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Acer has unveiled a trio of Iconia Tab tablets in the shape of the 10.1in. Windows 7-based W500, the 10.1in. A500, which runs Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and the 7in. A100, another device running Google's tablet-optimised OS. The 10.1in. tablets will be available on 8 April, with the 7in. device following in the summer.
The W500 uses an AMD Fusion APU (Accelerated Processing Unit) that combines the CPU and a DirectX 11 GPU on a single chip — specifically the dual-core C-50 processor with Radeon HD6250 graphics, which has a TDP (Thermal Design Power) of just 9 watts. It comes with 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 32GB SSD and runs Windows 7 Home Premium or Professional (both 32-bit).
Windows 7 provides access to a huge range of business and consumer applications, but isn't the most tablet-optimised of operating systems. To alleviate this, Acer provides a custom UI overlay called Acer Ring (pictured above), which includes a number of touch-friendly apps and utilities.
The tablet, which costs £449 (inc. VAT), slots into an optional £89.99 keyboard dock that includes a pointing stick and a pair of mouse buttons plus a 10/100Mbps Ethernet connection and a USB 2.0 port. If you specify the keyboard dock at purchase time, you get it for £10 less.
The W500's capacitive multitouch screen, which Acer says uses extra-tough Gorilla Glass, has a resolution of 1,280 by 800 pixels, 350-nits brightness and 160-degree viewing angles in both vertical and horizontal planes.
Wireless connectivity comes in the shape of Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth (3.0), while a mobile broadband option (HSPA: 7.2Mbps up, 5.76Mbps down) will be available about a month after launch, for an extra £50. Acer's DLNA-based clear.fi software allows multimedia content to be shared around a home wireless network.
The W500 has two 1.3-megapixel webcams, one on the front for video calls and a rear-mounted camera for capturing stills and video.