Update: It is possible to install Windows 10 on an old, non-updraded Windows 8 PC, with an embedded Windows key, for free. I’ve had one successful case of doing it with the Acer E11
Update: It is possible to install Windows 10 on an old, non-updraded Windows 8 PC, with an embedded Windows key, for free. I’ve had one successful case of doing it with the Acer E11
Update: Sorry folks, looks like this deal was too good to last, it’s sold out!
We love a nice tablet deal from Woot, and today they’re hooking you up with a refurbished Acer Iconia Tab A500 for a mere $299. Woot sells just one item per day and this deal will be gone at 1AM EST (and could possibly sell out before then).
This A500 is the WiFi only variant with 32GB of built-in memory. Out of the box it runs Android Honeycomb 3.1 with a 10.1″ 1280×800 screen, all powered by a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 (250) CPU and 1GB of RAM. For more detailed specifications, check out the Acer Iconia Tab A500 tracking page in our mobile product database. If you’re interested beyond specs, Chippy took the A500 for a test drive and you can find his detailed testing notes here.
Woot is asking $299 for the refurbished WiFi-only Acer Iconia Tab A500. New, the A500 will run you $479 on Amazon, saving you $180 (37%)! This deal will be gone tomorrow and could sell out even before then, so if you’re interested, I hope you’re the decisive type!
With a full HD display – 1920×1280 – the new Acer Iconia Tablet will have a quad core CPU. No information was given but we’re off to see if we can get some hands-on right now.
Up until today we’ve only been able to buy the Wifi version of the Acer Iconica A500 Android tablet here in Australia, but this info received today has announced the availability of the 3G version.
It’s called the Acer Iconia Tab A501 Pro, and the only difference I can see from the A500 is the addition of 3G. Quad band by the looks of it with HSDPA+.
Many of the recently released tablets such as the Acer Iconia Tab A100, the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Toshiba Thrive have been WiFi only. The Samsung Galaxy Tab, the iPad, and a few others have an advantage over these competitor tablets with both WiFi and 3G options. I have felt the loss of it when I moved to the Eee Pad Transformer. Connecting to a MiFi style device or a wireless network is ok when you have time, but nothing beats the simplicity of integradted mobile broadband in my opinion. It’ll hit the shops for around $650 without a contract for the 16GB version, starting tomorrow.
GSM/GPRS: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
HSDPA+: 21 Mbps peak download rating. Actual speeds are less (typical download speeds 550 kbps â€“ 8 Mbps)^
DIMENSIONS: 260mm x 177mm X 13.3mm
WEIGHT: 760 grams
SCREEN: 10.1′ widescreen multi touch display (1280 x 800)
USAGE TIME: Up to 10 hours mobile web surfing, up to 9 hours video on Wi-Fi or listening to music
STANDBY TIME: Up to 250 hours
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 3.0
MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY: 24 Months
Early last week, I received my notification that my HP TouchPad order was going to be one of the final production run we have all heard about, and that it was expected to ship in 6 to 8 weeks. This stuck in my craw for a few reasons. I had seen the charge from HP flutter back and forth between pending and then disappear for several days. I thought HP was actually trying to fulfill my order out of current stock. While the TouchPad is a case outside of the norm, my usual schtick is not to let people hold onto funding for an order for product that I am not going to receive for several weeks. When I put my order into the HP Small & Medium Business site during the TouchPad firesale, I originally received a notice of intended shipment two days later, so I thought I was ordering from stock. None of this is to say that I cancelled my TouchPad order because I felt HP had dropped the ball. I cancelled my order because I had lost interest in the TouchPad in the face of not getting it immediately, and I had other issues to deal with as well.
While I was ecstatic at getting HoneyStreak to run on my Dell Streak 7, the experience was not without its issues. HoneyStreak is a custom ROM that implements Android 3.2 Honeycomb on the Dell Streak 7. The major thing that was corrected was my Streak’s constantly dropping Wi-Fi connection, but I also received a boost in battery life. However, I lost a few things like the external SD card reader. Keeping the Streak 7 as part of my kit became called into greater question as the number of apps that I wanted to run as part of my routine were found to be broken or partially functional under the Honeycomb ROM. I experienced problems with Gallery, IMDb, and then Google Books. At the end of the day, the partial functionality of my collection of apps on the Streak 7 went beyond what I was willing to bear. My plan had been to run HoneyStreak on the device until my TouchPad showed up, then replace the Streak 7 with the TouchPad. When the HP date moved 6 to 8 weeks to the right and my problems with the Streak 7 increased, I decided it was time to make a different call.
Before I go any further, let me say that the issues with HoneyStreak were likely not insurmountable. I did not hit the XDA forums to see what issues others were having or what work-arounds had been figured out. For all I know, there was an updated version of HoneyStreak available. DJ_Steve, the code’s primary author, has been curating the build since he got his hands on 3.x earlier this year. However, the demands of school have been increasing, and, for the devices that I am going to employ, there is just not as much time to tinker. Loading the custom ROM was a cool thing to do during one soft-spot in my summer semester schedule, but I could not afford continuing maintenance and tinkering. I needed something stock, which is really where I live anyway. So my conundrum was: a Dell Streak 7 which was borderline unusable with its stock install, a custom ROM load that was not sufficiently functional when interacting with some of my more important (or at least frequent) apps, and the planned replacement suffering a 6 to 8 week delay in delivery.
The decision I made was to first cancel my HP TouchPad order. I decided I would be better off taking that $150 and putting it towards a device I could get my hands on now. I then ordered an Acer Iconia Tab A100. I was very satisfied with my Acer Iconia Tab A500 so far, so the concept of the same device in a 7-inch form factor was appealing. While I awaited the arrival of the A100 from TigerDirect, I flashed the Streak 7 back to its stock install. Well…almost. I actually replaced some of the image files with some from the Wi-Fi stock install. I am not sure exactly how much difference there is, or if that difference even matters, but I will say that for the short time I had with the Streak 7 after the roll-back, I was no longer seeing the Wi-Fi disconnects that I had been before. I also saw a trend indicating even better battery life than I had seen when the device was running Honeycomb. I can only say that I saw these improvements as trends that hopefully prove to be truly improved functionality on the Streak 7. After the rollback to the stock OS image, I only had about 12 to 14 hours with the device before I handed it off to a potential buyer to demo over the weekend.
You can see and hear some of my early impressions of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 after the first 24 hours of use in the embedded videos below. I do some comparisons between my other two Android tablets, the Motorola Xoom 3G and the Acer Iconia Tab A500. My apologies for the low resolution and framing. The only thing I had available to shoot video with this weekend was my Sony point-and-shoot camera. I have also dropped some pictures in for viewing. So far, I like what the A100 is bringing to the table in its 7-inch form factor. It is a huge improvement over the Streak 7, and a good compliment to my current set of mobile gear options. I will be posting later short-term and long-term reports as the device gets put to more use.
The wait is officially over. Today, Acer announced that the Acer Iconia Tab 100, the first 7” Honeycomb tablet, is available in the US today and will be coming to Canada next month. It haven’t yet found it officially listed for sale on the site of any major retailers (or even on Acer’s own site), but I’d expect it to start popping up later today
We’ve actually known pretty much all there is to know about the Iconia A100 for some time now, other then when it would be launched. Right a the end of the July, we covered a story by Engadget that indicated that the A100 would be available in August, and it seems that they were right on the money.
Speaking of money; it was unclear which capacity the $300 price-point that we heard originally was intended for. Now we’ve got that information officially. Acer is offering an 8GB and 16GB variant of the device. The 8GB has an MSRP of $329 USD and though $329 USD is only $324 CAD, Acer lists the CAD MSRP as $349. For the 16GB version, the MSRP is $349 USD and $399 CAD.
These low initial prices are great as we’ll likely see them come down further relatively soon.
Another good thing is that the Iconia A100 will be shipped with the latest Honeycomb 3.2 installed, which means that, at least for now, customers will be able to enjoy the latest and great version of the OS and not have to worry about whether or not they’ll receive timely updates… yet.
Joanna Stern has some hands-on photos and early impressions over at This is My Next. She’s already reporting some unstable software on the device, which will hopefully get cleared up soon.
I’m still concerned as to whether or not Acer is lying again about the 1080p support on the A100, as they did with the Iconia A500. At launch, Acer claimed that the A500 would be able to do 1080p output even though it actually couldn’t. They promised an update that was supposed to hit in June to include the functionality, but that never came, and to my knowledge, still hasn’t. The press release for the A100 claims 1080p output capability, just like the A500 situation. Time will tell whether or not they are lying again.
Two devices recently stood out as a different kind of productivity solution, both offering the ability to convert between a tablet and a netbook. The choice is between the Asus Eee Pad Transformer and the Acer Iconia W500. The Eee Pad runs Android Honeycomb while the Acer runs windows 7.
Both offer the ability to convert from a 10 inch tablet to a laptop style device with a keyboard and mouse. The Asus has a multitouch trackpad while the Acer has a pointing stick style mouse mover.
The units are comparable in features, specs and pricing. The main difference? Windows versus Android, and perhaps battery life. 4 hours for a tablet is pretty ordinary and no where near the Eee Pad’s 10 to 17 hours as a tablet or attached to the dock.
I miss OneNote and that makes me consider Windows tablets but while I could handle 3-4 hours battery life in the old days I’ve now been spoiled by modern day tablets and even netbooks or smaller latops like the Vaio T series which give 7+ hours easily and sometimes more than 10.
Evernote on Android has come a long way as well and while it lacks some of OneNote’s Office suite integration it is now a much more powerful note-taking tool.
One design issue is that the Acer W500 cannot be folded like a laptop while joined to the dock.You have to detach the tablet part, close the docking connector and then clip the tablet over the keyboard. It seems a little ill thought out and since we’re so used to closing up our devices in this way, it may lead to damage.
I disagree with reviews that argue Windows 7 isn’t touch or tablet friendly and in fact I’d say it is the best windows yet for tablet and touch use. But the Iconia doesn’t have a an active or pen enabled screen. It’s capacitive touch and that removed the last killer feature that would have made me buy it. The strength for me of OneNote on a tablet (and even Office as a suite) is that you can ink in it. Without the ability to use a “proper” pen, the Iconia W500 becomes just another tablet, with less battery life and all the issues of Windows including susceptibility to hacking and virus attacks and lacking the advantages of cheap, productivity enhancing apps. So it’s the Asus transformer for me.
Back in May, I called out Acer for launching their Iconia Tab A500 and advertising that it could do 1080p output when it was actually unable to do so at the time of launch. Their self-imposed deadline for releasing an update to fix this has come and gone with no news from the company.
The Iconia A500 launched back in May and has been rather well received. A number of users how now received the Honeycomb 3.1 update, and while it made some nice improvements, it didn’t enable the claimed 1080p output.
Acer noted in some fine print that the device only supported 720p output through its mini-HDMI port at launch, despite claiming that it can do 1080p output in various marketing materials. The fine print went on to say that an update in June would enable the device to push 1080p video â€“ more than doubling the number of pixels of output â€“ through the mini-HDMI port.
June came and went, and so did July. Now we’re into August, and even after the Honeycomb 3.1 update, we still can’t get the A500 to do true 1080p. That same fine print, claiming that an update will arrive in June, is still present on Acer’s site.
We’re trying to get an official response from Acer, but I must say that I’m just about sick and tired of these unfulfilled update-promises. It’s about time Google get’s its update alliance rolling.
Now I’m wondering whether or not Acer is going to try to pull the same stunt with the upcoming Acer Iconia Tab A100.
Acer’s 7-inch Iconia Tab A100 should be available for purchase in early August, according to Engadget.
The Iconia A100 looks like it will be the first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet to hit the market, come August. It’s also bringing a rather attractive price along with it â€“ $300.
Engadget doesn’t specify whether the information, which they obtained from an email sent to retail partners, indicates if the $300 price point is for the WiFi-only version of the A100, nor does it specify which capacity will be associated with that price.
I’m guessing that $300 will be for a WiFi-only version of the A100 at its lowest-offered capacity, which should be 16GB, if the capacities available with the A500 are anything to go by.
Unfortunately, it looks like the A100 lacks a full-sized USB port, which is one of the big advantages of the 10-inch A500. Still, the A500 has been pretty well received so far, so perhaps it’ll make due even without such convenient USB connectivity.
I still don’t know why the device has a physical home button when Honeycomb has a software home buttonâ€¦.
It has been 3 working days since I started my self-initiated challenge to have my Iconia A500 replace my HP 2730p at work. It took the first day to get it set up and configured, and a second day that I was out sick to really solidify how I was going to run the Acer for the foreseeable future. In that time, I have downloaded and applied the step up to Android 3.1 (the Iconia came stock with 3.0). I have also tested several functions of the various ports. I thought it would be a good time to give a brief synopsis of the story so far. Please note that some of the Carrypad crew have performed these tests in the past, so this is a refresher and a specific update as to how it all appears to be working under Android 3.1. Some of the notes will also reflect my specific perspective from attempting to use the A500 in the enterprise space.
Configuration and Apps: A few notes on my current configurations and why they are what they are for using a tab in the workplace
Homescreens and Calendar: I run fewer apps on the Iconia than I normally do on an Android device. While I use only one homescreen on my iPad, with all apps sorted into folders, and run almost all Widgets on Android homescreens, I have gone back to the function-specific homescreen paradigm on the Iconia. My main page has all of my productivity apps, the Advanced Task Killer widget, and my Calendar widget, which I have sized to its maximum size. I originally thought I would not use the “Iconia Tab” default account that comes already set up in calendar. But because I want to limit the amount of cloud syncing that occurs on this device, I have used this account to enter my daily work meetings. I then keep the calendar view suppressed to only the Iconia Tab account during the work-day, so I am not distracted by future Google appointments from my main account that is also synced with the device.
I keep one homepage for nothing but stickies and Whiteboard Pro tiles. The left-most homescreen has buttons for my weather apps and the Browser widget. These are so I can check weather before my commute home or on travel, and to quickly check tech news over my lunch break. The right-hand homescreen has any media apps that I use to assist me at work: Camera (for taking snaps of whiteboard exercises), Gallery (for viewing those snaps), Music (to work to), Recorder and Voice Recorder (for taking voice memos for myself). This screen also has MailDroid and GMail for checking personal mail over lunch.
I primarily run this device disconnected at work. I boot my hotspot upon arrival, again over lunch, and maybe right before leaving in the evening for a quick connection, minimal sync, and personal email check. Other than that, I keep Wi-Fi off.
Physical Set-Up in the Office: I use a CaseCrown Wood Tablet Stand on my desk to place the Iconia in the corner where my two desks join at a right- angle. While I plan on rotating keyboards and mice, this week I have been using my Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard 6000 and a generic USB laptop mouse, plugged in to a CP Technologies 4-port USB 2.0 Hub. I have been using the Targus Capacitive stylus along with it.
Port Testing and Peripherals: While not all of this has an impact on my use of the Iconia A500 at work, I wanted to note the results of various hook ups I have attempted during initial setup.
Over the last 2 years, I have gone to work almost every day with my HP EliteBook 2730p Tablet PC. It has been a stalwart and constant companion. It has weathered many a day with me at work, both in the office and on travel, both good days and the bad. But at the two year mark, pretty much any device in my den is at risk of being retired, and so, despite my sentimental attachments to it, that time has come for the HP.
Things are different around casa GearWERKZ these days however. I am no longer single. The dog eats through pillows, furniture, and cash faster than I had expected. And a little Jerry or Jerrina (???) is on the way. And I live in a 65 year old house — she’s solid, but she needs work. With all of those dynamics in play, it was a tough sell to put together $1500 for a new Tablet PC , especially when I am no longer the sole signatory on authorizing fiduciary outlays (read: the wife wasn’t going for it).
Besides, I really did not want to just step up to an HP EliteBook 2740p. While the specs on that model are still good, it has been on the market for over a year. And I am a conspicuous consumer. I do care that my gear is near to being the latest and greatest. I was also tired of lugging the HP around to meetings. With the extended battery attached, it was heavier than I liked. The magnetic hasp was starting to become unreliable. Most importantly, the applications I used in Windows were starting to bog down. I love Microsoft OneNote and I am ok with Outlook as an email client. But once you get a notebook full of digital ink, drawings, UML diagrams, and thought bubbles, OneNote gets heavy and can become sluggish. There are extreme moments of fear when the application fades and appends the “Not Responding” tag to the application ribbon. Outlook suffers from the same behavior once .PST files become large.
So, strapped for cash, and fearful that another Windows Tablet PC would become sluggish after several months of use, I decided to take a chance. I was intent on having a slate for easier carriage to meetings, anyway, and there are few affordable ones on the market. I did take some time to look at the Acer Iconia Tab W500, the Fujitsu Q550, and the Motion Computing CL900. As you can see from the links, other members of the tablet community have found these devices lacking for general purpose use. Also add that the CL900 and Q550, the devices I would have preferred in order to get into an active digitizer, are priced on the edge of my desired price range. So, I surveyed the landscape for the tablets on the market and made a decision. As usual, I agonized over it for days, coming up with and assigning values to the variables and use-cases that I developed that I wanted to bound the purchase.
First off, I wanted a new tablet because I did not want to take the time to cull one of my current ones down to just business apps with no games or media content. Plus I wanted to continue using those devices for my own desires, not re-purpose one for work. I considered going with an iPad 2. That scenario would have likely meant using the iPad 2 at home, and re-purposing my current 1st generation iPad for work. I like the productivity apps that I use for iOS. I find Pages and Numbers are better Microsoft Office replicas than Documents-to-Go for Android. One major thing that I needed, though, was the ability to quickly transfer documents to flash-media and pop it into the tablet and go to a meeting. While it is due to change soon, the iPad is still a device that centers around being coupled to a PC or Mac as a parent device. Not a good fit.
That variable pushed me towards looking at the crop of Android tablets that have recently hit the market carrying full-sized ports. I wanted to be able to attach thumb drives, a keyboard and mouse to whatever I chose so a full-sized USB port was a plus. I considered the Acer Eee Pad Transformer, the Toshiba Thrive, and my eventual pick, the Acer Iconia Tab A500.
I was somewhat pushed in this direction by availability and time. My wife is out teaching summer camp this week, so I wanted a device quickly that I could spend the full week working with. My work-provided laptop’s hard drive died last Friday, so I wanted a personal device quickly that I could start using to decouple myself from my work IT architecture and be able to work independently. I used to do this with the EliteBook, but it has bogged down so much in the last six months that I was working on it less and less. Staples has a good deal going now with an online coupon that gives customers $100 off an all tablets except the HP TouchPad (until July 31st). Unfortunately, neither my local Staples nor the one in my company’s city carries the Eee Pad Transformer or the Thrive. I am pinched on time this week while I am filling in for my boss, so a mid-day excursion to Best Buy, which does not open until 10AM, was not feasible.
The Wal-Mart down the street, however, is open 24 hours a day and I had seen Iconia’s on the shelf on Sunday. While it lacks the hardware keyboard of the Transformer, and the full-sized SD card slot of the Thrive, I was comfortable with the choice. I was also concerned about how much attention the tablet might attract. I do not mind using my gadgets at work, but I do not like them being a distraction in board meetings, especially when I am not the senior person at the meeting. The subdued silver tone of the Iconia matches the laptops we are currently issuing, and so I am hoping it will fly underneath the radar.
I have only used it one day and then only within the confines of my own office. Primary apps in play right now are Documents-to-Go, Thinking Space Pro, and Whiteboard Pro. If you use mind-maps and thought bubbles to model use-cases, decision forks, activity and sequence diagrams, I would highly recommend checking out Thinking Space (free version). Much like OneNote, it helps me think through problems in an objective manner.
I also expect to get a lot of mileage out of Project Scheduler and Task List. I still have some hunting to do for other productivity apps and enterprise focused software. I keep crusading that tablets are first and foremost productivity devices for me while media consumption is secondary. Yet, a lot of the focus in forum threads and other media outlets continues to be insistence that tablets are only good for consumption. I have challenged this concept before, but deploying the Iconia Tab to my work space will be the furthest extent to which I have pushed this concept.
I will be penning periodic reports on Carrypad as to how this whole experiment goes. I acknowledge the fact that it might fail. I tried this a few years ago with a Samsung Q1b and failed miserably. When I upgraded to a Q1 Ultra Premium, I was too gun-shy from the last experience to give it another go. This time around, product availability and a lack of funds has made necessity the mother of invention. I also figured that if it doesn’t work out, I will certainly use the Iconia for my own personal projects. But let’s hope it does indeed work out. If nothing else, at least the reports might be a good source of a real-world documentation of deploying an Android Tablet to the enterprise space, which we hope will of use to our readership.
Acer has recently announced the addition of a MeeGo based tablet, the M500 to its Iconia tablet range at Computex 2011.
Judging from the available pictures and videos of the Iconia M500 [tracking page], it bears a striking physical resemblance to it’s Android stable-mate, the A500, and has the same 10.1 inch 1280×800 resolution screen.
The key difference is that it has a Intel based Moorestown processor under the hood.
There is no information on the M500’s battery life at the moment — I will be interested to how good the battery life will be running MeeGo on a Moorestown processor. Chippy’s written a interesting article on battery life advantages of MeeGo and Android running on the Moorestown platform that’s a good read.
The M500 offers a MeeGo driven user interface which Acer is calling a ‘snackable UI’. This is essentially a circular shape launcher widget (pictured above) that can be used to access and operate applications such as a browser or a music player. What I find unique is that the user touches the screen using five fingers in a circular shape (see picture below) in order to invoke the widget.
The M500 uses a widget based homepage and the eye candy offering is live widgets meaning that each widget will present its content when activated, allowing the user to view multiple live widgets content at a glance. Some notable widgets that were showcased during the Computex demos were for photo, video, calendar, social network feeds and time.
Acer has yet to announced a firm date for M500’s release and likewise, pricing is not known. Let’s hope that it will not be too far off the sub $500 mark of the A500.