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Tablets

Acer Iconia Tab W500 brings Windows 7 tablet thrills to the UK in March

Acer is going tablet-crazy at Mobile World Congress this year, with the Iconia Tab W500 being a Windows 7-running counterpart to the Iconia Tab A500.

Acer's Iconia Tab W500 swaps the Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS of its sibling the A500 for Microsoft's Windows 7. Both devices were unveiled at Mobile World Congress yesterday, offering slate-shaped horses for courses. So to speak.

The basic specs remain the same: the Iconia Tab W500 is a 10.1-inch tablet with Dolby audio, an AMC C-50 processor and AMD Radeon HD6250 graphics. Wi-Fi connectivity is a given, but some models will also have 3G built in. There's also a 1.3-megapixel webcam for video calls.

Acer wants the device to double up as a PC when you're at home, so the W500 will come with its own docking keyboard, with on-trend curvy 'chiclet' keys. It charges the tablet, but also has an Ethernet port, USB port and one of Acer's FineTrack pointing devices.

The company is also preloading its Acer Ring software, which includes a variety of apps and tools to manage the W500 and access key games and social networks. The tablet also runs Acer's clear.fi service, to stream music and video to and from other devices on your home network.

Acer says the Iconia Tab W500 will go on sale in the UK in early March, and will cost £449 standalone, or £529 with the docking keyboard. The only question is whether you want the Windows 7 version, or the A500, which will run Honeycomb OS and is coming in April with a better 5-megapixel camera, but with no confirmed price yet.

Then again, Acer also showed off its Iconia dual-screen laptop yesterday, with two LED-backlit 14-inch, 1,366x768-pixel screens, one of which replaces the keyboard. Something for everyone's tastes.