The Acer Iconia W5

This compact hybrid laptop/tablet runs Windows 8 on an a Intel Atom, Z2760 / 1.8 GHz dual-core processor.

 

The Unboxing

The very unboxing of this tablet/laptop is a treat.

The box interior is plush charcoal grey with at least 3 hidden compartments.

I couldn’t hide my delight (I was in the office) as I discovered something new in each secret compartment.

unboxing

the unboxing

• Secret compartment 1 unleashes the most amazing, soft, faux leather, beige laptop wallet.

• Secret compartment 2 unleashes a Branded screen cleaning cloth with handy quick-start manual booklets. Nice touch :-)

• Secret compartment 3 unleashes a charger, USB extension cable, stylus, and a 6-inch Mini Display port to VGA Adapter Cable for your convenience.

• The tablet and the keyboard are in compartments too, though not hidden

 

Design

 

Design

The sleek, matt silver faux metal body design is reminiscent of a MacBook. Actually, the Faux part is so good, I had to read up to discover that it’s not metal. It’s pretty ☺. Both male and female geeks and non-geeks appreciated the design and silver color. A few fell in love with it, but that’s a story for another day ☺.

It’s also small and fits into my small handbag – unlike the rather giant bag I need to carry when toting around my 13” laptop.

 

Battery

The Dual 2-cell 3540mAh batteries promises 8 hours on tablet only and double that on dock. It doesn’t disappoint. The tablet almost made it to 9 hours during use at an event where I was taking photos and posting online, and using Google Chrome browser. On dock (connected to the keyboard it easily goes to 17 plus hours). Needless to say, charging this device is not a top priority for me.

This feature is especially useful for me while travelling. Before you are able to settle, find a power outlet, and possibly an adapter (if you are travelling abroad), you will manage nicely.

Touch pad/Windows 8

 

pic 7 Windows

Adapting to the Windows 8 interface poses a particular challenge for me as a Mac/Android user. So I enlisted a die-hard Windows 8 user as a co-reviewer for this part.

The Intel Atom processor does not disappoint. Both as a tablet and as a PC, the performance is great and my co-reviewer was able to happily do all their regular office work on the Iconia.

The touchpad I found rather cramped – to be expected on a 10.5” device – Good news is you can touch the screen!

It might be worth it for Microsoft to consider teaching people how to use Windows 8. It’s not intuitive at all. Not even for Windows 7 users.

 

Camera

The 8MP camera on a tablet was a rather exciting concept, until I tried it out. In different lighting and settings. The images kept coming out rather grainy or fuzzy. The front 2MP camera/webcam is fine for Skyping and doing Hangouts.

 

 

Top heavy

I found it a bit top-heavy so when placing it on your lap, one needs to be careful lest it topples over.

 

Her Geekyness’ Verdict

This tablet/laptop is compact, versatile, beautiful and stays charged for ages. It sounds good when playing music (good enough for a hotel room party) and is pretty fast and responsive.

 

-her royal geekiness-

HTC Sensational Rant

I had wanted a HTC phone for the longest time. Word was it was a true techie’s phone. Built for excellence. HTC did not even mass-produce phones like it’s counterpart in Android; Samsung.

image from Google

image from Google

No, they made quality, targeted gadgets. Any techie worth his (or in my case her) salt should be rocking that brand of a phone! This was from a college classmate of mine (which makes him a techie, too) whose name I shall not mention on here. He had been using his HTC Onex for about 6 months.

Buying a smartphone, the smart way

So after a particularly good gig, I was all set to buy my first real smartphone. I had smartphones before but hey, I was finally getting my HTC. I did my window shopping and finally got a Z104e  at the best bargain around. I wanted white, but they only had it in black. The Sony Experia Arc, which is the other phone I was considering getting, had a screen of 4.92in compare to HTC’s 4.96, with a higher resolution of 540 x 960 pixels to the Experia’s 480 x 854 pixels. For me, with screens, the bigger the better. But the Experia came in white, which was more than I could say for the Sensation.

Sony Experia Arc

image from Google

The HTC claimed superior battery capacity with talk time of 8.25 hours to the Experia’s 7.41 hours.

Then to crown it all my Sensation (I was already calling it that) boasted a  Dual core, 1200 MHz, processor. To the Experia’s mere Single core, 1400 MHz I was hooked.

My HTC experience

When I got my gadget I could hardly wait to charge it and use it! I was going out on a date that evening. Rather than wait until I got home and charge it there, I gave it to the waitress to charge it for me while my date and I chatted so I could start using it ASAP.

Battery life

This was a shocker to me. I mean, I knew it was a smartphone with all those superior features. Therefore it could do so much more that an ordinary phone, which was a strain on the battery. But seriously? On a trip to the office, which ordinarily takes 1.5 hours, I had mobile data on, and tweeted, Whatsapped and responded to the occasional GTalk chat. On getting there  I was on 25% or so battery. Then annoyingly on attempting to take a photo, the phone told me that since battery was lower than 30%, I could not use flash. So much for indoor photography.

Heartbreak

Then came the heartbreak. About 4 months into the use of the phone, this phone that I protected like a baby. Silicone cover, and I still had the original screen protector.( I know it came with corning Gorilla glass – aka scratch proof glass but I was not taking any chances.). So about 4 months of using my phone, the unspeakable happened. It hung! I was smack in the middle of typing a text, the keyboard stopped responding. I tried going back to the home screen, and that didn’t respond.

Not wanting to think too much about what this meant, I did a hard reboot (pressed down the power button until the phone went off then switched on).  It responded.

But over the next 2 days, the problem recurred enough times to be a real pain in my behind.  I synced my contacts, emailed myself all the texts I thought I needed to refer to, then – FACTORY RESET.

That gave me reprieve for a day or two, then back to the same story.

I gave it to someone who rooted it. (Lost all my texts and non-synced contacts) The hanging persisted. Things were getting to a point where I couldn’t receive calls sometimes because the screen would just not respond.

Oh yes, and my earphones only worked a couple of times, then the left earpiece went mute, and the charger head died within a week of usage.

Not a singular problem

One day after a particularly annoying episode with my phone, I went on a rant on Twitter. Turns out, about 5 of my friends with different models of the phone, and a few other random tweeps all had nasty things to say about theirs’.

One has a One X  (It takes the best pics by the way) (Did I mention that mine tended to take washed out pics half the time?) suddenly messed up her contacts. Most names disappeared and some numbers got matched to the wrong names. Don’t ask me how that happened.

Another one has a One X, which he does not use anymore because it “randomly hangs and sometimes just dies”.

My friend who has the exact same model as me experienced hanging for 2 weeks (this despite factory reset and uninstalling unnecessary apps) and now it’s dead. Won’t respond to charging, poking or prodding.

The only person who seems to be enjoying his HTC, one year down the line is my techie friend who convinced me to buy one in the first place.

I asked everybody I saw with different models of HTC about their experience for about a month (about 15 handsets) and most of them mentioned hanging, and lousy battery.

Might never happen again

So while I acknowledge that HTC phones have tons of really cool features – the swipe keyboard, the muted ringtone on pickup, the louder ringing while in bag/pocket, the loudspeaker on flipping the phone – way cool.

It is very unlikely that I will fork out any of my hard earned cash for a HTC phone. Especially because I am yet to hear of HTC going public and admitting any flaws in their hardware or firmware, and for that matter, recalling any model.

-her royal geekiness-