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A Windows 8 Laptop With a Tablet Package: Acer Iconia W700 Mini Review

A Windows 8 Laptop With a Tablet Package: Acer Iconia W700 Mini Review

acer-iconia-w700-with-keyboard-angled

    The advent of Windows 8 has encouraged a movement to homogenize the computer-using experience (if not the actual computer types themselves); whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the future to decide.

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    While one of the objectives of the movement is to decrease the confusion and difficulty of using any kind of computer, Windows 8 has also introduced another kind of confusion: how laptops should look from here on in. Computer manufacturers can’t seem to decide on a specific basic type, let alone a singular design. Then again, maybe that was the whole point: settle on a common (more or less) operating system, so that instead of diversifying functions, computer manufacturers can focus more on diversifying forms.

    Groovy Design, Man

    The forms that have been very prevalent as of late seem to be different takes on the laptop/tablet hybrid concept. Traditional laptops may still be around, but given the structure of Windows 8 and the fact that today’s generation of computer users are more outgoing than ever, some pundits are speculating that it won’t be long before the hybrids become the norm. It’s still such a relatively new classification, though, that designs tend to be quite varied.

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    One of the fresher looks to appear is Acer’s Iconia W700. On its own, it looks just like any other tablet, as expected. Its dock, and the way the two laptop components are put together, however, set it apart from the rest. The dock’s design calls to mind something out of a 70s sci-fi movie: it has borders for the bottom and left side, and is open at the top and right side. The 70s-style borders are also thick enough to protect the slate, so the design is functional at the very least. The slate slides in from the right to attach to the dock, and it has just one solitary USB 3.0 slot, which is as useful as one expects it to be. However, it’s also the only thing that connects the slate to the dock, so any peripheral piece attached to the slot has to be removed beforehand. The trade-off is a dock that has three USB 3.0 ports, so that’s more than a fair deal.

    The Iconia W700 also has a wireless keyboard that feels good to type on. The keys are spaced apart well, and they give a satisfying “clack” when pressed. So far so good.

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    Not Well Thought Out

    What the hybrid doesn’t have is a touchpad or a mouse. Despite Windows 8 being touch-based, it’s still not handy enough in that regard to consider doing away with an actual pointer device. Confoundedly, this is a mistake that some manufacturers still make (*cough*VaioDuo11*cough*), and the W700 follows suit. The dock has a stand at its rear, but the way it attaches to the dock allows only one viewing angle, which is a complete design snafu. The stand can also be attached in such a way that you can switch from a landscape to a portrait alignment, but that only emphasizes the flaw even more. The Windows 8 UI (not to mention the traditional desktop view) is best seen in landscape, after all.

    Specs Report

    As for the inner laptop components, the Iconia W700 has a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU, 4 GB of 1,600 MHz DDR3 RAM, an Intel HM77 APU with HD4000 graphics, and 128 GB of storage space. It has a Mini-HDMI video port (no DisplayPort), 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the aforementioned four USB ports (three on the dock, one on the tablet). Pretty standard stuff… until you get to the price. For $999, you would think you’d be getting more RAM, or at least a couple more ports.

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    In the end, despite the sleek (and admittedly cool) retro look of the device, the Acer Iconia W700 is a bit of a hard sell. It’s best to look elsewhere for your computing needs.

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    A Windows 8 Laptop With a Tablet Package: Acer Iconia W700 Mini Review

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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