Home Icon
acer-iconia-w500

Acer Iconia W500 (C52G03N)

By Nathan Taylor | 12:18 pm 10/06/2011

Acer has released not one but two new tablets into the fray recently. One, the Iconia A500, is a standard Android 3.0 tablet, very similar to the Motorola Xoom and Asus Eee Pad in form and function. The unusual release is the W500, however, a tablet that runs Windows 7 rather than a mobile operating system like iOS or Android.

That has some pretty obvious advantages in terms of software availability. Everything is available for Windows. For home entertainment enthusiasts, that’s a smorgasbord of mature, well-designed apps. After wading through dozens of poor designed and barely functional apps on the iTunes App Store and Android Market, it was a relief to go back to Windows and know that I can install XBMC or VLC media players and they’ll work properly.

Of course, AV suppliers have also developed excellent hardware control software for the platform. Most devices with Ethernet ports are supported, and home automation equipment is also well supported.

 

There are downsides to running Windows on a tablet, however, and they’re not inconsiderable. While working with the OS itself isn’t too bad, most Windows apps just aren’t designed for touch screen use. Tiny, tiny menu bars and buttons made for mouse use can be nearly impossible to target with a finger. And when you use the onscreen keyboard, it obscures half the screen, which can be a problem on many apps as you won’t be able to see the field you’re typing into. Fortunately, a docking keyboard, much like that of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, is available for the Acer, effectively turning it into a netbook PC.

It’s also big. The Iconia W500 weighs over one and a half kilograms, much of which is battery to power the hungry processor inside. That makes it near-impossible to hold in one hand and not much good as an eBook reader.

It has a lot of PC-like specs, including full-size USB ports (great for external hard drives) and a wired Ethernet networking port. There’s no Bluetooth, but a 3G model is available.

 

Comments are closed.

Price (RRP)

$899 without 3G, $999 with 3G

Pros & Cons

Product Pros

Full access to the Windows software library; Fast and powerful; Support Windows hardware

Product Cons

Most Windows apps simply weren’t designed for a small touch screen; Super-heavy

Ratings

Overall

Features

Value for money

Performance

Ease of Use

Latest reviews

  • Review: STM Drifter laptop backpack

    So many laptop bags follow the same design, with a zipper along the front following the arch of a bag and opening up the main bag, but STM’s Drifter…
  • Just a taste: Samsung’s Milk music service reviewed

    If you're a Samsung phone over, you now have access to a free music service that aims to replace digital radio. But is it worth trying out, even for…
  • Review: Acer Aspire R13

    Hybrid computers are everywhere, but we're so used to seeing the 360 degree hinge, it's nice to see someone doing it differently. This time, it's Acer, taking its Ezel…
  • Review: Sony SmartBand Talk

    Not everyone needs a smartwatch, and if you want the time, maybe some phone calls, but don’t like the look or feel of a watch, there’s always a smart…
  • A thin winner: Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon reviewed

    The race is on to make the thinnest computer, and Lenovo's X1 Carbon is certainly in it to win, boasting a fifth-generation Intel Core processor, up to 256GB of…
  • A future on your face: Samsung’s Gear VR reviewed

    The virtual world is here, and you can actually take it with you, as Samsung’s Gear VR finally makes its way to Australia. Is this a future that you…
  • Samsung's Gear S smartwatch-phone hybrid reviewed

    Is it a phone? Is it a watch? These are the questions that you’ll likely think up when you see Samsung’s latest smartphone-watch hybrid, an evolution on its original…
  • Review: Soul's fitness-friendly on-ear Transform headphones

    Earbuds and in-earphones are generally the domain of the activity taker and fitness addict, but not everyone wants to wear tiny in-ear speakers. Some people like larger pads that…
  • Review: BlackBerry Classic (Q20)

    Once a leader in modern smartphones, BlackBerry now trails Android and iOS, fighting for third with Windows Phone. Can the Classic bring back the glory, or is just another…
  • Review: Toshiba Portege Z20t-B

    Toshiba has always had a strong presence in the laptop market, practically inventing the category, and a couple of years ago we saw a sign that the company was…

“How do you stop yourself from being caught out by these scam artists?”

Read More

Tell us…

Which smartwatch are you interested in buying?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

“There’s certainly no doubt that you can find a bargain, but like always, you get what you pay for.”

Read More