Acer Iconia Tab W500 goes with Windows 7

The tablet computing market might be all about the iPad, but Acer is betting there are some people out there who want the utility of a tablet with the business and software capability of a Windows machine—and hopes the Acer Iconia Tab W500 will fit the bill. Built around a 10.1-inch display, the convertible tablet weighs just 2.14 pounds and features a separate docking keyboard, enabling users to tap into a world of Windows software without trying to manage everything via a touch interface.

Acer Iconia Tab W500 (with keyboard)

“The Acer Iconia Tab W500 is the perfect tablet for people who want the touch capabilities that are so natural and efficient on the go, but also need a Windows environment to access productivity applications for work and school,” said Acer America senior product marketing manager Eric Ackerson, in a statement. “So much of what we’re doing on the go is accessing information and consuming content in cloud-based applications [..] The Acer Iconia Tab W500 is the ultimate reflection of our lives—able to multitask between work and fun, and ready at a moment’s notice.”

The Iconia Tab W500 features a 10.1-inch 1,280 by 800-pixel LED backlit display and is powered by an AMD C-50 processor with ATI Radeon HD 6250 graphics. The tablets sport 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of solid-state storage, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, and two 1.3 megapixel webcams (front and back) for taking pictures and using video chat. Like other Acer Iconia products, the tablet features the “Acer Ring,” a touch-based interface that enables users to move between applications and services using a gesture interface—the tablet also features Acer applications for keeping up with social networking sites, touch-driven media applications, and scrapbooking utilities.

Acer Iconia Tab W500

The Iconia Tab W500’s unique feature, however, is the docking keyboard: for users who need to manage Windows with a more-traditional interface—and, given Windows 7’s touch capabilities, that would be most people—users can dock to a full-sized chiclet keyboard, which connects via USB and snaps into place with hidden magnets. The keyboard holds the tablet at a comfortable angle, and also offers expanding connectivity for the W500, including onboard Ethernet and a USB port for external devices like storage or printers. The keyboard adds an additional 1.34 pounds to the W500 setup, but for people who need Windows, that’s a small price to pay. When folks want entertainment, there’s an HDMI port that can be used to push 1080p content to a high-definition display.

The Acer Iconia Tab W500 will initially be available in two configurations: the W500-BZ467 sports Windows 7 Home Premium and has a suggested price of $549.99, and the W500-BZ841 comes with Windows 7 Professional and has a suggested price of $619.00. Both should be available at U.S. retailers now.

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