Acer Iconia Tab W500

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 March, 2011, 12:00am

If you're not convinced that a tablet can meet all your requirements, but still want an ultra-portable computer, the Acer Iconia Tab W500 might just be what you're looking for.

With the Iconia Tab, Acer has split the screen of a netbook from its keyboard, so that you get the best of both worlds. When detached, the 10.1-inch touchscreen can be used like a tablet.

The compromise is that the Iconia Tab is powered like a tablet instead of a typically faster netbook. It features a 1GHz processor from AMD, 2GB of RAM and a 32GB solid-state drive.

You do, however, get a dedicated AMD Radeon HD 6250M graphics chip, so you should get better graphics performance. You also get more networking options, including a LAN port for fixed broadband connections, which is not available on tablets, on top of Wifi, Bluetooth and an option for integrated 3G.

What you don't get with the Iconia Tab is the tablet operating systems, so you won't be able to download new applications as easily as from the Apple AppStore or the Android Market.

Instead the Iconia Tab runs Windows 7, which has its own benefits, such as support for running multiple applications on the same screen, something that tablets still don't support today.

On the downside, the Iconia Tab has a very limited three-cell battery.

The Iconia Tab W500 is listed at HK$4,998, while the 3G model, dubbed W501, is priced at HK$5,998.

Pros: a netbook that turns into a tablet

Cons: small battery, slow processor for a netbook