Sunday, July 7, 2013

Some bugs found on Acer W3

Although W3 has much less bugs than W510 and earlier 32-bit Windows 8 tablets, I've still found some on it, after a few days, mostly using IE.


If  USB is connected and W3 wakes up from hibernate mode, then CPU usage will stay at 25% even doing nothing. This will drain battery quickly and make W3 warm and slow.

The one that uses CPU constantly is halmacpi.dll and a reboot returns W3 back to normal. I have two USB hubs cascaded and 7 devices: keyboard, mouse, SD card reader, Trended Ethernet, Memorex BluRay writer, WD 500GB portable and Hitachi Life Studio 2TB hard drives.

The only time W3 hibernates is when battery runs out. So from now on, I'd better disconnect USB when battery is low or when W3 needs hibernation.

IE Saved Pages

When IE opens a saved page, it hangs forever. This might be an IE bug and I think I still have to rely on Opera.


When run "powercfg /energy", this utility tool reports that the "Intel SST Audio Device (WDM) has made a request to prevent the system from automatically entering sleep". In reality, my W3 seems still go into sleep mode just fine and battery drops only 1% overnight. Could this bug reduce battery life during normal operation mode?

These bugs are not so serious, not a deal breaker. No crash so far.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Must have accessaries for Acer W3

First thing first is a USB adapter, of course. This one cost $7, available in Fry's Electronics. Very neat and flexible - can be bent to any angle. It makes W3's micro USB port a standard one:

To connect to an external monitor, this micro to standard HDMI adapter is needed, available in RadioShack for $12:

If the monitor/projector does not have a HDMI port, then a HDMI-to-VGA adapter like this is also needed. Available in Fry's for $20:

It has a standard 3.5mm audio jack (see the photo below) for you to connect W3's sound through HDMI to speakers or headphones, a very nice feature. Then you do not need to plug your speakers or headphones to W3's audio jack - saving one more plugging.

All above adapters do not need any AC or DC to power them up.

This is how I use these adapters to use my W3 at office:

I use two USB hubs so I can connect up to 7 devices, such as mouse, keyboard, SD card reader, BluRay, and Ethernet. When I go out, I simply unplug the two adapters (both black at the left side) and I'm read to go; cannot be more convenient.

I have not found a good case, but I saw this one for Nook HD+ for only $5 in Staples, so I use it for now. A little larger, otherwise fully featured offering multiple positions:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Inside Acer W3

To open the W3, all needed is a guitar pick, as usual. I was hoping to replace the 32GB SSD with a 128GB one. As you can see, unfortunately and to be expected at the price, there is no SSD module:

The 32GB storage is soldered on the board, underneath the right side, a Samsung KLMBG4GE4A-A001 eMMC memory. According to Samsung's this page, it is not the faster ones in this series, which is, again, to be expected for the price.

Forced to upgrade QQ

I always use the clean/green versions of QQ on my PC, because the original/full versions are huge mess. Once again, Tencent forces us to upgrade to the latest version, QQ2013. Here is the clean version of it:

Unzip the downloaded 7z file with 7z, to anywhere you prefer, such as C:\QQ2013. Then go into the BIN folder and double click on QQ.exe.

If you were using QQ, you may copy the "Users" folder from the old location to this new location. Then your old messages are all still available in this new version.

If you need to copy your QQ from another computer, then you also need to copy the "Tencent" and "Tencent Files" folders from the "Documents" folder to your current "Documents" folder. Furthermore, copy the "Tencent" folder from "C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming" on the old computer to the similar location on the new computer.

Cases for Nook HD/HD+ for $5

Currently on clearance in Staples stores. If you've bought a Nook HD or HD+, these are very necessary and good buys at this price. Very good quality and original price was above $25.

Archos 80 Titanium 8" Looks Like a Good One

I always disliked anything Archos - poor quality, performance and support. Today I saw this 8" tablet in a local store for $180 and I was quite impressed. It has a dual-core processor that does true 1080p and it is everything like the iPad Mini, including the sharp 4:3 IPS screen, but better actually - for better performance, microSD slot and mini HDMI port.

If you are like me still looking for a tablet for old parents, this one seems one of the few candidates.