It’s been said many times, many ways: Windows 7 is not the OS you want for a positive tablet experience. Given the depth and breadth of applications on Microsoft’s desktop OS, however, I’d put my iPad up on eBay immediately if someone can make that work. Acer will be the latest to try with their Iconia W500.
Designed with an accompanying keyboard dock similar to the Asus Eee Transformer, the tablet will probably make for a worthy netbook alternative. It runs Windows 7 Home Premium without any skinning, though, so how well it facilitates tap and swipe controls will be a question anyone considering this will want answered.
The Acer Iconia W500 sports a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen (1280 x 800 resolution) in a frame measuring 10.8 x 7.6 x 0.6 inches. Specs include a dual-core 1GHz AMD C-50 processor, AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, dual webcams, WiFi and Bluetooth. You also get a slew of ports, including two USB, a 2-in-1 card reader, Ethernet, audio I/O and HDMI.
Battery is only a 3-cell unit, though, rated at around 6 hours of life (probably less in actual use). While the keyboard dock doesn’t have a trackpad, it does include a mouse nub (similar to the one on Thinkpads) for desktop-style navigation.
I’m almost certain there’s a real market for Windows tablets (heck, count me in). The question is how much utility will the Acer Iconia W500 provide as a handheld computer, compared to a Honeycomb hardware like the Acer Iconia Tab. B&H says it will ship starting April 15th, priced at $549.