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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Experience in Acer Iconia W500 Windows 7 Tablet

I recently got one of those Iconia W500 tablet from Acer, running the fully version Windows 7 Home Premium.

It's really a nice build. I had some doubt before when I read some "bad" reviews about this tablet on the Internet. Then I went to a BestBuy to take a look myself at the Iconia A500 tablet, which I believe uses the same build but Intel's Atom processors. Note that Iconia W500, which I eventually bought, is based on AMD's Fusion C-50 processor, which is a lot faster and supports the new DX11 graphics and OpenCL. I realized that if A500 looks and feels nicely, then W500 can only be better, since they are using the same tablet frame & accessories. Apparently some reviewers have sensory problem.

Anyway, it is a nice little tablet with detachable full-size keyboard.

Some reviews made it sound like difficult or even impossible to "fold" the tablet and keyboard. In fact it cannot be more easy---just fold it. The tablet part will detach ("slide") itself out of the keyboard base. I could even do this when the tablet is on with no problem.

The dual-core C-50 is noticeably faster than the single-core 1.6GHz Turion + X300 graphics (the laptop being replaced by this tablet). The C-50 also runs much cooler. Real usage battery life is ~5.5 hours idle, ~4.5 hours with light use (+wifi), and just over 3 hours web-based gaming. Not as good as iPad, but comparable to other Zacate based laptops with larger battery.

I don't find it very useful to take the keyboard on the road. But it's again very easy, and the keyboard is lighter than the slim Dell keyboard I use on my desktop.

It has two disadvantages as a tablet:
 - Windows 7 is NOT a good tablet OS.
 - It can use more motion sensors and actuators that are found in iPad and Xoom.

But perhaps it's not fair to compare W500  with iPad or Xoom. The Acer Iconia W500 is more of a professional tablet, for people to make presentations, take notes, communicate with colleagues and all that. The iPad and Xoom, on the other hand, are more of consumer toys. Not to say you can't play on the Iconia W500 (you can certainly play many great games better than any other tablet there), or you can't work on iPad or Xoom, but the general feeling of Windows 7 and IOS or Android are just different.


Anonymous said...

abi, A500 is dual core nV tegra 250.
dont you want to try alternative OS? build android on W500 or linux w/ a custom gnome interface. ;) -wuttz

abinstein said...

@james: actually I'm waiting for Windows 8 for upgrading this baby. :-)

Mark D said...

What about the acer aspire s7 (like this) with a tablet/laptop convertible? It has windows 8 and 127gb ssd.

If you already have a laptop, the iconia is a good route to go. If you don't have either, you can get the best of both worlds.

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