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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 January 18, 2019

    Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

    Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

    Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

    The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

    1. Duolingo

      Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

      Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

      The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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      Download the app

      2. HelloTalk

        HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

        There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

        What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

        Download the app

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        3. Mindsnacks

          Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

          You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

          Download the app

          4. Busuu

            Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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            The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

            When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

            Download the app

            5. Babbel

              Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

              Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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              If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

              Download the app

              Takeaways

              All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

              Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

              Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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