Acer W500 tweaks, thoughts and a little more

Discussion in 'Acer (Gateway)' started by excalibur1814, May 11, 2011.

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  1. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Hello,

    Well, here we go again. I'm still after a nice TM2 to replace my Envy 13 but until then and now that the Asus EP121 has gone to a good home, I'm back here with an Acer W500. I'm no stranger to Acer, but I do find their stuff to be a slight bit on the cheap 'shiny' edge of the computing world. The Acer 1820ptz was a really nice device but still felt cheap but despite that, along with a Crucial 64Gb SSD, it managed a 15 second cold boot to desktop time. Fastest so far.

    Upon un-boxing the Acer w500, the initial impression is one of quality, not too heavy and not a feather weight thing that breaks if a slug leans against it. I don't expect amazing performance but we'll see what we can do with the thing. (It's charging). The maximum battery life is 6 hours, supposed 300 charge life before the battery fails which equals around 2 years or the moment that the warranty expires :). I do wish the SSD were bigger but I'm sure that if we get on I'll slap in an Intel 310 mSata drive like I did with the EP121.


    Boot speed: (After the initial setup and restarting twice to be fair..
    - First boot: 1m 27s - Absolutely rubbish.
    - Bloatware removed: 1m 16s
    - MSConfig: 53s
    - Mildly Tweaked: 53s
    - Services disabled: 51s
    Free space: 20.1Gb
    - After Windows Update: 54s
    Free space: 19.1Gb
    - Clean Install: 42s
    Free space: 22.9Gb

    - Final boot time: 32s



    Bloatware removed: (Add remove programs)
    - Acer backup Manager
    - Acer Games
    - Acer registration
    - Acer screensaver
    - Acer epower management
    - Acer touch application suite
    - Acer updater
    - Adobe Reader
    - Bing bar
    - Clear.fi & client
    - ebay worldwide
    - McAfee Antivirus Plus
    - Microsoft Office 2010
    - Microsoft Silverlight
    - Identity card
    - SocialJogger
    - Virtual Earth 3D
    - Welcome center


    MSConfig: (Removed the ticks on)
    - Bluetooth software
    - Bluetooth Software
    - Global registration
    - RunCMD
    - Catalyst control center
    - Acer video conference manager


    Mildly Tweaked:
    - Superfetch off
    - Windows Search off
    - Virtual Memory off
    - Aero off
    - Visual effects set to performance (apart from a few)


    Services Disabled:
    - Adaptive brightness
    - AtherosSvc
    - Desktop windows manager session manager
    - Distributed link tracking client
    - IKE and AuthIP Ipsec keying modules
    - IP Helper
    - Microsoft .NET framework NGEN v2.0
    - Print Spooler
    - Shell hardware detection
    - SnxUsbDockingKB2267 Service
    - SSDP discovery
    - UPnP device host
    - Windows defender
    - Windows font cache service
    - Windows media player network sharing


    Windows Update:
    - Installed all critical updates
    - Installed all the other updates apart from silverlight
    - Installed all and any hardware updates
    - Installed SP1 and Internet Explorer 9


    Clean install:
    I started with the usual full wipe, re-install and I had the luxury of a USB2.0 ethernet adapter. The only software re-installed was the 'Auto Screen rotate', 'Device Control Dritek' and the wireless from Win update. The Audio driver failed to install but I'll stick with the generic windows one. I missed out the drivers for the keyboard/dock as I don't have one. Is it worthwhile doing a clean install? maybe. I'd like to now see if there's any performance improvement from an intel 310 SSD but with the Asus EP121, the limiting factor was NOT the SSD, but probably the bus/sata/cake/jobbie thingy.

    __________

    Overall, like the Asus EP121, I don't think a faster SSD will improve the performance that much. This is a great device that could be faster but saying that, it's fast enough for what I intend to do.
     
  2. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The W500 had no issue with my Transcend 64Gb SDXC card. (Be warned that leaving an SD card in a machine drains the battery even when off... or at least it did on my ENvy 13). It also played 720p youtube vids at a reasonable speed (I wouldn't say perfect) but stuttered like hell with 1080p. The same 1080p Youtube vid downloaded played without issue. Either way, I'm not really bothered with playing 1080p video on a 1280x800 screen.

    Edit: 1080p Update
    I opened the catalyst software and made sure that I set EVERYTHING I could fine to performance (When plugged in, otherwise when on battery it's still set to better battery life) and 1080p played just fine.
     
  3. beasy

    beasy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    My only gripe is when resizing youtube videos and videos in general the playback gets stuttery. However this seems to be an OS/Driver issue where the hardware acceleration doesn't seem to react well when resizing windows. It's not necessary limited to flash videos either. I can play large blu ray rips just fine in full screen mode very smoothly in windows media center. For some reason when I change to window mode for example, the video won't play or stutters badly. Very strange. More than likely, a driver issue.
     
  4. Agent 9

    Agent 9 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I'm really surprised that flash is doing such a poor job of up/ down scaling on that device (even 1080p is only 1920x1080 -640 more horizontal by 280 more vertical pixels than you have; while your screen is a bit above 720p 1280x720)... there is really very little difference between a non, and a HD video, but the software is still crap (Flash)

    question: what is screen quality like on that thing? (not compared to the Radiance on your Envy [duh], but things like color reproduction, viewing angles [point the screen has color, tint, and light shift occurring], brightness, and how it does in bright rooms/ outdoors])


    Just curious, how often have you used the active digitizer pen on your other systems, and have you missed it yet on the W500? I know I personally could never live with device that had touch only capability on the screen (I tried it out on my [former] Tm2, going a week with not using the pen, and going a week with touch disabled; I found touch to just be too slow and be a pain to live with [you can't rest your palm on the screen and do something, you also can't just grab the device and not have it register inputs -and it tended to be buggy])
     
  5. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I do miss the pen, especially as I STILL haven't started playing Crayon Physics deluxe :)

    I'm still pretty hopeful that it will play 1080p as the Dell Duo (after a clean install) did well. Edit: It does :)

    - The viewing angle is much better than the Viewsonic VPad 10, Dell Duo tabs. It can tilt to any reasonable angle and you can still see the screen and colours remain, unlike the Dell Duo.
    - Quite a bight screen and at full, while outside (slightly overcast today), it's reasonable. Still not a boe-hydris screen though :) I wouldn't really recommend this for a sunny day out, but you will be able to see the screen (just).
    - I haven't really done much with the stylus on previous machines and am still waiting for an excuse to dive into Onenote. Shame as i find the stylus to be a fantastic input device. (Still after a TM2)

    In order this is how I see it: Archos 9, Random China OEM tab, Viewsonic Viewpad 10, Dell Duo, W500, Asus EP121, with the Asus being the best device and the 9 being quite poor.

    All in all, if this were at a £390 price range I'd scream 'buy'. But it's not. Oh well.
     
  6. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    P.s. A usb socket on the bottom of a tablet isn't the best idea in the world :(
     
  7. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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  8. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Just played 'The Abyss' from a DVD rip on the SSD.. nearly 4 hours of fullscreen playback before the battery hit 7%. Brightness from from bottom, no wi-fi. Not bad but not great and pretty much the same as my new (ish) TM2 2050ea that arrived yesterday.


    BE WARNED ** You might think that you've scratched the screen but read the post below :)
     
  9. Wiz33

    Wiz33 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Did you remove the protective film covering the screen. They did too good a job putting it on (and it has no pull tab) and it's all but invisible (but it's there). Take a razor blade and scrap the edge and you should be able to peel it off. The screen surface is made with Corning Gorilla Glass and should not scratch easily.
     
  10. excalibur1814

    excalibur1814 Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Cor! I see it now.... nah, leaving that sucker on :)

    THANK YOU!!!

    (Changing my post above)
     
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