Acer Iconia W510 Atom-Powered Windows 8 Tablet PC Review

Acer is about to roll a new tablet PC onto North America’s ever-growing Windows 8 market, the Iconia W510, which will hit the U.S. and Canada Nov. 9 and the W510 is launching in four different configurations, the pricing jumps from device to device. The W510-1422, which ships with a keyboard/dock, has a suggested retail price tag of $749.99 and its closest sibling, the W510P, also comes with a keyboard, though its $799.99 price includes Windows 8 Pro and a two-year warranty. Acer Iconia W510 boasts a 10.1-inch HD screen with a maximum resolution of 1,366 by 768, a built-in IPS panel, and 10-point touch capacity and the screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, so you can poke, swipe, and pinch your way through Window 8’s tiled interface without having to worry about scratches. It sports a slim 0.35-inch profile and weighs a scant 1.32 pounds and in addition to its front 2-megapixel camera, there’s also an 8-megapixel rear camera, as well as a micro HDMI port, a micro USB 2.0 port, and a micro SD card reader.

Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 Tab
 

Editor’s Summary:

  • Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC delivers ultimate flexibility and performance in three different modes for an optimum experience with touch, typing and viewing 10.1-inch HD Gorilla Glass 2 display provides convenient 10-point touch, vibrant visuals
  • Superior battery life of up to 18 hours with keyboard dock, battery
  • Responsive performance in an incredibly thin form factor only 0.35-inches thin
  • Product available in the U.S. and Canada starting Nov 9

 

Acer America, the world’s number two notebook provider announced that the Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC featuring Windows 8 will be available for the U.S. and Canadian markets. The new tablet PC features a sleek convertible design that can be used in three different modes to make computing more natural and intuitive. Conventional tablet PC mode provides first-rate multi-touch navigation as customers enjoy the intuitive and comfortable design, as well as the responsive 10.1-inch HD LED-backlit Gorilla Glass 2 full high-definition screen that is beautiful, strong and scratch-resistant. The Gorilla Glass 2 display enhances the crisp and vibrant images, and is durable and flexible enough to handle the routine impacts of daily use. The Intel Atom Z2760 mobile-optimized processor smoothly and seamlessly blazes through games, websites and new Windows 8 apps. Plus, in conventional tablet PC mode, the Acer Iconia W510 delivers up to 9 hours of battery life for video playback or WiFi browsing to boost all-day productivit. Customers get a boost in efficiency using the Iconia W510 in productivity mode. The keyboard dock seamlessly connects to the tablet PC, transforming it into a full-featured notebook for a first-rate typing experience. With it, the Iconia W510 becomes a powerhouse for creating and editing documents, spreadsheets and multimedia content. In addition, the keyboard dock houses an additional battery, extending battery life up to 18 hours for multi-day use, further ensuring productivity and uptime. Rotating the keyboard on the Iconia W510 back 295 degrees allows it to be used as a stand for presentation mode. This hands-free usage mode is ideal for showing off the latest video, photo slideshow or presentation, while the display’s wide viewing angle ensures multiple people can comfortably enjoy the visuals. The W510’s 1366×768 resolution Gorilla Glass 2 HD display vibrantly highlights everything on it with consistent and accurate colors and clarity. HD audio support and two built-in stereo speakers ensure excellent sound quality.

 

“Customers will enjoy optimized experiences for touch, typing and viewing on the Iconia W510 tablet PC,” said Sumit Agnihotry, vice president of product marketing for Acer. “The versatility of the new tablet PC and durability of the Gorilla Glass 2 display pairs beautifully with the responsive performance to take advantage of the capabilities of Windows 8 for a first-rate tablet PC experience.” The Acer Iconia W510 features the latest technology and extras that make it incredibly useful. The tablet PCs come with either a 64GB or 32GB SSD to power on the device and retrieve data quickly and securely. The microSD card reader allows easy transfer of content to and from the tablet PC. The micro-USB port on the tablet PC and full-sized USB on the keyboard dock enable quick and convenient connections to external devices, such as printers and external HDD or USB flash drives. Plus, the Iconia W510 has a Micro HDMI port and dual independent display support for sharing content onto external displays. The Iconia W510 smartly designed with curved edges and a slim 0.35-inch thin build. The tablet PC weighs a mere 1.27 pounds, so it’s comfortable to hold for web browsing, reading, and enjoying Windows 8 apps on the go. With the full-featured keyboard, the Iconia W510 still measures just 0.84-inches thin and is very lightweight at only 2.63 pounds. Since customers will want to take it with them anywhere, the W510’s 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi provides a quick and reliable connection to hotspots. In addition, the new tablet PC can take advantage of locationbased and travel applications with its integrated G-Sensor, E-Compass and Gyro-Meter. The new Acer Iconia W510 features Acer Always On and Acer Always Connect technologies that enable data upload and retrieval anytime, anywhere, and deliver power-saving features as well. Acer Always On technology ensures the Iconia W510 powers on nearly instantly, similar to a TV or phone. In addition, it provides instant-resume functionality in just 1.5 seconds. Acer Always Connect lets customers connect to previously used hotspots in just 2.5 seconds for better productivity and enjoyment. In addition, Always Connect features remote wakeup for Acer Cloud applications, which makes digital content easy to access and share between their Iconia W510 and other PCs anytime, anywhere.

 

 

Dual Acer Crystal Eye webcams ensure customers can capture images and video, as well as enjoy video conferencing on the go. The front-facing 2MP HD 1080p camera captures video in 1920×1080 resolution that is crisp and clear. The 8MP HD rear camera also captures full HD 1080p video in 3264×2448 resolution with auto focus and LED flash support. Dolby Home Theater v4 boosts sound for headphones as well as built-in speakers. Plus, the built-in digital microphone ensures that audio is crisp and clear for video conferencing and video emails. The Acer Iconia W510 tablet PC will be available starting November 9 at leading retailers across the U.S. and Canada in several configurations. For example, the W510-1422 with a 64GB SSD and the keyboard dock provides additional battery life at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $749.99 USD and CAD. The Iconia W510-1674 comes with a 32GB SSD at the budget-friendly (MSRP) of only $499.99 USD and CAD. Acer corporate customers in the U.S. and Canada can be assured the Acer Iconia W510P with Windows 8 Pro will support their legacy Windows programs as well as provide the security and authentication they need through the option of TPM (Trusted Platform Module). The Acer Iconia W510P is backed by an extended two-year warranty and is priced at $799.99 USD and CAD.

 

HARDWARE :

It’s a 10.1-inch silver and white slate, with a black bezel around the display that contrasts really nicely with the lighter colors of the sides and back. The 1366 x 768 display looks great, with accurate colors and good viewing angles that show off the colorful Windows 8 UI nicely. There are two cameras on the device, and as with most tablets both are usable in a pinch but neither is anything special. At 1.3 pounds and .35 inches thick it’s fairly average for a 10-inch tablet, though the flat edges make it feel a little boxier than most. If you never saw the W510’s keyboard dock, you’d just think it was just another tablet. But when you connect tablet and dock, the device feels every bit like a laptop, or at least a three-pound netbook. The silver dock with white keys and accents matches the W510 aesthetic nicely, and adds a trackpad plus six rows of QWERTY keyboard to the equation. It also has a USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot add that to the microSD, Micro USB, and Micro HDMI ports on the tablet itself, and you have a pretty full complement of connectors. The only real downside of the dock is the hinge, which feels really poorly constructed. On the one hand, it’s way too stiff you can rotate it up to 295 degrees so the dock can double as a viewing stand, but moving the hinge at all takes so much work you’ll be sure it’s going to break. On the other hand, it doesn’t keep the screen very still, so it wobbles every time you touch it.  Unfortunately, 10.1 inches doesn’t seem to be the right sweet spot the W510 is a nice size, but it doesn’t afford enough room for a full-size keyboard or trackpad, so you get small, cramped versions of both that are hard to get used to. After using the W510 for a week, my MacBook Air feels positively spacious by comparison. I think 11.6 inches might turn out to be the right size a little big for a tablet and a little small for a laptop, but a good enough experience in both cases.

 

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE :

Since Windows 8 isn’t yet publicly available, Acer let us know that the software and drivers inside the W510 aren’t yet final. They must be close, though, because Windows 8 is already remarkably smooth on the device. The Intel Atom Z2760 processor inside the W510 isn’t particularly impressive hardware, and neither is its 2GB of RAM, but Windows 8 doesn’t seem to need much more. Whether I was switching between apps, watching movies, or just playing around with the UI, every animation and transition was snappy and smooth. There are still clumsy moments it’s oddly difficult to move tiles around the Start Screen, for instance, and it occasionally takes a while to resume from sleep, but those are few and far between. One thing really sticks out, though: there’s a giant learning curve with Windows 8. Understanding the gestures is complicated enough, since there are few cues that you have to swipe from the edge to do things. Deciphering the corresponding keyboard shortcuts is even worse plenty of people will have trouble figuring out that Win + C brings out the Charms menu, and will have even more trouble remembering. The W510’s keyboard has a lot of function keys that help surface these menus, but it’s still not a perfect system. You can use the OS without knowing the shortcuts, but it’s a rough experience: you’ll spend a ton of time going to and from the Start Screen, launching and re-launching apps. Once you get used to the user interface, though, Windows 8 feels impressively at home in either a tablet or a laptop. You can dock and undock the W510 without any hiccup in its operation it just dings quickly to let you know what’s going on, but your movie or music keep on playing.

 

WRAP-UP :

The W510 will be out November 9th, for $499.99 for 32GB of internal storage or $599.99 for 64GB. Neither model comes with the keyboard dock, though, and to get the whole kit you’ll have to shell out $749.99 that gets you the 64GB model plus the dock. There are going to be plenty of devices in the coming weeks that look a lot like the Acer Iconia W510. Whether or not the W510 is the best in its class remains to be seen for one thing, I’m itching for a slightly larger device like the Asus Transformer Book. But using the W510 has made one thing abundantly clear: the convertible, laptop / tablet hybrid is a perfect fit for Windows 8, and Windows 8 makes this form factor sing in a way Android and other operating systems just can’t. We’ll be spending time with many other devices like it, but the W510 has certainly whet our appetite for more Windows 8.

 

Spces:

General

  • Handheld
  • Tablet
  • Windows (8)

Input

  • Yes

Other features

  • External keyboard

Display

  • 10.1 inches
  • LCD (Color, Backlit)

Power

  • Up to 18 hours
  • Rechargeable

Pricing & availability

  • Pre-release
  • June 4, 2012

Colors

Thanks

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