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

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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 December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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