to my other laptop, I am touching the screen expecting it to act like this tablet. This is how fast it is to get used to the touch.
I also turned off windows features:
* Games (I don't play games on this machine)
* IE8 - Chrome is much better and I can sync folders
* Internet printing
* DVD maker
I then installed and mounted a 32 GB SD card. Mounting the card allows me to install applications to the SD card instead of the c:\ drive.
I installed the following to my mounted SD Card:
* AVG Free
* Chrome - and set up to sync
* Office 2007
* Adobe Acrobat
* Canon Printer
I do notice that running these programs are a bit slower than my other PC, but the difference is not making me pull my hair out.
I love the fact that I can take this anywhere. I purchased the Belkin Top-loading Messenger bag (for laptops up to 10.2") which holds the screen, keyboard and power. Its small lightweight and has 2 padded compartments - I put the screen in one compartment, the keyboard in the other.
Overall, this is a work machine, not a toy. I am very pleased with my purchase.
on April 19, 2011
I got the Acer Iconia w500 about a week ago and no I did not pay the price noted here shop around you will find it cheaper with free shipping. The unit is a great very well made small computer. It is well constructed and the touch reponse is very quick and snappy.
1080P play back is very smooth I used a video from Amazon Unbox to test it and the unit performed perfectly. The seperate key board is great. I have read some other reviews concered with it tipping over I have no problem with that at all. The keys and extra ports on the attachment com in handy for adding an external drive and a mouse.
I own this and a first gen Ipad this unit feels better in my hands then the Ipad. Of course all websites have no problems I did upgrade to Explorer 9 which I would say is good but the changes made in version 9 is less touch friendly then vesion 8 or I am still getting things set on it. The touch screen can handle up to at least 5 touch points.
The bad the 32 gig SSD fills up quick out of the box I had only 17 gig to use from the Win 7 and Acer installed programs. I have been working on freeing up more space. The back cam is only a 1.3 which I question why so low the video performance of the camera is not the best not very smooth when taking video I notice some dropped frames and jumping. To help with the storage the SD can handle another 32gigs but it doens not combine it with the ssd space to reflect a total 64 gigs. I know on my Acer Netbook I have a sd slot that does combine with the hard drive. I also know on newer Acer netbooks they took this out.
Over all I really like the unit even with the limits of the storage (will not be able to put all of my Itunes lib on it) The look is great the feel is wonderful the price is less then the cost of an Xoom or about the same as a Asus Transformer with keyboard but this unit is much more then a media comsumition device.
I will update the review as I spend time working on the unit.
on April 21, 2011
While there are some oddities that previous reviewers mention, this tablet is hands down one of the best tablet device I've owned and used. (iPad, Galaxy Tab, Gtablet, XP Tablet)
The video card on this thing can handle games pretty well and as far as basic task, it does it without a problem.
The only thing I can nit pick at is that rear camera is only 1.3 MB pixel, but who really use a tablet to walk around recording high quality video.
Windows 7 could be more touch friendly but it works well and responsive so I don't have any real issue with this. There's so much more benefit of having a full OS on a tablet, since I don't have to worry about apps or if Flash is supported.
Next version should include: GPS, better camera, thinner bezel, Expressport on dock, faster processor, dual boot into Android.
on April 27, 2011
I ordered the Acer W500 Tablet PC from another place $100 cheaper than here, on 4/13/11 and it arrived 4/15/11 in perfect condition. My 8-year-old son and I love the machine and the Microsoft Touch games. It does everything I need it to. With the Acer, I really can leave the laptop at home. When I need to I can remote connect to the server or laptop or desktop. I use a program called ProComm Plus to connect to controllers at work using a Serial Port or RJ45 LAN port for my job. The Acer W500 has two USB ports, with a USB to serial adapter it works great. I also on very rare occasion need to use a dial up modem again USB to dial up modem not a problem, or I can remote to the desktop with it over wireless using internet sharing on my Windows mobile phone. The keyboard dock that it comes with is great for a keyboard and dock with 2 USB ports and 10/100Mb/s Ethernet jack. I am a Lenovo/IBM fan for the TrackPoint so when I found this had a Track Stick I was convinced that it is the one. I love the TrackPoint if there is no mouse then that is my preference. I briefly looked at some other Window 7 Tablets but price and features lead me to this Acer each time. I am pleased with all aspects and I am very happy I got this one.
I had a hard time finding actual real life reviews of this Tablet. I had it preordered for a while and it was released before the ETA. I guess I was one of the first to get it. There are some reviews and videos online but I am very surprised that there are not more people raving about this. I read many complaints about Windows 7 not being very touch friendly, I very much disagree. Most people try to compare it to an Ipad, I am not an Apple software fan however; I love the hardware like the IPad and MacBook Air. I used to have a MacBook Air but all I did was run Windows on it to use the programs I needed so I sold the Air for what I paid for it and bought a Lenovo tablet pc with double the ram, double the processing power, more ports, and triple the hard drive. I will probably get rid of the Lenovo now that I have this Acer W500.
The only thing I wish is that it had more storage for movies because they look so good, I want to load more on the hard drive and SD card. I do have a 1tb ultra-portable USB powered hard drive that holds more than enough media. The Acer USB ports powers and runs the hard drive flawlessly. Playing a HD Movie off the USB drive with the screen at about 35% brightness (even at 35% it is bright and has such a good sharp smooth picture) I got around 4 hours battery life. I did not use a stopwatch and I am by no means a professional tester. Before starting the movie using the wireless network I checked my email and surfed the web for a bit then sat back watched a Watchmen Blu-ray rip about 3 hours. After the movie, I checked email and surfed some more the power meter showed about 8 minutes before I plugged it in. I left the wireless connection on the entire time. I have turned the brightness down to the lowest that I would actually use it properly about 5% and then unplugged the power and the power meter showed 7 hours 41 minutes remaining. I do not believe that it will last that long but it is very optimistic. I do use it throughout the day off and on and never needed to charge during the day.
To sum up this is a great tablet with Windows 7. If you are reading this and want windows on a tablet this one is very good. I am not saying it is for you, everyone has different wants in their device. If all you want is an internet browser that does not support Flash and a bunch of apps to play with, do not get this. I wanted a real Tablet PC and I got a good one. To quote a review I read online "it's still a proper computer rather than a steroid-injected smartphone with ideas above its station".