Why the Acer W700 isn’t the Windows 8 tablet you want
A customer asked me after a succesful Windows 8 migration if the new Windows 8 tablets can be a good replacement for the iPad.
The decision was made for the Acer Iconia W700 tablet. This tablet runs Windows 8 and because of this all Windows application should be able to run on this tablet.
I’m nog going to write a review or unboxing article. You can find enough of them on internet. I’m going to focus on the professional office usage.
The first thing what is noticing my attention is the professional and decent look of the tablet. Unfortunately this cannot be said about the dockingstation. Sliding the tablet in and out the dockingstation is a real hassle and took even some force to do. I asked several users to try and they didn’t dare to use the necessary force to take it out of the docking. Slide it in the docking was a hassle as well. The connectors were some millimeters different in the docking and tablet which resulted in this annoying swap procedure. A real fail IMHO.
The next issue was that the tablet needs Windows 8 Pro because they had to be able to logon a domain. Weird thing is that an upgrade of Windows XP or higher to Windows 8 Pro cost you in the Netherlands via the webshop of Microsoft € 29,95. Now I was only able to choose the Windows 8 Pro Media Pack for € 59,95 while in the US webshop you can choose to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8 Pro for $ 39,95. We only need Pro because of logon a domain and we didn’t need the media center. When starting the W700 the free disk space was 35.8 GB. After installing this update it was 35.5 GB. 300 MB so that wasn’t that bad. But 35.5 GB free for a product that markets it’s as 64GB version is a bit… disappointing. We did eventually bought the pack for € 59,95 as we need the domain feature.
Now was the time for the real testing. I have to say that the i3 did it’s work fast and the SSD was also working fast which makes the system run smoothly.
I noticed that few times the WiFi connection was lost. I took other WiFi routers but still the wireless connection disappeared every 10-15 minutes. Not nice in a professional environment.
Speed testing showed the W700 via WiFi on www.speedtest.net doing 48 Mbit/s download and 9,8 Mbit/s upload which I rarely saw on a netbook or tablet. Only sad it isn’t stable, which is more important. You can see the potential of Windows 8 here. Running Internet Explorer with Adobe Flash on website running smoothly was impressive.
At the moment the W700 was in the domain I was unable to run Acer Ring, it stops with an error. Pitty. I think something to do with permissions. Internet Explorer also closed 2 times with an error while working.
Not really a stable system if you are asking me. I believe that this can be solved by fine tuning the system and eventually upgrading some drivers.
The things which cannot be neglected are the design limitations. I don’t want to call it design mistakes but surely Acer didn’t think about this serious. How can it happen I have this issues after working with the W700 after a few hours. Don’t they test their products by normal users? Also those review sites lack this IMHO. Are the people afraid to give honest reviews nowadays?
The dockingstation issue gave some irritation when you want the W700 often to on the road. Even worse are the fans. On the internet a lot of reviewers wrote they weren’t noticeable. I think those people are deaf. The noise was giving me a flashback on the notebook of 5 years ago. Reading quitly a book isn’t an options with this annoying noise. Even not when I choose the energy profile energy saving. Than I noticed the worst issue…. When you use the W700 in portrait mode you holding the tablet with both hands and your right hand is blocking 1 fan which you will notice fast by getting really warm soon, within 5 minutes working. Not handy when reading a book. A real fail.
During testing the connection failed several times so I was considering a negative advice. This would give a lot of misery in words of supporting this device.
When the network disappeared and the icons on the desktop as result the only solution you have to get back your icons is pressing F5 (refresh).
I’ve searched and searched but was not able to find functions keys on the soft keyboard on the tablet. I had to fall back to the supplied Acer bluetooth keyboard which is working well. But I had to think immediately that it was mandatory to be able to working mobile with the Acer W700. (update: I found a setting to enable the function keys, hidden in settings, normal users are not able to find this easily. Google results with solutions now appear online).
I was now sure. I didn’t want to burn my fingers on this baby. The user had to live with compromises, lot’s of them. The iPad is for now the most stable solution.
I said I will give it another chance soon. Microsoft Surface Pro will be released in januari 2013. Maybe it’s all better made than at Acer. We will see.
Paulo Coelho Manuscript uit Accra
I just finished reading Paulo Coelho his latest book ‘Manuscript uit Accra’ which is a Dutch version of ‘Manuscript found in Accra’. I true fancy Paulo Coelho his books.
Can you compare this book with his previous released books? I don’t think so. It’s written from a different perspective.
When I start reading it I was thinking which path does he going to but fast I was taken into the story like Coelho can do. He writes about life and all questions about it. Happiness, love, sex, lost, success, fear and believe are written in a descriptive and relativistic manner. A lot of issues will sound familiar but he knows how to write it down with a little more detail so the words choosen is better than as I would have try to explain it. Well done.
It is one of the thinnest book I’ve read from Paulo. I finished it really fast. However it’s in my personal favorites top 5 of his books. I don’t think it will become a top 4 book. Maybe after a while when I thought more about it this opinion can change but at the moment I feel it’s more number 4 or 5. In a while I will publish my top 10 here.
The wisdom discussed in Manuscript from Accra are simple but very aptly described. He offers no solutions but by reading the book he offers perspectives which you can decide yourself to do something or not do anything.
Order here Manuscript uit Accra via BOL.com
I would like to thank Paulo Coelho for again writing a beautiful book. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Dutch Publisher Arbeiderspers for publish the book this fast in the Netherlands. Last but not least I want to thank Piet Janssen for translating the original book from Brasilian to Dutch in such fast notice and he did a good job. All these people did a lot of work to make it possible that this book came uit and we were able to read Manuscript uit Accra in Dutch. I enjoyed it a lot. I will also read th English version.
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User experience iPhone4 vs SGS3
Time flies when your having fun. I’m using now the Samsung Galaxy SIII with Android 4.0 for a week. I promoted the iPhone4 (and iPad) a lot and even created an app for it, a BMI calculator.
I’m going to mention the features and curiosities which I experienced in the first week of the SGS3 (Android 4.0) compared to what I was used to with the iPhone4 (iOS 5.1.1.)
S Voice is Samsungs answer to Siri of Apple. The iPhone4 has no official support to run Siri but I was able to run it due it was jailbroken. Siri was working great while S Voice was running not that well…. a lot of tests resulted in faulty results while Siri gave a good percentage of success, almost perfect. The reaction of S Voice was really slow. I also noticed Samsung added their Google Adsense Publisher code in the SERPs…
1 – 0 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
The screen is really sharp on the SGS3. Nothing to complain you would suggest. I have a minor thing to nag about. Both phones, the SGS3 and the iPhone4, are now depending of swiping. I found the SGS3 swipping a little bit more harder to do than on the iPhone4. On the SGS3 it feels like you are scrubbing your fingers on bad paper/rubber while the iPhone4 feels smooth and fast. Don’t get me wrong. Both work well but the SGS3 feels a bit less than the iPhone4.
2 -0 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
iCloud vs Dropbox
Last week Dropbox released a new app for iOS (Apple) which also supported now CameraUploads. The integration of Dropbox in Android offers more features than in iOS. The bonus on the SGS3 is that Samsung offers you a dropbox upgrade for free of 50GB (free for 2 years). I have to admit that synchronising between multiple devices worked like a charm.
2 – 1 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
Lately almost all apps are released for iOS (Apple App Store) and Android (Google’s Play). A lot of Dutch Apps are on both platforms available. This is were both platforms are different than Nokia and Blackberry. There is a difference between both platforms. Android offers networktools which Apple doesn’t allow in their app store. A lot of apps of Android can share information between eachother while Apple doesn’t allow this kind of integration in iOS. The feature I really liked was the posibility to install apps via Google Play with your browser and sending the app to download and install on your Android device. This kind of pushing an app to your phone was really a nice option to use and test multiple apps.
2 – 2 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
Just when I had the SGS3 I was amazed by Chrome on Android. The ability to synchronise and the speed was a good surprise. This works really good on the SGS3. Since some days Chrome is also available for the iPhone/iPad. I played with both. Nice is the option to synchronise. Sadly due to Apples restrictions the Webkit extensions of iOS not really fast. Some sites were loading slower than Safari. The user conveniency is really a plus for the iPhone/iPad compared to Safari. Android is running Chrome faster and more flexible because of it’s Google’s heritage.
2 – 3 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
In the Netherlands we use still teletext services. This one is the Dutch public broadcast service of teletext on your smartphone. A simple and easy to use app but very popular. The funny thing is that the iOS version is really nice to use and to choose pages with touchscreen while the Android is really bad app. I suppose they will solve this in future releases. The user experience is really bad on the Android version. Pity.
3 – 3 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
I’ve worked for a week with the SGS3 and I have to say that the iPhone4 (and iPad) with iOS 5.1.1. much better scores on being user-friendly. Everything works always with the same speed. I saw on the SGS3 slowdown on moments I couldn’t explain it, like going to the mainmenu. Strange for a smartphone with 1 GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores. In that perspective isn’t the iPhone4 with 1 CPU core not bad at all or do I have to say really good..
4 – 3 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
Battery life can be explained in 1 word : disappointing. Was I able with the iPhone4 to do a lot of things per day on 1 battery charge cycle. Most of the times I managed to look for my charger on the very end of the day. 1 time it happened I went out on 06.00am and didn’t make it in time for the charger. The SGS3 is really a battery eating machine. Even on energy saving mode I don’t get it to the evening. Perhaps I can tweak this but the iPhone shows that in essention it’s better balanced for normal users their battery expectations that the SGS3 does.
5 – 3 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
With the release of iOS 5 Apple had suddenly a nice feature. Directly from the lockscreen users were able to call the camera app without entered a code. 1 simple swipe and you opened your camera app. Really handy. I miss this feature on Android. Because of security policies on the Exchange-server I’m mandatory to use a good password. In Android this is annoying if you want to make a photo. I tried it several times and the fasted I had my camera app on the SGS3 opened was in 5.6 seconds and slowest in 7.4 seconds. On the iPhone4 this is in… 1 swipe… ready… Is a major difference in time and actions. Also a nice feature on the iPhone is that you can control your musicplayer via the lockscreen without the need of entering your codes, which is not possible with SGS3 with android out of the box.
6 – 3 iPhone 4 vs SGS3
Which phone do I finally choose? I will go for the Samsung Galaxy SIII. This phone is new. Technical specifications are really good. The apps are coming but also the tweaks. Apple fooled me too long (front/back camera specs). Never an iPhone for me? No, that’s not what I said.