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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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    Published on September 20, 2018

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

    Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

    In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

    Minimizing Tabs

    Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

    Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

    Incognito Mode

    Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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    1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
    2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
    3. Download extension New Incognito Window

    This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

    Save Webpages as PDF Files

    Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

    Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

    Open Recently-closed Tabs

    Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

    One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

    The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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    Solve Mathematical Problems

    Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

    For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

    Play Media Files

    Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

    In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

    Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

    With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

    Stay Focus(e)d

    Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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    Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

    With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

    This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

    Grammarly for Editing

    Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

    You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

    Loom

    There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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    There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

    With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

    Chrome Calendar Extension

    No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

    Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

    Final Thoughts

    Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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