326 of 364 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
This tablet is pretty good on paper. As much screen resolution as a normal 12-14" laptop, a "decent" netbook processor, 8 hour battery life, and "free" Office 2013 (if you don't already own a copy already and want it, it makes the price of this tablet worthwhile). All the things that "should" make for a decent tablet, right? I've been stalking this tablet for months now, and preordered it the very hour it popped up on Amazon, and I finally got it on my doorstep this afternoon. What should have been a blissful after lunch experience suddenly became a headache.
Out-of-box Windows Setup uses the customized Acer "green" interface. It was at this point that it became clear that this tablet must sport a TN panel -- the green text looked almost checkered from bad flickering, and what is supposed to be a solid green background was a gradient due to the horrible viewing angles. It was almost black past the 50% point to the right. I had read other Acer tablets use an IPS panel, so I had great expectations. They were horrifically shattered. Not only was this not an IPS panel, but it's the worst TN panel I've owned in over a decade.
Acer decided to orient the panel to the portrait experience with the Windows physical button on the bottom. This makes landscape usage of the device look horrid, and only acceptable-looking when cocking your head 10-20 degrees to the right of the screen. Windows desktop is hardly usable at 800px wide in portrait mode, so there is no winning that way either. Increasing to max brightness alleviates some of the viewing angle issue, but that's not always a satisfactory answer.
Since your left and right eyes are technically viewing the panel from different angles, they each see different shades of colors for the same pixel due to poor viewing angles. This can give your brain a very disturbing sensation as it just doesn't look normal. You can reduce this issue by increasing the distance to your tablet (as per basic trigonometry, this reduces the viewing angle disparity between your left/right eyes) -- but good luck doing that with an 8" screen and tiny UI elements.
Limited viewing angles are one thing. Grainy text from flickering deep colors is yet another thing. This panel also suffers one last critical flaw: it uses a cheap grainy film below the digitizer. It's so pronounced on white web pages that my eyes get caught looking at the grains while scrolling instead of the text. I've seen some screen protectors make the screen rainbow and grainy, but not quite this bad.
4KB: 4.8MB/s Write, 16.1MB/s Read
64KB: 11.2MB/s Write, 64.3MB/s Read
1MB: 34.0MB/s Write, 82.3MB/s Read
Anything higher than 1MB transfer size didn't improve the rate. This puts the internal flash storage slower than a typical 5400RPM drive for raw transfer, and seek times were mediocre on average. It's nothing to write home about, and almost all Windows-based tablets in this price range have similarly performing internal flash storage, so this wasn't surprising.
Weak signal (2-3 bars most of the time) ~10ft from the access point, 1 sheetrock wall in between. None of my other devices have signal drops that bad. File transfer speed from a local NAS from that distance was ~3MB/s.
With the Atom Z2760, I knew I was getting less power than my 2010 MacBook Air 11". I read tons of reviews saying that it's vastly improved and performance is smooth. I won't argue that a lot of Windows 8 "Metro" UI apps work sufficiently fast, as expected. A lot of it works faster than my Nexus 7 or my iPad Mini for similar functions, since the CPU is indeed faster than those. But the appeal of this tablet isn't to run watered-down RT-style apps. It's the ability to run legacy apps, like Office. So I timed some core functions:
Boot: 31.3 seconds
Word: 16.2 seconds first time, 7.1 seconds second time (cached)
Excel: 7.2 seconds (Office framework must have been cached from Word)
Visual Studio 2012 Express (WD): 13.2 seconds
Visual Studio 2012 Express Web: Creating an MVC4 "Internet" Project: 58 seconds; First-time project "Run" to page load: 37 seconds
Numerically, it's slightly faster than my 2007 Eee's. Compared to recent cheap laptops? Slow. Compared to my primary retina MacBook Pro 15? Dog slow. But that's not the metric by which I'm judging this tablet by, so I'm not going to dock any points for the relatively sluggish CPU. I already knew that before buying this tablet. I just wish that it was a bit faster than this, but what can you expect from this price point? Newer CPU generations have better performance, so we'll see how that improves things in the future, I guess.
What DOES bother me, however, is the bluetooth performance. On 3 of my bluetooth keyboards, I can easily out-type how fast the tablet can keep up with the input. And when that happens, the bluetooth keyboards will all repeat characters liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike thiisssssssss. I've always wondered if it's my particular keyboards (2 Logitech ones, and an AmazonBasics one) or the host tablet, because I've had it do it on my Nexus and my iPad before, too -- just when the CPU is bogged down. Given how small the tablet is, it's rather hard to be too productive on a tiny on-screen keyboard. It's doable, but I still prefer my bluetooth keyboard.
Edit: I just researched it, and apparently, using a Bluetooth mouse in conjunction with the keyboards will cause the repeating to happen, or get worse. I guess I'll have to go buy a micro-USB adapter for this.
To wrap it up, this is still a decent tablet, if you must have portable device that can run all your desktop apps. It's slow, but it'll still get the job done in a reasonable amount of time. Patience not included. If your CPU requirements are on the low end, you could definitely get away with hooking up a keyboard+mouse + HDMI display, and make it a portable desktop that you can "undock" and take with you lightly. Just make sure you can tolerate bad quality displays, or your eyes will probably be hurting after prolonged use.
My particular unit had a speaker issue - sounds like loose cabling or something, but even at 100%, I can only hear faint sounds, along with some serious fuzzy electronic noise. If I plug in headphones, it works perfectly, so I'm guessing it's just a speaker cabling/audio chipset issue. So quality control was really poor overall for this product, in my opinion.
Edit: In the end, I couldn't tolerate the display giving me a headache, and the sound issue made for bad usability overall. It went back to Amazon, unfortunately. I wanted it to work out, but there were too many problems.
Thanks for reading my review! I hope some of it was useful.
115 of 126 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I have installed Windows 8.1 (went from Preview to full), it was a pain to upgrade [this is not the tablet's problem], it took forever to download and install and it lost numerous settings and apps once the update finally installed. I got it installed and everything was working fine and the Start button started working and I have full use of snapping apps side by side. Windows 8.1 added some really nice features so I recommend updating. A strange thing is that Office was no longer activated after updating, I had to find the product key (Windows/Office that was in the box) and used it to reactive Office [chose use Product Key instead of account]. After that, Office seems happy. I also had to disable some of the syncing features, since I started finding my laptop settings were showing up on this tablet and the tablet settings were showing up on my laptop, which was annoying. I disabled the syncing settings option in the Settings [Start menu style settings] and did this to both machines to stop the settings from syncing.
I like this tablet. It is a good size where you can easily take it along with you and hold it in one hand comfortably. It feels sturdy and solid and does not fill hollow or flimsy like some cheaper items. Setup is easy with a few questions you have it setup. I purchased the Protective Case from a local office store (I looked at the keyboard and it is expensive and makes it so much larger that I do not like it, I did get a BlueTooth keyboard for typing and already had a BlueTooth mouse that pairs easily and works well, however, I only use them when I know I will be sitting and can use it like a laptop). I really like the protective case. It is like a simple snap on around the edges (does not interfere with pulling in from the edges) and closes like a book, wraps around for holding like a tablet and also allows for it to stand upright at two different angles (depending on where you are using it).
I set the device up and removed all the junk that Acer installed (this is the case with any Windows computer you spend the first few hours uninstalling the junk from the manufacture). I was surprised to see a recovery disk in the packaging since you never see those anymore, but I guess due to storage space they could not have a partition. Once I got the computer clean of the junkware it had 11 GB free (Windows takes up a lot of space!!!!). Oddly enough I updated to Windows 8.1 Preview and after that I had around 14GB of space... The storage space is very small and you will need more. I use Dropbox (I would like to use Skydrive but it does not support Symbolic Links on Mac) and I used the Desktop version so I can have my files sync with the tablet (so they are on it even when I am not online, like in the Windows app version). I also have a 32GB SD card that I used for Video, Music, Photos (I changed my User Folder settings to point all of these to the SD card; and my Dropbox's Document folder is set as the Documents folder for my user account). I will note it is not recommended to have Dropbox use the Removable Media for the folder (it will not let you, but you could trick it using a Symlink) since if you were to remove the SD card Dropbox would think that all of those files have been deleted and would probably remove them from the Dropbox).
This unit also included Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) which can be activated by opening the Office Activation and choosing I have a Product Key and entering the Key on the card that was in the box. After about 15 minutes Office was installed and the programs were in the Start Menu. They all work nice and it brought over my look and feel from my Office 2013 Professional from my other computer. Home/Student does not include Outlook (have not used since 2003), Access (not much use on a screen this size), and Publisher (also not much use on this size of screen). The Office programs work great and saves some money verse buying them separately (they are the full not the annual subscription).
The Windows interface is easy to use and when in the Start menu apps is super friendly to touch. I have a stylus that I use (bought separately) which makes things a tad easier (it works great with your finger, but I just prefer the feel of a Stylus). Many apps (like Office) take you to desktop mode and I find it pretty easy to use, I do not see much problem using stuff in the desktop mode. The use is intuitive, you do have to tell it to bring up the keyboard (button on the task bar), but that is simple enough. The benefit of having a full computer compensates for this in my opinion.
When I first got it I tried to use the side by side full screen apps, but could not get them to snap by each other. Some said this is not possible online due to screen size, however, I found that this feature is in Windows 8.1 (not out yet). I went ahead and installed Windows 8.1 Preview (free update) which now lets me use side by side and it works great. I can even side by side Internet Explorer windows to browse two web pages. You can just drag apps to the right side and than resize using middle bar. It is super easy and works well. You can have video playing on one side and check email on the other or any combination. So far every app I have tried works fine in this mode (Microsoft and high end apps seem to work even better in this mode, since they seem to be smart and change layout when in this to be more productive). I highly recommend updating to Windows 8.1 Preview (and Windows 8.1 when it is out), it makes this tablet so much better and adds all the Windows features that you see on TV. I have not had any issue and really love the update. A few other changes include System Settings app having full power like Control Panel, and improvements to some system apps - the main thing is support for snapping apps side by side on smaller tablets.
I have found some annoying things, the Mail app is OK, but not great! It does not allow me to setup my Google Apps account as Exchange ActiveSync (it blocks with a message when I put in m.google.com as the server, however, I have a Google Apps for Education account which was not part of the end of support for ActiveSync, so it would work if the Mail app would let it go through instead of trying to be smart. Second I use iCloud and the Mail app does not like syncing (Push works occasionally) the iCloud IMAP settings, it works sometimes than will not find new mail... Calendar and Contacts will not Sync with iCloud since they only want to deal with Microsoft Services; some support for other clients should be added to support more users.
Some more serious issues includes a Sound problem. Sometimes the sound is great when streaming Slacker or other apps, but sometimes you can barely hear it. For example listening to Pandora through Internet Explorer sounds like the volume in on 20 (even though it is all on full) and listening to Slacker radio sounds like it is on full blast. I do not know why some apps and programs are so low sounding and some sound proper. I believe this is an issue with how some Windows apps are handing the drivers for tablets vs full (speculation). Hopefully this will be fixed soon. I will note that this does not seem to matter when using Headphones, only the built in speakers (which makes me question the driver issue theory...)
The screen is not bad. It has a nice resolution for a screen this size and is easy to read and and use. However, it had this pixeled dot look on top of colors and images (like looking through a matted screen protector). When you look close at the screen (especially white) you will notice these odd pixels that are rainbow colored throughout. They are not that noticeable, but if you look at screens a lot like I do the smallest problem is noticeable. It is not bad, but it is noticeable and I wanted to let you know. The screen also does not have a wide viewing angle. You do have to look at it straight on or just about 50 degrees either way before the colors start to look off and the glare it too much to see through. I do not think this is a big problem since a tablet this size you will be looking at straight on. And will have it no more than 2-3 feet away since the text would be too small to read.
The screen's brightness is very good and it is auto bright (which is nice), however, the detector is on the left side and if you are holding your hand on the left side (when holding tablet sideways) you will notice when you move your hand that it will change brightness as your hand goes over it. It should probably have a timeout or a second light detector at the top (so their is one top landscape and portrait to accommodate people holding on either side). The screen is easy to see and the brightness is excellent. I will note that it does have a bad glare so try to avoid having a bright light behind you or you will just see your silhouette on the screen. Not a big problem, but in really heavy headlight you start to see yourself more than the screen...
The app store for Windows is still pretty new and their are not as many apps as you would hope, but since you can use this as a full computer you can always install x86 apps or use web services in Chrome or Internet Explorer. Their will probably be more apps in the future. It would be a nice change if support for running Windows Phone apps came to Windows 8 since their is a nice market their, and I would not think it would be difficult since they both are Silverlight based and could run with a small change to the system.
The device has a Micro USB and Micro HDMI port. I have no use for these since I do not have an adapter. They are cheap and I will get one in the future so I can plug in normal size USB devices and a converter for HDMI. I think the HDMI would be useful for going to projectors or displays for larger screens, and I think the USB is good for data transfer and plugging in devices for quick use. I wish they included a full USB and HDMI port for this (or at least an adapter) but I understand the desire to be thin and light over useful (that seems to be a trend in tech right now). If you ever have to recover you will need to get a USB adapter to plug in a USB DVD drive to run the recovery disk.
The battery is great and has a long life. I cannot say how long since it usually never gets below 80% after a few hours of use, but from what I see it would last the whole day with no problem (depending on how process intensive the task is).
I like how it handles locking itself. I like the ability to use a PIN for a password (the picture is a neat idea, but a picture is too intuitive to what people would probably use, so it is not too secure). I wish that BitLocker was included (only in Pro) since if the device was stolen you would not have to worry too much about the data on the drive, however, it is not... I think that an encryption would be nice for Windows 8 tablets, and that would be a nice feature to add (although that is why they want you to go Pro), I looked into upgrading, but the Windows AnyTime upgrade said that I cannot; I have a license for Pro, but I am not sure if I can upgrade the tablet with that license since the license sticker that was included was for Windows 8 SmScrn Touch w/H&S 2013, so I am not sure what that is (assuming something new for Small Screens with Touch) and if a Pro upgrade can over that (or if I would lose Office...). Not worth the risk just for BitLocker.
In the end I really like this tablet. It has a few shortcomings, but in all it is a great tablet. In my opinion it is the best tablet choice for more productive users on a budget. The full Windows 8 OS (32bit) is great for making this more than a tablet and more like a full computer. The 8" screen makes it easier to hold and carry when you do not want to bring the laptop and it is a great companion when in a meeting or class for presentations (I have an Epson projector and can use Epson's Network Projector for wireless projection from this tablet!) The screen could be better, and the sound bug needs to be fixed. I think you would be much happier if you upgrade to Windows 8.1 (preview for now and full when it comes out). It adds many great features that are expected from Windows tablets. I hope Microsoft makes its built in apps work better with other services in the future.
If you want a tablet for more productive use than playing games than this is for you. It works great and can run any Windows programs (32bit) or Windows 8 app. Sometimes you do have to use Desktop mode, but it is not difficult and still works great! I think the benefit of a full desktop experience with the overlay of the Windows tablet experience is great and gives more productivity than other tablets. The inclusion of Office Home/Student 2013 is also great and makes this a great buy! For a more productive on the go user I would recommend this or Surface Pro (although if on a budget this is the choice).
I really like this and have learned a lot using it and find that I do like Windows 8 as a tablet (I have it in BootCamp on my Mac, but do not love it for Desktop, I find myself just getting out of the full screen Start and only using it for launching programs). If you have any questions let me know and I will try to answer them. And if you want a tablet that is productive and not just for games this is a great choice!!
I have noticed a lot of people talking about WiFi. I have used this for a few days and have held it landscape and portrait (I am right handed so the left hand holds while the right hand uses) and have not had any problems. I will note that it does not support 5GHz, but my network broadcasts one channel for 2.4GHz and one for 5Ghz (only 2.4 is detected). I have held it streaming Netflix and Slacker and have not had it go out or anything. The device has not lost the signal, I do not know if loses some coverage when holding it since most used do not show the taskbar or the wifi indicator in the Right Pull Out menu. I have not had an issue with WiFi, but if I do in the future I will let you know. The only thing I would complain on about holding it with left hand when in landscape mode is that the light sensor is their and it changes when my hand moves and than moves back (screen brightens and dims when moving near the camera area).
84 of 91 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
So I've only had this tablet 2 days. Take what I say with a grain of salt. I'll post more as I come to know it better.
The main thing this tablet had going for it currently is price. $280 is a decent deal for ANY tablet, and it will take a heck of a lot of negatives to overcome that. Still, it took me a week of puzzling the bad reviews to pull the trigger on this. My opinion... the bad reviews have perfectly valid points... and I kinda don't care. This tablet brings what I want to the table.
So... bad screen... yeah, it's not great... not particularly good either, but it's actually perfectly acceptable. Resolution is actually slightly better than iPad Mini, and it's fine for watching a video on. Viewing angle... actually I didn't see a problem with the right side angle. Left side angle is really bad though. However, really, if you're sitting there watching your tablet at an angle... you're doing it wrong.
Speed... No. This is basically a netbook in tablet form. Tablet optimized apps aren't fast, nor are they particularly slow. Anything designed for desktop... now THAT's gonna be slow, and that INCLUDES the free Microsoft Office applications. For me... I start opening it, and I get my coffee. It's not a deal killer, and the fact that Windows 8 apps WILL run is more a blessing than a curse in this case. Some of my key windows apps (Celtx, SketchUp) I am very happy to have available on this tablet, and willing to wait a few ticks to have them. Once they're running, the speed is acceptable.
Windows 8... I'm not gonna retread all the negatives that have already been said... but I was surprised how intuitive I found the full Metro experience in tablet form. Left swiping to switch apps is a breeze. Down swipe to close an app... hands down better than Android AND iOS. Honestly... I think it's a gem. A flawed gem, but a gem nevertheless.
Here's what did it for me... the split screen. I can open a document, switch to NetFlix, split the screen and stream video while working on a document. No other tablet, save for the Samsung Note series offers this feature, and even the Note will only split screen with certain apps (unless you root your device) And these tablets start $100 above the Iconia.
There's more to say about this device, and more I've yet to discover. Unless some fatal flaw emerges, or the speed issues become unbearable, this is definitely a keeper, and may even grow to become my main tablet.
Your mileage may vary...
So... good news and bad news.... This has gone on to become my favorite tablet. Against all odds, the OS works well in a tablet form factor, and switching apps along with the split screen has made me more productive than on the iPad. There's several flaws, but the benefits and the low price have more than made up for it.
Bad news... The pricing for this tablet has been all over the map. I first saw it for $299, bought it for $279, saw it briefly hit $250... and now it has inexplicably shot back up to $329. At that price, and with competing tablets on the horizon from Dell & others, I would advise waiting till these other devices hit and then compare again.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I read several reviews that described this tablet as disappointing, primarily for the screen and processor speed, but also some wifi issues and storage space. These tempered my enthusiasm for the device and when I received it it was fairly clear that the screen was not the best screen to be had, but it certainly was usable and not the horror many had described. After using it for a while I must admit that I really like this tablet both for the form factor and the capabilities.
We have a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 10.1" 64GB Win 8 Pro Tablet with Stylus(367927U), an iPad (not retina), and a few Win 8 laptops. Since I've gotten this Acer it has become the device I pick up most often, by far. It is a wonderful size (just like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini) and runs the full Windows ecosystem. The battery last long enough that I only charge it a few times a week. It is astounding that something so compact is not really a tablet but is, in fact, a fully capable portable computer.
- Form factor is easy to hold
- Excellent screen size for a tablet
- Runs the full windows ecosystem, including the included Microsoft Office suite.
- Battery last a decent amount of time
- Very easy to use
- Allows for separate accounts (my wife and kids have their own accounts on the tablet that sync between the family desktop and this tablet)
- The wider margin on the right gives you a solid place to hold the tablet.
- The camera is awful. Both cameras are only 2.1 megapixels and show a great deal of noise in moderate to low light conditions. Outdoor pictures are OK.
- There is only about 11 GB of free space on the drive. After installing six accounts and the MS Office suite, this is down to about 6. Apps are usually small, but some can be large. I recommend uninstalling the Encyclopedia Britanica that comes with it as well as any other apps you don't want. You can get 32 GB of storge with the SD card SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC C10/UHS1 Memory Card with Adapter (SDSDQU-032G-AFFP-A) for a reasonable price.
- The screen is fine for viewing video and casual use. If you are particular about screens, you might not like this one, but I don't think it is as bad as many are saying. Now that I am using it casually rather than "reviewing it", I don't really notice it all that much unless I compare it side by side with another device.
Also to note:
- The USB port is a micro size, which is non standard. I had to get eForCity USB 2.0 A to Micro B Female / Male Adaptor to connect it to peripherals. There is room for a full sized port, on the outside at least.
- It is charged with a round connector, not the micro USB we use for our phones, Kindle, and other tablets. This means yet another cable and wallwart in the drawer.
- The headphone and charger jack look the same and are close together. I don't think there is risk of damage, but you have to look each time when plugging in.
- I find myself hitting the off button accidentally if I hold it with my right hand.
- I uninstalled the Norton products and most of the included Apps. Overall, the unwanted software was minimal.
About Storage Space:
This 32GB drive really only has about 29GB because of differences between how hardware and software people count bits. The default installation of windows takes up all but about 11GB of this. It is not uncommon for an app to be 1/3 or 1/2 of a GB and pictures/videos can eat up space, so one can use that space quickly. There are several ways this is ameliorated:
- There is a slot for a 32GB microSDHC card. Unfortunately this shows up removable storage and Windows doesn't let you easily add folders on the drive to your libraries. However there are ways to do this that can be found quickly on the web. (you create an empty folder on the C: drive anywhere you like. Go into drive manager, find the option to assign a drive letter. But instead of assigning a drive letter, select the option to map the drive to the folder you created. The SD card then shows up as a folder on the C drive.)
- Use of cloud storage. It comes with Acer's cloud products, which I uninstalled because the tablet also can use the soon-to-be-renamed SkyDrive from Microsoft. SkyDrive is well integrated into Windows 8 and office. Although it is just 7 GB, it is a handy way to make documents from a desktop or laptop available to you. Office is configured to save, by default, into the SkyDrive.
- I have my music on a Win 8 desktop and, using the Microsoft Music App, I enabled cloud matching of my music. All the music that was matched on my desktop is available for streaming through the App on any Windows 8 device to which I am logged in. So I can stream most of my music collection to this tablet without using any storage as long as I have Wifi.
I was going to give this 3 stars because of all the shortcomings but I am giving it four because I find I really like using it and it is an amazing price for a full blown computer.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
First and foremost, yes...the screen on this is sub par. It appears to be a TFT with a glass capacitive digitizer over it. The viewing angles are not stellar and it's hard to view in bright settings. The picture is grainy (it feels like you're looking at a GIF image instead of a screen). BUT...the performance on this tablet is pretty awesome and it's a full Windows experience in an 8" form factor. Also, after a time the screen grinds on you less and less. The initial impression is pretty awful, but after a bit of time with it you get used to it. For my use case, screen is a non-priority. I use this for doing work on the go and to play some casual games, none of which are graphics intensive. I have a Sufrace Pro for my big time graphic work, but the battery life and portability make the Acer my current driver for most of my stuff.
Build Quality: ****
Fr. Camera: ***1/2
Re. Camera: ***
A few things to consider if you pick this up - get rid of the Acer software immediately. It has an outdated set of extensions which slow down Office to a crawl. Don't bother with the 32GB model. There is almost no free space. Jump up to the 64. Also, check on Acer's website as an updated model is apparently coming out fairly soon which addresses the screen issue.