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Acer Iconia W500

Acer Iconia Tab W500

Function-before-form fondleslab

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What's up, dock?

The keyboard dock adds another two USB ports, but uses one to connect to the tablet and blocks the other so there is no net gain. It also has a 10/100Mb/s Ethernet jack. Wireless connectivity is taken care of by 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and an optional 3G modem.

Acer Iconia W500

Good keys to type on if you don't fancy the virtual keyboard

The calculator-style keys are nicely spaced and pleasant to type on. There’s no trackpad, just a ThinkPad-style navigation nub set in the middle of the keyboard and two narrow click-pads set into the front edge. It’s a combination I was more than happy with, but if you’re not, remember that you still have those USB ports to connect a mouse or trackball to.

The W500’s display is a glass-covered 10.1in, 1280 x 800 LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen, and rather good it is too. Colours are nicely saturated, viewing angles robust and it’s bright enough to make for easy viewing in direct sunlight. But with no oleophobic coating, fingerprints are clear to see.

Thanks to some trick Dolby virtual surround sound processing and a pair of decent speakers, audio is powerful, warm, resonant and very spacious. On this front, the W500 leaves the iPad 2, Motorola Xoom and the majority of netbooks for dead.

Acer Iconia W500

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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