Acer Iconia Tab W500 review

Can a Windows 7 tablet with keyboard replace the netbook?

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acer iconia tab w500

The Acer Iconia Tab W500 is a frustrating tablet. From a hardware perspective it ticks a lot of the right boxes, and apart from the surprisingly large bezel, it's an attractive enough machine - although not in the same league as the Apple iPad 2 by any means.

The decision to go with a keyboard dock isn't the most logic thing to do with a tablet, but it does work to a certain degree - and means you'll get a bit more life out of this tablet than you would many others.

We liked:

The familiarity of Windows 7. There's no need for an app store, specific builds or worries about whether it supports Flash. Everything you know and use on a daily basis simply works - including your games catalog.

The screen is bright, clear and vivid and offers great viewing angles. The native resolution of 1,280 x 800 makes watching HD video a delight as well.

The AMD Fusion processor is powerful enough for simple tasks, and the inclusion of a DX11 graphics core is impressive

We disliked:

Windows 7 is horrendously frustrating on tablets. The icons are too small, menus are unworkable, the soft keyboard is cramped and there's so much that is simply bloated and unnecessary that even the simplest of tasks is difficult. Windows 7 is great on desktops and laptops, but it shouldn't go anywhere near a tablet.

The screen refresh on turning the screen around is woeful. You'll lock the tablet in landscape mode and never want to change it. This hardly plays to the strengths of the tablet design.

The keyboard dock is a little light and flimsy, so that when the tablet is in place, the whole unit is back heavy and is prone to tipping.


The problem for Acer is its choice of operating system - Windows 7 wasn't designed for use on a tablet, and it really shows.

You only need look at a tablet running Android or an iPad running iOS to see how it should be done - and it's nothing like this. We understand the sentiment, but if you need this level of compatibility, you should really be using a notebook, or a desktop and uploading your files onto a cheaper, more usable tablet than this.

Tech Specs

Product TypeNet-tablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ManufacturerAMD
Graphics Controller ModelRadeon HD 6250
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Finger Print ReaderNo
Solid State Drive Capacity32 GB
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyICONIA Tab W500P
Operating System Architecture32-bit
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor ModelC-50
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NameAcer
Form FactorHybrid
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeC-Series
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells3-cell
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.58 kg
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Ethernet TechnologyFast Ethernet
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3-1333/PC3-10600
Height19.5 mm
Width275 mm
Depth190 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesW500P
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelW500P-C52G03iss
Product NameICONIA Tab W500P-C52G03iss Net-tablet PC
Product LineICONIA Tab
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberLE.L0803.027
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The 10.1" Acer ICONIA Tab W Series comes in a hybrid design that combines the portability of a multitouch tablet and the full productivity of a standard notebook. Enjoy hands-on multimedia using the touch capabilities, or attach the available dockable keyboard to quickly transform the tablet into a mini-workstation.

HD videos come alive on the 10.1" WXGA screen, which supports image auto rotation. An HDMI® port connects to projectors and HDTVs for big-screen enjoyment of HD media. A dual-core AMD processor with integrated graphics delivers smooth multitasking and Internet video, while Dolby® technologies provide great sound. A Bluetooth® 3.0 port transfers data ultra fast, and new-generation wireless keeps you connected. (And select models will offer 3G.)

Package Contents
  • ICONIA Tab W500P-C52G03iss Net-tablet PC
  • AC Adapter
  • Keyboard Dock