When you think of a tablet that offers an attached keyboard, chances are your thoughts go immediately to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and its rapidly upcoming successor, the Asus Transformer Prime. But there’s another one, fairly recently released, that’s slipped more than a few people’s notice, and if you’re looking for a very portable, if not necessarily very powerful, portable computing solution for your small business, then you may want to have a look at the Acer Iconia W500.
The Acer Iconia W500 will offer up a 10.1 inch screen, and bring in either Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Professional. Whatever version you get, you’ll also get two gigs of RAM and a 32 gig solid state drive. Better yet, you’ll also get a dual core C-50 processor running at one GHz, which is going to give you many of the same features as a regular laptop.
The up side to the Acer Iconia W500 is much like all the other tablets out there. It’s great for presentations on the go, and if you’re worried about being unfamiliar with the operating system, for most people, it doesn’t get much more familiar than Windows. You’ll also do a bit better on cost than in some cases, with one of these selling for as little as $390, depending on where you look.
The down side, meanwhile, is stark and significant. Basically, you’re dealing with a tablet that was starting to release six months ago. It’s being rapidly swamped by most everything else out there, and will find itself hard pressed to compete with lower-cost alternatives like the Asus line, among others, as well as higher-performance hardware like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Motorola Xoom 2, and the upcoming (but still a little under a year out) iPad 3.
Basically, you’re probably going to be able to do better here. If you need something more powerful, you can find it. If you need something more budget-appropriate, you can find it. Basically, the Acer Iconia W500 no longer fits in fish nor fowl nor good red meat, and it shows against the current crop of tablets.