Month: October 2018

Review: First 8-inch Windows tablet is a device that shouldn’t exist

My dissatisfaction with PC OEMs is something I have documented in the past. They offer a confusing array of products and tend to cut corners in the worst ways imaginable. The OEM response to Windows 8 has been to produce a wide range of machines sporting novel form factors to fit all sorts of niches, both real and imagined.

One niche that the OEMs haven’t tried to fill, however, has been sub-10-inch tablets. That’s not altogether surprising. Microsoft designed Windows 8 for screens of 10 inches or more, and initially the operating system’s hardware requirements had a similar constraint.

That decision looked a little short-sighted after the success of tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the iPad mini. Accordingly, Microsoft changed the rules in March, opening the door to a range of smaller Windows tablets.

The Acer Iconia W3 is the first—and currently the only—8-inch Windows tablet. That attribute alone makes it in some sense noteworthy. Sadly, it’s about the only thing that does.

Spec-wise, this is another Intel Clover Trail tablet, and its internals are basically the same as the devices that launched last year (such as its bigger brother, the Acer Iconia W510). This means 1.8 GHz, dual core, four thread Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, 2 GB RAM, 64 GB flash storage (which with Acer’s default partitioning leaves a little over 29 GB usable), front and rear cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, and 802.11b/g/n (no 5 GHz support). There’s a micro-HDMI and micro-USB port for external connectivity (a separate cable converts the micro USB port into a full-size one), along with an SD card slot. The tablet has a speaker adequate for notification sounds but little more.

As a result, performance and battery life are similar to what we’ve seen before. The Iconia W3 comes equipped with full-blown Windows 8, unlike ARM tablets, so it can run any 32-bit Windows application—should you really want to. Clover Trail’s GPU performance is such that games and other graphics-intensive programs won’t run well, however.

Eight inches of horror

The new bits on this tablet are really the screen and the size.

Screens are important. We spend essentially all our time interacting with devices looking at screens. Cost-cutting on screens is unforgivable, as a bad screen will damage every single interaction you have with the device. This goes doubly so for tablets, where the screen works not only as an output device but also as the primary input device.

The Acer Iconia W3’s screen is a standout—because it is worst-in-class. I hated every moment I used the Iconia W3, and I hated it because I hated the screen. Its color accuracy and viewing angles are both miserable (whites aren’t white—they’re weirdly colorful and speckled). The screen has a peculiar grainy appearance that makes it look permanently greasy. You can polish as much as you like; it will never go away. The whole effect is reminiscent in some ways of old resistive screens.

It’s hard to overstate just how poor this screen is. At any reasonable tablet viewing distance, the color of the screen is uneven. The viewing angle is so narrow that at typical hand-held distances, the colors change across the width of the screen. At full arm’s length the screen does finally look even, but the device is obviously unusable that way.

Acer has clearly skimped on the screen. I’m sure the panel in the W3 was quite cheap, and that may be somewhat reflected in the unit’s retail price ($379 for a 32GB unit, $429 for this 64GB one—putting it at the same price as the 32GB iPad mini, which has a comparable amount of available disk space), but who cares? It doesn’t matter how cheap something is if you don’t want to use it at all.

This poor screen quality isn’t a question of resolution, either. 1280×800 is not a tremendously high resolution, but text looks crisp enough. At 186 pixels per inch, 1280×800 feels more or less OK for this size of device.

The low resolution does, however, have one significant drawback: it disables Windows 8’s side-by-side Metro multitasking, which requires a resolution of at least 1366×768. The W3’s screen is 86 pixels too narrow, so the Metro environment is strictly one application at a time.

This is an unfortunate decision. The side-by-side multitasking is one of the Metro environment’s most compelling features. Keeping Twitter or Messenger snapped to the side makes a lot of sense and works well. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a device that didn’t support side-by-side Metro multitasking before, and I don’t ever want to again.

Size-wise, the W3 may be small for a Windows tablet, but it’s not exactly small. It’s fat. The W3 is 11.4 mm thick. The iPad mini, in comparison, is 7.2 mm thick. The Iconia W3 is also heavy at 500 g; the iPad mini, in comparison, is 308 g. That makes the W3 more than 50 percent thicker and more than 50 percent heavier.

The thickness makes the lack of a full-sized USB port on the device more than a little confusing. There’s certainly room for a full USB port, and a full port would be more convenient than the dongle. But for whatever reason, Acer didn’t give us one.

The device itself feels solid enough, albeit plasticky. It doesn’t exude quality, but it’s a step or two up from the bargain basement.

Keyboard non-dock

The W3 also has a keyboard accessory. As is common for this kind of thing, the keyboard has no electrical connection to the tablet. It’s a Bluetooth keyboard powered by a pair of AAA batteries. It has a groove along the top that can hold the tablet in both landscape and portrait orientations and a clip on the back that lets you use the keyboard as a kind of screen protector.

The keyboard has to be manually paired to the tablet. It’s more or less full-size, with a reasonable key layout. It’s a typical mediocre keyboard. The feel is a little on the squishy side, lacking the crispness of, for example Microsoft’s Type Cover for its Surface tablets. It’s better than any on-screen keyboard, and to that extent it does its job. But it’s a long way from being an actually good keyboard.

The groove does hold the tablet up, and on a level surface the unit doesn’t topple over, but it’s not as satisfactory as some of the hinged keyboard/docks we’ve seen on other devices. Tilt the base while carrying it or using it on your lap and the tablet is liable to fall out.

Acer Announces Aspire M5 version of Haswell

For those who are watching the development of Acer products, may have never seen or tried Aspire M5 which was launched last year. Welcomed the presence of an Intel Core 4th generation, Acer announced the newest generation Aspire M5 which now comes with the latest Intel processors. Besides the processor, there is also some improvement in various other sectors.
acer m5 1 Acer Announces Aspire M5 version notebooklaptop computer news Haswell
Acer Announces Aspire M5 version of Haswell

Acer Announces Aspire M5 version notebooklaptop news Haswell computer Acer Announces Aspire M5 version notebooklaptop computer news Haswell
Acer Aspire M5 is equipped with an Intel Core i5-4200U, 8GB of RAM and 500GB hard disk. In terms of design, nothing has changed. Acer Aspire M5 latest version still appears with silver-colored aluminum body and stylish minimalist look with a touch screen measuring 15.6-inch HD.
In addition to upgrading the processor sector, the latest Acer Aspire M5 also features WiDi (Wireless Display) from Intel. With this feature, users can more easily to share the laptop screen to the TV only via a WiFi connection. Intel’s WiDi technology is not new, but not many laptops on the market today are equipped with Intel’s WiDi. Another improvement in the sector propagate speaker. Acer Aspire M5 presented with new speakers and a powerful 2-watt has been supported by Dolby Home Theater v4 technology for better sound results.
Acer Asprire M5-583P-6428 has been available in the U.S. market and is priced at U.S. $ 699. For a while there has been no news of when it will be available in Indonesia.

Windows 7 Losing Steam in the Enterprise but Microsoft Holds Steady

While still the most popular operating system in the enterprise, including at midsize businesses, Microsoft Windows 7’s reality in this new age of business computing is that it is slowly losing market share. Mobile operating systems, like Android and iOS, and even Mac OS are quickly making inroads, largely driven by BYOD policies implemented by IT departments in the last few years.

Even with Windows 7 losing market share, Microsoft still rules the roost, however, as an overall analysis of current computer platform use at the enterprise revealed in late April at CITEWorld. Some businesses still use Windows XP. These companies still using XP need to take note that Microsoft is discontinuing support for the OS in April 2014.

Windows 8 Still to Come for the Midsize Business

In contrast to the leadership status held by Windows 7, Microsoft’s new OS, Windows 8, is making small inroads at the corporate level. Many midsize businesses appear hesitant to adopt 8, due to concerns about the usability of and training issues involved in rolling out the new tile-based operating system. Expect the next version of Windows to take steps to improve usability, including returning the Start button, and possibly offering an option to boot-up to the classic Desktop, instead of the newer Metro interface screen.

The CITEWorld article analyzes statistics revealed in a Forrest Research report on the growing operating system diversity at the enterprise. One statistic that perfectly illustrates the migration to alternate operating systems shows that while 67 percent of all computing devices were powered by a version of Windows in 2008, today 70 percent use alternatives. Of course, the rapid growth of mobile devices at the workplace played a major role in the increased diversity.

The Midsize Business Needs to Embrace Operating System Diversity

Even with Windows 7 losing market share, it is still a very popular OS at the midsize business. If the next version of Windows improves some of the issues with Windows 8, Microsoft will continue to maintain a role in business computing. Still, functional alternatives to Redmond exist and need to be considered at enterprises of all sizes.

A forward-thinking midsize business needs to allow for diversity in operating system choice, especially when considering mobile devices. As Cloud computing continues to grow in importance, hybrid tablet/notebook computers allow employees access to their work from home. A BYOD policy needs to consider this type of use, as it allows for improved efficiency as well as a potentially better work-life balance for employees. IT executives responsible for operating system choice at the midsize business need to realize that the days of one dominant operating system are over.

Asphalt 8: Airborne Optimized for Tablet Nexus 7 Newest

The latest series flagship racing game Gameloft, Asphalt 8: Airbourne will present shortly, has been optimized with OpenGL ES 3.0 for the latest tablet Nexus 7. As exhibited at Google Keynote event yesterday in San Francisco.
Baudoin Corman as Vice President of Gameloft Publishing Section Regional Americans say, 8 Asphalt is an ideal game to demonstrate the greatness of Google’s latest device, the graphics are awesome and convenient physical form, the Nexus 7 will certainly help boost the popularity of gaming on tablets and realize the vision of Asphalt 8.
In addition to the new engine, Asphalt 8 will also bring 180 events, 47 official cars, and new game modes. There is also an online multiplayer mode with global leaderboard and social features like Facebook. Gamloft is arguably the first game publisher in the gaming service that supports Google Play. Asphalt 8 itself will be the first Gameloft game titles integrated Google services and Google Play at launch.

Stopping Google Latitude Service on August 9th

The world’s largest search engine company, Google will soon be officially shut down one of his services. The services that will be closed is Google Latitude which is a location sharing application.

Closure is made after a company based in Mountain View did a massive change on Google Maps. In addition, this application also has a very low popularity. Google Latitude consumption levels far below other applications such as Foursquare or Facebook. Not only that, Latitude also less popular than the location-sharing service owned by Google.

Google Latitude itself is a location sharing application that is integrated with Google Maps. This feature allows for automatic location tracking, check in at a place it can also be set automatically or manually.

In the latest update Google Maps on Android, this feature is not found anymore. Selian it, Google also removed the existence of Google Latitude app available on iOS and has officially retire the Latitude API. So third-party applications that use these APIs will not work, unless using a sharing site owned by Google.

Facebook rallies 30%, logs best day ever

Facebook shares rallied an impressive 30% Thursday, allowing the stock to book its best one-day gain ever. And while shares remain about 10% below the May 2012 IPO price of $38, analysts are predicting that Facebook is finally on its way to reaching, and even crossing, that threshold.

“Facebook delivered its strongest quarter yet as a public company — results that we think could be thesis-changing for many,” said Doug Anmuth, a JPMorgan analyst who boosted his price target to $44 a share from $35.

Investors and analysts are most impressed by Facebook’s growing strength in mobile advertising — a part of the business they were initially most concerned about since Facebook lacked a clear strategy for mobile advertising despite the rapidly growing number of people using Facebook on their mobile phones and tablets.

“One year into Facebook’s mobile advertising efforts, mobile has increased from zero to 41% of total ad revenue,” Anmuth highlighted in a note to clients.

While the improvements have been gradual, Facebook blew everyone away this past quarter by generating 50% more in mobile ad revenue than what Wall Street was expecting.

Even after that stellar quarter, analysts say growth should remain strong as Facebook continues to shift toward more social ads that will become increasingly valuable to advertisers.

Analysts at JMP Securities, who increased their share price target to $38, said that social media giant’s second-quarter results suggest that “Facebook is increasingly becoming a ‘must buy’ for advertisers.”

Goldman Sachs analysts were also excited by Facebook’s significant improvement in mobile advertising. They put a bullish price target of $46 on Facebook shares.

“We continue to believe Facebook is at the center of the mobile ad revolution and see considerable opportunity for it to drive higher pricing on its ad units as brand and direct marketers alike take advantage of its broad reach and precise targeting,” said Goldman analyst Heather Bellini.

As Facebook (FB) shares surged, a number of investors were getting in on the action. Over 360 million shares of Facebook had exchanged hands Thursday, more than seven times the stock’s average daily trading volume.

The day’s surge pushed the value of Facebook to more than $80 billion, up from just over $60 billion as of Wednesday’s closing bell.

Facebook’s advance was also getting plenty of attention on Twitter.