Acer Iconia Tab W500P: A Tablet for more than just Touching

Acer Iconia Tab W500P

My Acer Iconia Tab W500P

Yep, that’s my Acer Iconia Tab W500P; a 10.1″ touch screen tablet device that runs Windows 7. I bought this device a few weeks ago and have since been using it for various everyday things and even some more processing intensive uses. I had read a lot about this before i purchased it, knowing well what i was buying. A lot of reviews have given this touch screen tablet device little credit and more criticism, but with the extent that i have used it, i can say that for anyone thinking of buying it or any other tablet device, have a read of this before you do.

I picked this device up from eBay (hears Oh My God…and…Arrrggghhh! *falls into toilet*); hey please don’t read my blogs on a toilet; it’s a blog not a bog. Just kiddin’ you can if you want. But yes, from eBay. Just know that cheapest on eBay doesn’t always mean most trusted. I got mines for about £450 with the keyboard dock. And yes it was BRAND NEW IN BOX & SEALED…and posted in a VOLT. The device itself looks pretty standard with no fancy art or design sophisitcation but i got to say that the glittery shiny colour on the plastic does look nice…awwww nice.

Now a lot of people say, “Is Windows 7 really for touch screen?” And the truth in my opinion is that yes and no. No because many Windows functions and buttons are too small for our giant King Kong fingers (No i am not implying you are apes…darn, sorry… i forgot that monkey’s reading my blog too). But i would also say yes because Windows is constantly updating it to make it more touch screen capable and with a bit of time, you too can adjust the settings for things to be a little bigger for touch. Plus, Windows 8 is coming very soon and it is supposed to be perfect for this device; i’ll talk more on this below. In terms of the specs, the processor is AMD (darn i was hoping for Intel, so i could put hackintosh on it and dual boot with it Mac OS X so i can have a Mac OS X Lion Tablet… but nope. Although i have read that there may be a possible AMD patch coming soon.) It’s a 1GHz Dual Core processor which means for computer system it has a reasonable amount of power, but for a tablet -or even a netbook- it is actually adequately speedy. 2GB of RAM is fine for a tablet but it could have done with 4GB. All your general applications start up within a few seconds and run just as you would expect on a laptop. A cold boot from Power Off to Windows Log In screen took about 30-45 seconds. Others can say what they want but that’s how quick it was for me…WITH software loaded on it (and i’m talking MS Office 2010, Photoshop, Audacity and many others). One down side for me was that it was running a 32-bit version of Windows, but before i got angry and smashed it on my head (i’m not really violent…well except for that Apple the other day, but that’s because it said “Bite Me!”), i realized that it can run a 64-bit Windows 7…AWESOME! And so i did (i’ll go into this in more depth below).

The next down side which i believe to be a real down side and not a biased one (like other sides say), is that it only comes with a 32GB hard drive. Now, it’s awesome that it’s a Solid Slate hard drive but 32GB…really? If only i could open it up and install my own mSata Solid State drive in it…that would be awesome! And so i did (i’ll go into this in more depth below).

The last major component that amazed me was the ATI Radeon HD 6250 Graphics Card. Now what a nice chip to go into a tablet device…very pleased. So i pleased that i decided to research on it’s capabilities, and i was amazed. On YouTube you can see it running games like Neverwinter Nights, Portal 2, Flatout 2, Burnout Paradise, Left 4 Dead, Bioshock, Half Life 2 and even Call of Duty: Modern Warfare… all fully playable with a great framerate. And here i was thinking i could only run Diablo, Black & White and Age of Empire II, but i also tested Age of Empires III and Warcraft III, which played flawlessly. As for touch friendly games like Plants vs Zombies, Zuma, Bejeweled, Angry Birds and even Age of Empires and Neverwinter Nights, it’s perfect.

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Keyboard Dock

Acer Iconia Tab W500 with Keyboard Dock

Amongst all this it has various other little cool bits (eww) e.g. 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, built-in mic, Bluetooth 3.0, Wifi, HDMI port, Dolby Virtual Surround Sound, 2 cameras (front and back), 2 USB 2.0 ports, an SD card slot if you wish to expand beyond 32GB, screen rotation when tablet turned to the side, and all the multi-touch pinching, panning and stroking you wish to do; just don’t grope it, that’s disgusting. It’s battery life is that of the average laptop averaging around 4-5 hours. 1080p videos run perfectly in Windows Media Player and the pre-installed Clear.fi multimedia player (sorry VLC). The keyboard dock is rather fiddly (Another downside), as it requires some connecting, pulling up, pulling down, disconnecting to have it look like and usable like a laptop, or closing it like one; but you get used to it.

OH when Acer first released this there was a major bug with it whereby the touch screen would flicker from desktop mode and back. So many people have asked on forums about how to fix it. Simply update your BIOS and it’s fixed. Download from Acer website –> plug in power adapter into tablet –> run the file and done fixed. I hate when companies released stuff without properly debugging, but hey sometimes even they get forced to released.

All in all it’s an awesome tablet capable of running games, internet browsing, photoshopping, writing and watching. I love it, it’s just what i need for a budget computer with both touchy tech and reasonable power. For those a little more tech savvy, this post is looooong so i will write another about upgrading it (hard drive and 64-bitting), Windows 8, and including some tips on opening it if you dare…..If you have any questions, please comment and i’ll reply. Thanks for reading.

R

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