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.