Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

Summary: After falling behind in the tablet wars, Acer has been quickly trying to make up ground in recent weeks, first with the Iconia Tab A500 running Android 3.0 and now with the official release of the Iconia Tab W500, which runs Windows 7 in either its Home Premium or Professional flavor.

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After falling behind in the tablet wars, Acer has been quickly trying to make up ground in recent weeks, first with the Iconia Tab A500 running Android 3.0 and now with the official release of the Iconia Tab W500, which runs Windows 7 in either its Home Premium or Professional flavor.

Acer is trying to position the W500 as being comfortable handling business or pleasure-related tasks. It's built around an AMD C-50 "Fusion" processor (with AMD Radeon HD 6250 integrated graphics) and 10.1-inch LED-backlit display, and comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB solid state drive, and both front-facing and rear-facing Webcams to be used with Acer Video Conference Manager software. It comes with Adobe Flash 10.1 pre-installed and includes Dolby audio for your entertainment needs.

As we all know, Microsoft hasn't figured out a way to create a popular tablet OS yet, so Acer tries to tabletize Windows 7 with its Acer Ring interface, which makes use of the multi-touch screen to ease tasks like storing Web content, connecting to social networks, and accessing media files saved on the W500. You also get a docking station complete with keyboard, pointing device, and USB and Ethernet ports.

You can buy the W500 with Windows 7 Home Premium for $549.99 or the Professional version for $619. But do you really want a slate that runs Windows and not a tablet-friendly OS? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Laptops, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Tablets, Windows

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33 comments
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  • Yes, I would want a Windows Slate

    ... and the price of this one is not that outlandish.

    If they can get to 8 hours running time, they would hit the sweet spot. Maybe even 6 hours would be still good.

    I would like to know if you can use a stylus (maybe for some applications the Asus EEE with its digitizer is a better choice, but it is on another price point and battery life is not competitive vs. the other pads yet)
    Roque Mocan
    • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

      @Roque Mocan

      Yes, unfortunately the addition of a proper digitizer (from Wacom) to a capacitive touch screen, currently adds a disproportionate amount to the cost of the Slate Tablet.

      Windows 7 has a lot of built in support for Touch (even on applications that weren't written with Touch in mind) - however most commentators, bloggers and journalists have not owned any device with Touch enabled hardware and Windows 7 and gone through the learning curve their mind and fingers need to manipulate the device properly; or to understand how to reconfigure the interface setting to make buttons bigger if their fingers are too fat for the default settings.

      Also unfortunately, Microsoft do not seem to be doing a good job of demonstrating the capabilities, which continues to reinforce the ?not made for Touch, and never will be? reporting that is the current theme around Windows 7.

      For those who are interested, this recent HP Slate 500 Tablet video is quite a good demonstration of the ways a Slate Tablet PC with Touch and Pen Input (and Windows 7) makes sense in a number of example sectors... over the elegance, but simplicity of the iPad concept (which renders it mainly a device for consumption of data and/or media, designed with consumers in mind).

      http://h71016.www7.hp.com/html/interactive/slate_500/model.html
      wGrahamT
  • YES

    "But do you really want a slate that runs Windows and not a tablet-friendly OS?"<br><br>In a word yes, but it also depends on the task at hand. Like Roque Mocan pointed out, the battery life is crucial for its success.
    statuskwo5
    • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

      @statuskwo5 <br><br>Yes. Functionality triumphs over toys anytime. I love my WP7 phone, but any serious work requires Windows.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

        @tonymcs@...
        It depends on what you define as "serious work". A lot of my "serious work" relates to answering emails from students and marking assignments. I certainly don't need a beefy computer and mouse. An iPad and external keyboard (PADACS Rubata keyboard case) is just fine for me. And the work is "serious"; I do quite well from it!
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
      • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

        @tonymcs@... <br><br>I think an iPad with an external keyboard certainly helps, I know I can't use an iPad by itself for serious work. If your "work" consists of just answering emails and marking simple assignments, then the keyboard may let you do it. However, as I was a teacher for 20 years, I can't see myself designing new projects and lesson plans on an iPad and I need direct access to my normal Windows applications. I also get to experience real HTML5 and Flash on this device, which you won't have until Apple relents or puts out standard HTML 5.<br><br>And yes I had to have the iPad for a week to see if our web apps functioned on it - they did until they updated iOS again to once again restrict the use of HTML 5 autoplay. Otherwise it was too heavy, too slow and hte onscreen kb was a real pain - which you obviously discovered <img border="0" src="http://www.cnet.com/i/mb/emoticons/wink.gif" alt="wink">
        tonymcs@...
    • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

      @statuskwo5

      Definitely need Windows. The applications I use only run on Windows. You can't replace a Windows computer with a smartphone OS like Android or iOS. The best software is only on Windows.
      cool8man
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    yes, I would definitely. I can now retire my HTC Shift with this. I have some apps that need precision and real-time response, and none of tablet friendly OS based Tablets out there can provide that.
    Ram U
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    You bet, I would want a tablet/slate running Windows that would make it a Real Computer.

    I would never buy a piece of fruite with a byte taken out of it for any price. That iThingy is NOT a Real Computer.
    javajolt
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    Another turd blossom in the building list of pathetic iPad want-to-be's. It will fail miserably. People want an easy to use device that just works. Who in their right mind wants a device with all the complexities of MS Windows which isn't designed to operate as a friendly touch device hacked together with an unproven attempt to make it so. Yea, good luck with that.
    gtdworak
    • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

      @gtdworak

      If you want a toy - go and get one, no-one is stopping you. Grant the same courtesy to the rest of us who want professional tools. I understand devices that just work - I have a WP7 that doesn't suffer from that ancient crowded desktop touch UI you seem to prefer - enjoy it then, again no-one is stopping you.
      tonymcs@...
      • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

        @tonymcs@...

        I have a confession to make, Tony. The comments that you have stated in this particular Talkback section have been totally at odds with my mental image of you created from your prior comments posted on the whole iPad tablet phenomenon. I never would have suspected you of having a twenty year plus professional teaching background. Your continuing mantra of "its just a toy" effectively prevented me from addressing your comments in a professional manner .. and so, I usually refused from doing so.

        If I may, let's start with your comment, "... but any serious work requires Windows."

        I can now understand that type of comment from your reference point. What you desire is a "stand alone computer product in tablet form" that leverages your accumulated software applications and experience. In essence, a MS Windows laptop without the physical keyboard .. a Window's Slate.

        That requirement makes perfect sense and is quite understandable. Your prior disparaging iPad comments used to justify that particular desire for a Windows Slate product never did.

        The whole concept of the iPad tablet is that it is .. by definition and intent .. NOT a stand alone computer product. It is a product that CAN run "stand alone" apps .. and some of those apps would definitely be categorized outside the realm of "toy applications", IMO, but rather, the iPad, used within a computer system that compliments its advantages of mobility, operational duration capability (battery charge duration) and adaptivity to various work environment requirements fully illustrates the reasons behind its world wide acceptance as a valued computer device.

        A few of your often stated perceived iPad shortcomings have really been addressed within the past year, either through an improvement in hardware capability (the iPad 2 model) or through various third party applications.

        For example, the perceived lack of Flash support. If one starts with the premise that the iPad is NOT a stand alone device but one that can be used in conjunction with a networked computer, a VNC thin client solution to this problem exists. (For that I use the Splashtop Remote app that offers audio streaming support .. I mean, what is the point of being able to stream Flash based videos to the iPad if one can't hear the audio section as well?!)

        In fact, with this solution, I can effective turn my iPad into a full fledged Win 7 tablet .. or an OSX Snow Leopard tablet with full mouse cursor support. (Actually, I use the Apple Magic Trackpad for that illusion. Since the VNC app really shows the main computer screen and cursor movements, my Trackpad is not really being used to manipulate iPad iOS functions. But the illusion is very very compelling, non-the-less. (Come to think of it, Tony, but I probably could use my paired desktop bluetooth keyboard for text input while using this particular VNC solution but the app's virtually keyboard and full multi-touch support really lessons the need for that action.)

        But that is just one aspect of using the iPad for "real work". Just use the synergy of the tablet paired to its networked computer and its full suite of productivity apps. (Using Microsoft Office is fully "doable" using this arrangement.)

        As for other shortcomings addressed during the prior year, "copy and paste", AirPlay and AirPrint have effectively transformed this little five hundred dollar tablet into something other than what I would normally classify as a "toy". Surely a professional teacher could comprehend the usefulness of an iPad tablet with the ability to mirror content to a large screen HDTV in a classroom environment. And, that is just one tiny example.
        kenosha77a
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    @kenosha7777

    I'm glad people like you exist. Without you, who would we turn to rather than Apple to invest in their stock knowing you'll continue to dump money into this company for their marketing brilliance. Why you would consider VNC and RDP in the same family as an off the shelf fully capable mobile workstation truly boggles my mind, but I still thank you for it. If you've ever used RDP for anything worth while, you'd immediately know of its shortcomings. It simply does not compare to Win7 on the go. And yes, it may be a stretch to say that these tablets could suffice as a replacement for a desktop, but I'd sure rather have one of these than a simplistic iPad or even an Android Tablet for that matter.
    acontrasto
  • Yes, windows is Windows better than anything &lt;&lt; at least so far &gt;&gt;

    Yes boy,

    What do you think if you don't know how to use windows then do you mean others also don't know? that's stupid !

    Windows is for power users body ...
    Go learn how to use a computer and then doubt on it.

    have been using toshiba convertibles, pretty much like tablets for years ! I am sure you haven't even touched those.

    These crappy bloggers and news writers need to learn themselves some more new things, learn how to use everything body not what is easy, then doubt :(
    biswasishere
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    Well I'm off to buy one ... and then fully comment.... I bought an IPad more than a year ago to replace my QTec / Imate a fully MS device that I had for more than 6 years. I always smiled some times burst out laughing when in the "Americas " the Apples and Blackberry of the world claimed world first. Perhaps one can say world first at mis representation or is that simply good advertising The fact are that modern phones are still not able to do what this phone did in 2004. is beyond my understanding of progress Yes I am sure many will shout this statement down like battery power .. which also makes me smile In the old days the only place I found this a problem was on long haul flight and camping in Algonquin Park. Plans to day have power points and yes do I really need it in The Park ..

    I have to say that the Ipad was my worst investment ever. My main motivation for purchasing it was the large screen , You will note that The Imate still has a larger screen than most phones today.. but as the Eyes of a 55 year old take there toll I dare say from the strain of small screen technology I need a larger screen that zooms in an out .. to take away the hassle in life of reading glasses going on and off.. It certainly solved that but oh was I not prepared for the other troubles.. and hardships

    Here is a list of items that irked me in no particular order

    ITunes ... interface to MS outlook this should be renamed, "now you have the data now you don't " nothing worse than going away internationally and discovering that all you have in your contacts and notes are names no data.. how many times have I sync only to find that some of the apps are gone or what happened to the albans bought 2 months ago.

    Navigation .. not the web but simply around the page .. this zoom / magnifying glass thingy is the biggest contributor to world stress

    Flash or the lack there of... how many times have My mate / colleagues sent me a link to something and I can't view it

    Print what a disaster there are apps of cause but oh that's only really workable if you staying put or have an hour to spare setting them up or transferring to other programs or if you wish to carry a HP printer in your pocket.

    Apple programs pages and numbers let's just face it no where near in the same class as MS

    Email .. try setting it up with 4 or 5 accounts something unexplainable happens to your sent folders

    As an avid Skype user the lack of cameras front and back had been a frustration but then I can't blame apple for not wanting to mess with there main market. and then there is no seamless switch over from wireless to 3G so you have to log into Skype every time you leave a wireless zone .. it does seam to work when you enter a preset wireless zone.

    And the the real crappy part of IPad no standard USB and what's this how dare they say that they have blue tooth and not tell you it only works with certain devices..

    All in all an IPad is merely a large screen social tool that does not perform in the flash world and only half the device of My old Imate. It was sold to me a year ago by kids that have never been in business who do not comprehend what mis-representation actually mean or would be satisfied to buy a label rather than a fit for purpose device.

    Yes you might all well say but why did you not investigate it properly or wait.. and your right .. but then only those doing the work can make the mistakes .. and how do you do all those things above in the store... and yes it was not all bad as it pointed out what I had and what to look fore next.. after all what is a $1000 in the world of business..

    On a lasting point and as a well traveled business man. I can truly say that I have never seen more than 4 other IPads outside a Apple or phone retailers shop what happened to the millions that have been sold are the all in file 13.....

    So if theW500 can solve most of the above it's well worth the purchase price of around $600 .. which is still $50 cheaper than what I paid and then had to buy software around $400 to turn it into a business tool that was iffy.....
    NJMoz
    • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

      @NJMoz

      Thanks for the input. I'd pretty much decided not to go with iStuff for business. You helped clarify that decision.
      rbrunson56
  • getting close to being what Business men want

    Well I'm off to buy one ... and then fully comment.... I bought an IPad more than a year ago to replace my QTec / Imate a fully MS device that I had for more than 6 years. I always smiled some times burst out laughing when in the "Americas " the Apples and Blackberry of the world claimed world first. Perhaps one can say world first at mis representation or is that simply good advertising The fact are that modern phones are still not able to do what this phone did in 2004. is beyond my understanding of progress Yes I am sure many will shout this statement down like battery power .. which also makes me smile In the old days the only place I found this a problem was on long haul flight and camping in Algonquin Park. Plans to day have power points and yes do I really need it in The Park ..

    I have to say that the Ipad was my worst investment ever. My main motivation for purchasing it was the large screen , You will note that The Imate still has a larger screen than most phones today.. but as the Eyes of a 55 year old take there toll I dare say from the strain of small screen technology I need a larger screen that zooms in an out .. to take away the hassle in life of reading glasses going on and off.. It certainly solved that but oh was I not prepared for the other troubles.. and hardships

    Here is a list of items that irked me in no particular order

    ITunes ... interface to MS outlook this should be renamed, "now you have the data now you don't " nothing worse than going away internationally and discovering that all you have in your contacts and notes are names no data.. how many times have I sync only to find that some of the apps are gone or what happened to the albans bought 2 months ago.

    Navigation .. not the web but simply around the page .. this zoom / magnifying glass thingy is the biggest contributor to world stress

    Flash or the lack there of... how many times have My mate / colleagues sent me a link to something and I can't view it

    Print what a disaster there are apps of cause but oh that's only really workable if you staying put or have an hour to spare setting them up or transferring to other programs or if you wish to carry a HP printer in your pocket.

    Apple programs pages and numbers let's just face it no where near in the same class as MS

    Email .. try setting it up with 4 or 5 accounts something unexplainable happens to your sent folders

    As an avid Skype user the lack of cameras front and back had been a frustration but then I can't blame apple for not wanting to mess with there main market. and then there is no seamless switch over from wireless to 3G so you have to log into Skype every time you leave a wireless zone .. it does seam to work when you enter a preset wireless zone.

    And the the real crappy part of IPad no standard USB and what's this how dare they say that they have blue tooth and not tell you it only works with certain devices..

    All in all an IPad is merely a large screen social tool that does not perform in the flash world and only half the device of My old Imate. It was sold to me a year ago by kids that have never been in business who do not comprehend what mis-representation actually mean or would be satisfied to buy a label rather than a fit for purpose device.

    Yes you might all well say but why did you not investigate it properly or wait.. and your right .. but then only those doing the work can make the mistakes .. and how do you do all those things above in the store... and yes it was not all bad as it pointed out what I had and what to look fore next.. after all what is a $1000 in the world of business..

    On a lasting point and as a well traveled business man. I can truly say that I have never seen more than 4 other IPads outside a Apple or phone retailers shop what happened to the millions that have been sold are the all in file 13.....

    So if theW500 can solve most of the above it's well worth the purchase price of around $600 .. which is still $50 cheaper than what I paid and then had to buy software around $400 to turn it into a business tool that was iffy.....
    NJMoz
  • RE: Acer Iconia Tab W500 tablet PC running Windows 7 available starting at $549.99

    ESL "body" (sic)?

    Toshiba tablets? No problem. Atrix? Fine tool.

    I'm laying in my bed reading this blog and responding on an iPhone 4 running iOS 4.3.1.

    A good carpenter doesn't argue the value of a screwdriver over a hammer. Both are functional tools. I use what works for the task at hand. If it's for real business you purchase what you need and write it off against the gross to increase your net.

    Too much time wasted in silly arguments. So give me it all if there is good use for it. My tool box has room for whatever works.
    Moresuo
  • I'd love to see some benchmark comparisons

    I know there has been much buzz around how much faster the iPad2 is than the Xoom on graphics. I would love to see a comparison of benchmarks: iPad2 vs. W500

    Antonio Licon
    ffwd.typepad.com
    spyderboy@...
  • I just ordered

    I just ordered one of these, but I am partial to Acer and Windows. I do like the ipad, just not that you have to use iTunes to add anything to it, you can't have it be a shared device to easily transfer documents.

    I like the Xoom, except it does not support netflix, and even though it is said to have flash, I could not get the Marvel Digital Comics to work at all.

    Now this runs Windows 7, which I run at home, and since you add an additional SD card I can easily transfer any files, music. or movies, use almost any programs (I play a lot of games, not sure how this will run Mass Effect 2), but supporting full flash and Netflix.

    They keyboard idea, yea it has been around, but according to my shipping it comes with the keyboard, so no extra cost.

    I will be using this as a tablet and treating as such, because my laptop is a desktop replacement with a 16inch monitor that is too big for airplanes, but this for me is an excellent option.
    Broggy69