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451 of 457 found the following review helpful:
Better than I expected!!! (and I expected good its great) May 13, 2011
By Danny K
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!
118 of 123 found the following review helpful:
A Great Tablet idea with a need for more space Apr 27, 2011
By Rudy James Jr.
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.
56 of 56 found the following review helpful:
as an engineer, i think this is an fantastic tablet for work and entertainment Aug 13, 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
76 of 81 found the following review helpful:
Day 2 Update Apr 20, 2011
By John D.
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.
34 of 34 found the following review helpful:
Thought I'd like it - but instead LOVE it. One of the best tablets available. Apr 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.
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