Top positive review
94 people found this helpful
Quite good actually
on 3 June 2011
Acer's Iconia Tab W500 is a nice tablet to use, a little bit bulkier and heavier than the iPad and Android equivalent, but none the worse for it. Of course your getting the ever resource hungry Windows 7 Home premium as an OS, appears a lot of reviewers have an issue with Win' 7 on tablets but I've found the W500 runs smoothly thanks to the duel core AMD C50 cpu with intergrated Radeon 6250 gpu and 2GB of RAM.
The 32GB Sandisk P4 mini PCI-E SSD is a touch on the small side (capacity) but seems speedy enough (30MB/160MB write/read speed) with the Windows install utilising just over 1/2 the space, extra storage is available in the form of the SD (not microSD) slot which will take upto a 32GB card (have heard that the 64GB SDXC cards work also). If a larger SSD is required, then the 80GB Intel 310 SSD (70MB/200MB write/read speed) would be the way to go, IMHO ...
With Windows installed and 2 fullsize USB ports, you have access to every device that you could wish for. If it works with Win' 7 it'll run on this tablet. If you feel the need to watch a movie on a bigger screen then just plug it into your TV via the HDMI port, simple :)
On first boot I removed 90% of Acer's installed software, the Acer Ring is a poor attempt at creating a dynamic, easy to use interface, it just slows things up and isn't needed. Want shortcuts to everything and anything, just creat a shortcut to it on the desktop, same as on your normal PC ... Leaving 'Device Control' and 'Auto Rotation Blocker' in place gives you acces to the power, wi-fi, bluetooth and brightness settings in one place and gives you the screen rotation function (redraw is about 2 seconds).
For me the keyboard dock is poorly impliemented and not worth the £80 premium, an ok wireless keyboard & mouse set can be had for £20 leaving you money for an SD card or external HDD.
All in, the W500 works well as a very mobile PC; the 10.1" touch screen is percise and sensitive, and along with the dedicated Windows Start button intuative to use. The touch-screen keyboard is easy to use and can be swapped to handwriting recognition if desired. It handles day-to-day stuff easily and I've had no issues running Photoshop Elements 9, plus my colour callibration software with an X-rite Display 2 works faultlessly. As an E-Reader I've had no issues with the screen (2-3 hour reading sessions) but its weight does get a little uncomfortable after a while and you'll be looking for some kind of prop to rest it on.
For me this is the best of two worlds, with a little time spent tweeking Windows its smooth and easy to use as an iPad etc. but as functional as a desktop PC ... No issues in use and have had no faults to report, no system conflicts or crashes, boots first time, every time in just under a minute. It's been just about perfect so far.
The battery is lasting roughly 5 hours with mixed usage (mainly internet & movies) but when purely reading e-books this jumps to near 8 hours.
There is a down side ... it could be a little lighter for more comfortable prolonged hand-held use and a higher capacity HDD would have been nice. The screen can be a pain in very bright situations (same as every glossy device screen), some kind of anti-reflection coating would be nice (can you get a matt screen protector that does that?!). Maybe on the next version ...
*Updated to reflect over a months day-to-day usage*
Not the very best out there, but no where near the worst of them ... 4.5/5