Technology

Purchased my first Windows tablet, an Acer W500

By 27th April 2013 2 Comments
Acer Iconia

Acer Iconia

I went and bought myself an Acer Iconia Windows tablet and I must say, I’m glad I got it. I bought the tablet off eBay so I got it at a reasonable price and although it being used, the condition is perfect. It is like the person who sold it hadn’t even used it.

The tablet came in the post the day after I purchased it and I just had to play with it before going to work! The tablet is running Windows 8 and for the specifications of this tablet, it runs very well. The multi-touch screen is also very responsive. It feels a lot smoother than my iPad 2.

I’ve only had the tablet for just over 24 hours now, but I can already give some great feedback about using Windows 8 and a tablet device. Here is my list of things I like about Windows 8 on a touch screen device:

  • Comparing the Windows 8 tablet to my iPad, I feel that there is a lot more in Windows 8. There isn’t as many apps, but I can go ahead and load up my developer tools or Photoshop and do things I can normally do with a PC with the added bonus of the Start Screen and Windows Store apps. You’re getting two for the price of one.
  • Before anyone complains saying developing on a tablet is stupid, well the Windows 8 tablets have USB ports, Bluetooth and the ability to dock into a keyboard meaning I can connect up a mouse and just use it like a PC when I’m working.
  • Gestures are easy. I never understood the point of iPad having 4 finger gestures and the way that you do the gestures just seems weird on it. On Windows 8 however, they way you switch apps, close apps and bring up the menus is great. Even with multi-touch trackpads on laptops, you can do these gestures with Windows 8.
  • I really like how your settings from your PCs are synced. I’ve been using Windows 8 on my desktop PC for sometime now and have everything how I like it in terms of settings. When I signed into the Windows 8 tablet after booting it up, it just synchronised all of those settings from my PC to the device.
  • I can debug apps on it! Its great being able to develop Windows 8 apps but not so that you won’t be able to test them on the devices they are probably going to be used the most. I didn’t buy the tablet to debug apps on, I did actually buy it because I needed a new laptop or tablet for doing lecture notes on as well as having fun with entertainment and game apps. Although developing with the emulator is great, it doesn’t give you the experience of the hardware on a tablet.
  • Windows 8 allows for external storage meaning I can just keep my documents, music and videos in my SkyDrive account. Not only does my Acer have access to SkyDrive through the Windows 8 app, I can use the USBs to store data on external hard drives and it also has an expansion slot for an SDHC memory card. Plus the device I have also has a 32GB SSD which is still larger than the storage I have on the iPad. I know you can buy iPads with greater hard disk space, but the brand new price of a 16GB iPad is the same price for a 32GB Windows 8 tablet (on average).
  • The tablet has two HD cameras on the back and front. Although I don’t think I will be taking too many pictures with my tablet as my Nokia Lumia 920 has an awesome camera, for using Skype its pretty good. I don’t think the cameras will get much use, but they are better than the cameras on the iPad…

I don’t intend on getting rid of my iPad though. I know I said back in past posts that I wanted to trade it in for a Windows 8 tablet, but I’m going to use the iPad to develop on and let my girlfriend play games she likes on it and the games we like playing together! If developers ever port their games on to Windows 8, we will just swap across to there.

Getting this tablet has also crossed one of my 22 before 22 items off the list!

Author James Croft

James is a senior software developer for Black Marble and Microsoft MVP in Windows Development with over 6 years of experience developing applications for the Windows platform. James’s passion for learning new technologies gives him the opportunities to expose them to the wider community through tutorials, lessons learned and best practices through his online blog site, personal YouTube channel, and local communities through talks at events, schools and universities.

More posts by James Croft

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