The first review of a Windows tablet in Australia by the Financial Review has been labelled a “shocker” with Acer executives blaming the release of a preproduction Iconia Tab W500 model by their PR company for the poor result.
However overseas reviews seem to indicate that the problem might not be Acer, but Microsoft, who has been slammed for failing to deliver Tablet software to take on offerings from Apple and Google’s Android.
Conducted by the Financial Review, the review was harsh on Acer who told SmartHouse that the review model given to the Financial Review was a “preproduction model” and not a production model.
Most reviewers claim that running Windows applications on a Windows based tablet is going to be slow when compared with what a bevy of new Android based tablets are able to deliver.
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Nigel Gore the Commercial Director at Acer Australia claims that their new Windows tablet is not aimed at the consumer market. “It’s more for the enterprise application market where organisations already have Windows based applications that they want to run in an enterprise environment”.
The Financial Review said that a complex Excel spread sheet, that took 24 minutes to process on an i7 notebook, took 75 minutes on the new Windows based tablet which was running an AMD Fusion chipset which is supposed to be faster than the i7 processor, according to AMD tests.
The Financial Review claimed that they only got 4 hours 11 minutes battery life out of the new Acer offering when the battery life was claimed to be 10 hours.
A review of the same machine by Tech Radar in the UK gave the notebook three out of five. They also backed up the Financial Review when it came to battery life.
TR said of the AMD T-50 processor, which is a new member of the AMD Fusion processor family, that the dual-core processor running at 1GHz, was a little underpowered compared to most normal notebooks, managing a score of 0.33pts in Cinebench 11 and 1.97fps using the X264 HD benchmark.
They said that raw processor power has been sacrificed in order to keep the power usage down, and AMD claims a thermal design power (or TDP) of just 9W for the T-50.
That said, we only managed four and a quarter hours of battery life (258 minutes to be exact), out of the Iconia Tab W500 when playing back HD movies. You’ll get up to twice that with less demanding tasks, but we would have expected more from the machine.
IT Pro in the UK said that the most immediately noticeable thing about the W500 is its weight. At just under 950g it’s very heavy for a tablet and is roughly a third heavier than the 601g iPad 2. This heftiness makes holding it a strain even after short periods of time, especially single handed. It’s still lightweight enough to carry around easily in a bag though.
CNet in the UK said that the Acer software is pretty slick, and in fact it’s Windows that lets the side down. Windows 7 supports tapping and multi-touch gestures on the screen, but it’s not specifically designed for touch interaction. Icons and menus that are fine for clicking with a mouse are often small and fiddly for fingers.