Acer Aspire ICONIA TAB W501 10.1 inch LED Tablet (AMD-C50 Dual Core Processor, 2GB RAM, 32GB HDD, Wireless, Bluetooth, Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit) - 3G

rate 4.2
  • Brand: acer
  • Category: Laptop
  • screen size: 10.1 inches
  • hard drive: 32GB

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he omission of 3G wireless has driven down the price of the Acer Iconia Tab W500, but for $899 this tablet is still rather expensive. It has the novel addition of a keyboard, and while functional the overall package is very expensive.

Powering the W500 is an AMD Fusion C-50 (1GHz) processor, which along with the integrated AMD Radeon HD 6250 graphics card does well running Windows 7 Home Premium. However, for a tablet that operating system is less than ideal because it doesn’t have the fine optimisation that operating systems like Android Honeycomb and iOS have.  The combination of a capacitive 10.1in (1,280x800 resolution) screen and a detachable keyboard is novel, the price needs to be lower before it can compete with pure tablets and ultraportable notebooks. The specs are generally good though, and include 2GB of RAM and a 32GB flash drive.

Ports are excellent though; you get a fast Ethernet port, a HDMI port, four USB 2.0 ports and an audio jack. This is directly comparable to an ultraportable and is better than the majority of other tablets available. There’s also a camera, microphone, stereo speakers and a 2-in-1 card reader. At the end of the day though this interesting concept still has some work before it can compete with the alternatives.

The W501 has 3G, but for $999 it's more expensive than what's an already rather pricey tablet. The specs are otherwise the same, so if you can snag a significant discount you'll still be able to get a good bargain.


Technical Details
Brand Acer
Item Weight 2.1 Kg
Product Dimensions 38.8 x 25.6 x 7 cm
Item model number LE.RK502.023
Color WI-FI + 3G
Screen Size 10.1 inches
Processor Type AMD C Series
RAM Size 2 GB
Hard Drive Size 32 GB
Connectivity Type WiFi, 3G
Operating System Windows
  • AMD-C50 Dual Core Processor
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM, SSD 32GB Hard Drive
  • 3G Module Huawei EM770W, 802.11b/g + Draft-N Wi-Fi CERTIFIED
  • Micro SD Cardreader up to 32GB, Bluetooth:3.0 + EDR
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
N. West 4.0
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Acer's Iconia Tab W500 is a nice tablet to use, a little bit bulkier and heavier than the iPad and Android equivalent, but none the worse for it. Of course your getting the ever resource hungry Windows 7 Home premium as an OS, appears a lot of reviewers have an issue with Win' 7 on tablets but I've found the W500 runs smoothly thanks to the duel core AMD C50 cpu with intergrated Radeon 6250 gpu and 2GB of RAM. The 32GB Sandisk P4 mini PCI-E SSD is a touch on the small side (capacity) but seems ... speedy enough (30MB/160MB write/read speed) with the Windows install utilising just over 1/2 the space, extra storage is available in the form of the SD (not microSD) slot which will take upto a 32GB card (have heard that the 64GB SDXC cards work also). If a larger SSD is required, then the 80GB Intel 310 SSD (70MB/200MB write/read speed) would be the way to go, IMHO ... With Windows installed and 2 fullsize USB ports, you have access to every device that you could wish for. If it works with Win' 7 it'll run on this tablet. If you feel the need to watch a movie on a bigger screen then just plug it into your TV via the HDMI port, simple :) On first boot I removed 90% of Acer's installed software, the Acer Ring is a poor attempt at creating a dynamic, easy to use interface, it just slows things up and isn't needed. Want shortcuts to everything and anything, just creat a shortcut to it on the desktop, same as on your normal PC ... Leaving 'Device Control' and 'Auto Rotation Blocker' in place gives you acces to the power, wi-fi, bluetooth and brightness settings in one place and gives you the screen rotation function (redraw is about 2 seconds). For me the keyboard dock is poorly impliemented and not worth the £80 premium, an ok wireless keyboard & mouse set can be had for £20 leaving you money for an SD card or external HDD. All in, the W500 works well as a very mobile PC; the 10.1" touch screen is percise and sensitive, and along with the dedicated Windows Start button intuative to use. The touch-screen keyboard is easy to use and can be swapped to handwriting recognition if desired. It handles day-to-day stuff easily and I've had no issues running Photoshop Elements 9, plus my colour callibration software with an X-rite Display 2 works faultlessly. As an E-Reader I've had no issues with the screen (2-3 hour reading sessions) but its weight does get a little uncomfortable after a while and you'll be looking for some kind of prop to rest it on. For me this is the best of two worlds, with a little time spent tweeking Windows its smooth and easy to use as an iPad etc. but as functional as a desktop PC ... No issues in use and have had no faults to report, no system conflicts or crashes, boots first time, every time in just under a minute. It's been just about perfect so far. The battery is lasting roughly 5 hours with mixed usage (mainly internet & movies) but when purely reading e-books this jumps to near 8 hours. There is a down side ... it could be a little lighter for more comfortable prolonged hand-held use and a higher capacity HDD would have been nice. The screen can be a pain in very bright situations (same as every glossy device screen), some kind of anti-reflection coating would be nice (can you get a matt screen protector that does that?!) More >
Jim 4.5
Been looking for a decent Windows tablet for a while. I thought i`d found it when I bought the Asus EP121 earlier this month but it has some reliability issues so had to return it and didn`t want to risk another one, so I tried this one and to be honest was not expecting to like it. Its unusually big for a 10.1" tablet due to its ridiculously large bezel but is relatively lightweight which is good. Build quality is above average and the screen is fantasic, bright and has good range of viewing a ... ngles. I did not bother with the keyboard dock as I do not believe this to be worth the £80 premium and instead use my trusted bluetooth keyboard which works perfectly. I was a little aprehensive about the AMD 1Ghz processor but it is actually quite nippy and is certainly faster than the Atom N550 which the Dell Inspiron Duo uses. Normal tasks within Windows are handled easily and the tablet also uses a half decent graphics card which handles the video when running them, leaving the processor to handle the other functions. Overall this is as good a Windows tablet as you will find at the moment, unless you are willing to spend £1000 for the Asus and risk potential reliability issues. I am left feeling quite good about my purchase and also know that when Windows 8 becomes available in a few months I will have no problems upgrading the OS. Finally a comment on battery life. For a Windows 7 tablet this is impressive. I get just under 5 hours with wifi on and mainly browsing, emails etc. Yet its no iPad or Xoom in terms of battery life but when comparing to other Windows tablets such as the Asus EP121 (which gave me around 3 hours) this is impressive. Recommending this if you are specifically looking for a Windows tablet, its the best out there in this price range. More >
Pete 5.0
I received my W501 (the mark 2 W500 adding a 3G SIM slot) on 14 July 2011 and loved it the minute it came out of the nicely nested boxes. I recently ended a job where I wore out a Lenovo X61 Tablet over two years (the lid hinge wiring gave up). That tablet (Windows Vista Enterprise, high-resolution touch requiring a special but natural pen-like stylus, good handwriting recognition) let me entirely give up reading and writing using paper. Wonderful but, at over £1k, beyond my personal budget. D ... oes the W500 match up? Here's my opinion. Better than the X61 Tablet: just about everything that matters. Weight (but a mile!); display resolution; wifi quality and bluetooth functionality (though X61 also has 3G); a nice to use light keyboard dock instead of hinge carying wires; lack of overkill on devices (who needs moving parts like DVD drives now we have SD and the cloud?); price (of course). I would add Windows 7 over Vista and Microsoft Office 2010 over 2007 (I have the whole thing including Visio installed) but those considerable improvements down to Microsoft, not Acer. Worse than the X61: the only point that stands out is that capacitive screen. I just cannot write or draw as well as I could on the X61. Not being able to rest the side of one's hand on the screen is a bit awkward but I can adapt. It's the lack of precision and speed that hurts. I have bought, and I'm happy with and Acase Freehand Fine Art stylus and I'm getting better at getting just the right pressure, so it's definitely usable and I'm not giving it up! But if I had the money, I'd look at systems with hand-insensitivity and fine-point stylus to get back that precision in taking notes and doodles. That's where the productivity gains lie. I have yet to buy it, but coverage means I'm getting a 3G SIM card soon as one can get fed up hunting for wifi on the hoof. And I'll be stuffing a 32Gb SD in the spare slot, too, though Microsoft's SyncToy means I've got synchonised copies of chosen folders from my home PC on the Tab so can live with the modest 32Gb means. So, Acer, any chance of a Mark 3 with a better touch screen? I'd like one. But thanks for the W501 - it's cool. More >
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