Acer Iconia W510 review
This tablet shows just what a full-blown Windows 8 tablet can achieve – only the build and design disappoint
Review Date: 15 Feb 2013
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £412 (£494 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
We’ve been less than enamoured with the recent flurry of Windows RT tablets, but, for less than £500, the Iconia W510 looks to have it all. This 10.1in tablet transforms into a laptop, and, thanks to its Intel Atom processor, has one particularly welcome trick up its sleeve – it runs full Windows 8.
At first glance, you’d have trouble telling it apart from its Windows RT rivals. Acer has squeezed Intel’s Atom into a tablet weighing 566g and measuring a whisker under 9mm thick. And, unlike the Windows RT models, Acer includes a matching docking keyboard as standard. Due to its internal battery, this adds another 686g to the weight. With the Iconia W510 snapped shut in clamshell mode, it measures 23mm thick – about the same as a netbook. Throw the tablet, the docking keyboard and the wall-wart PSU in a bag and the whole package comes in at 1.39kg.
It’s no style icon, though. The white and silver chassis both looks and feels plasticky and has the underwhelming air of a mid-range Android tablet. Granted, it’s well-made, but there is a little flex if you treat it roughly, and the matte plastic body quickly picks up scuffs and scratches. The docking keyboard is also underwhelming: it’s plasticky and creaks audibly if you flex it from side to side.
Functionally, though, it works reasonably well. The tablet slots into the keyboard dock with a muffled thunk, and, although it wobbles back and forth slightly in its moorings, the dock held the tablet securely throughout our testing. In laptop mode, the pairing feels top-heavy: this isn’t a problem on a desk, but on a lap it’s prone to toppling backwards.
Neatly, the hinge folds through 290 degrees, allowing the keyboard base to act as a stand: with the keyboard facing down, it’s possible to use the Acer’s touchscreen while sitting at a desk or using a fold-out table on a train. There’s no problem with accidental key presses, either: fold the keyboard past the 180 degree mark and it is automatically disabled.
Whether in tablet or laptop mode, we’ve few complaints about the Iconia W510. The touchscreen responds reliably to edge-swipes and gestures, and, while the keyboard’s shrunken Right Shift key took a little getting used to, the crisp bounce to the keys and Scrabble-tile layout make it comfortable for long periods of typing. The buttonless touchpad, however, is well below par. It’s either too sensitive or not sensitive enough, and no amount of fiddling with the settings allowed us to get it just so. It’s also far too easy to brush accidentally while typing. Thankfully, there’s a keyboard shortcut to disable it completely.
Thanks to the presence of Intel’s latest Atom technology, Cloverview, the Acer runs a 32-bit installation of full Windows 8. There’s a dual-core 1.8Ghz Atom Z2760 processor accompanied by 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of solid-state storage. Internet Explorer 10 is fluid and responsive, and pages respond instantly to every pinch and flick. Even web-based HD video now plays smoothly, something that was beyond the means of the previous generation of Atom devices; compared with Windows RT devices, it’s blazingly quick, whipping through the SunSpider browser benchmark in 716ms.
Could be a big winner
Thanks for a generally honest review, where I take issue is, whilst it is perfectly fair to mention some of its structual/design compromises. When you look at the price point (which is just amazing) you have to admit they have done a damn fine job.
I think most of us want something that does the job and this certainly does, rather than pay unnecessarily for that ("sorely lacking" ?) premium feel.
By davidk1962 on 15 Feb 2013
do all work
this is a big future.. i can do any work with this one...no needed pc any more.. good for mobile persons.
rate 9 for it from 10 points..
By arieph on 1 Mar 2013
- Toshiba beats retreat from consumer PC market
- Google to follow Apple with device encryption
- U2 and Apple working on "new music format"
- Ellison steps down: but who's really running Oracle now?
- Audioboo to become Audioboom in app revamp
- Apple slaps down Google and police, as it takes high ground on user privacy
- Amazon releases high-end Kindle Voyage Touch
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Virgin carpeted again for broadband speed claims
- Microsoft set to make more job cuts
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5: is the Apple or Samsung flagship smartphone right for you?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6 (X or Shamu) release date, price and specs rumour roundup
- Best of IDF: top tech and memorable moments from Intel's tech show
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- Tech of the future... and the British boffins building it
- Abuse magnets: the people behind corporate Twitter accounts
- Putting people at the centre of software design
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office