Acer Iconia W500 debuts for $550 with Windows 7, Fusion

By on April 11, 2011, 3:28 PM
Acer Chairman J.T. Wang wasn't messing around when he said the company would be buckling down on its tablet efforts. Only days after opening preorders for the Iconia Tab A500, the Taiwanese system builder has unleashed its Iconia W500, which is powered by a 1GHz AMD C-50 Ontario APU and Windows 7 Home Premium instead of a Tegra 250 and Android 3.0. Graphics are handled by the on-die Radeon HD 6250, which isn't fit for much besides basic office tasks and light multimedia consumption.

Currently listed for $549 at B&H (ships April 15), the W500 features a 10.1-inch 1280x800 LED-backlit multitouch display, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 32GB SSD, as well as two 1280x1024 webcams along with a built-in microphone for conference calls. Connectivity includes 2-in-1 card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. A three-cell battery supposedly gets up to six hours of battery life -- quite a bit less than the A500's claimed maximum of 10 hours.

Battery performance aside, the W500 seems to be a solid offering for folks that would prefer the familiarity and functionality of a Windows-based device. At $100 more than the A500, the W500 doubles the RAM and storage capacities and throws in a hardware keyboard dock for heavier productivity sessions. The W500 is also arguably a better value for workers than Asus' Eee Pad Transformer, which is expected to be about $550 with the keyboard add-on, but has 16GB of storage and runs Honeycomb.

User Comments: 7

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Guest said:

Woop-de-do. So now you're running an OS that was designed for a keyboard/mouse on a tablet, and also running applications that were also designed for keyboard/mouse. What's the point? You may as well use a regular laptop or netbook. You don't get the benefits of a multi-touch environment until the OS and applications are written for it.

Lurker101 said:

You're wrong. Windows 7 comes with multi-touch by default and SP1 introduced a plethora of updates and fixes multi-touch.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Very cool. This is the first AMD Fusion product that I really find drool worthy. I already bought a Thinkpad X120e, otherwise I would have seriously considered the W500 as a replacement for my old Fujitsu P1510D. It's a much closer replacement for the P1510D than the Thinkpad, and the price isn't bad at all. I'm not at all sure which fits my needs better.

Though the news article claims that the Radeon HD 6250 isn't fit for much, people have been running quite a few games on the C-50. It's not a great platform for gaming, but many (especially older) games are playable at low settings.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Regarding Windows 7, I tend to agree that it's less optimised for touch than Android, but the reviews I've read complain about things which are easily fixable. Icon size (and other interface elements) can be changed easily in Windows 7, and the OS can be configured to launch applications and files with a single click on icons (and the task bar is already single click for launching). So I'd say it should be workable. It's not clear to me why Acer didn't optimise these settings for the tablet to make it work better out of the box, but they are easy enough to change.

I think this is a different product category than Android tablets or iPad. It's for people who want a full PC but with the added comfort of a touch screen and tablet mode. It does have drawbacks compared to non-Windows tablets, but it has the obvious benefits which make it very attractive to some people (like me).

Guest said:

This is a major improvement over any Atom based system including ion.

We will probably get one and let our Sales department have a go with it.

Don't forget many business soft does not run on Android or iOS and a notebook does not have the mobility of this.

Fusion is the way like however it will need some time to mature and the same applies to Windows.

Guest said:

I actually got my Acer W500 today. From B&H, After running it through windows update, its a zippy tablet, and runs great with my home network, playing HD media, RDP into my desktop and actually as a win7 tablet with sp1 I'm finding it a hard time to try and com up with bad things to say about this tablet (the dock is pretty useless, but it stays on my desk.) But the tablet itself is great 1280x800 resolution great viewing angles! Good sound for a tablet too! I'm happy. and 50 bucks less than an ipad 32 wifi. I have an iphone allready didnt see the need to go that route. but to each thier own.

Guest said:

for anyone who has it -- is the ram a ddr3 sodimm or soldered on ?

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