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Acer Iconia W510 review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Awards

  • Recommended by TR

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Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510
  • Acer Iconia W510

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Lightest & cheapest Win 8 hybrid
  • Superb battery life
  • Good screen and speakers
  • Flexible hinge
  • Well-built

Cons

  • Atom performance still disappoints
  • Cramped keyboard with poor layout
  • Touchpad buttons stiff
  • No bundled or optional stylus

Key Features

  • 10.1-inch IPS screen, 1366 x 768
  • Dual-core 1.8GHz Atom, 2GB of RAM, 32/64GB SSD
  • 295 degree twist hinge turns keyboard into stand
  • Up to 18hrs battery life
  • Windows 8 convertible with keyboard dock
  • Manufacturer: Acer
  • Review Price: £499.00

Intro

As one of the world’s largest computer manufacturers, Acer has the potential to make a pretty big impact on the Windows 8 convertible tablet scene. It already has the Acer Iconia W700 to cover the high-end Win 8 tablet segment, and its Acer Aspire S7 family caters to those who want more traditional touch-screen laptops. However, its Iconia W510 - a 10-inch detachable Atom convertible - is where the company has really brought some innovation to bear.

Check out our Best Windows 8 Laptops Tablets Convertibles and PCs roundup

Competing with the 11.6-inch HP Envy x2, Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung Ativ Smart PC, the uniquely 10-inch Acer Iconia W510 is a ‘proper’ Windows 8 tablet/laptop hybrid that can run much of your legacy software, provides a multi-touch IPS screen, throws in a keyboard dock that also extends connectivity and battery life, and will last up to 18hrs on a charge.

It’s dinky, generally well-built and well-connected, and easier to handle than its current rivals thanks to its smaller dimensions. It’s also considerably cheaper, and the only thing you’re missing out on is the Vivo and Ativ’s pressure-sensitive Wacom styli.

Last yet far from least, it sports an innovative hinge that lets you twist the keyboard base all the way round to act like a stand, a la the Lenovo Yoga. But is the W510 the compact bargain it at first glance appears to be?

Acer Iconia W510 - Design and Build

The Iconia W510 is a fairly attractive little machine. It’s constructed entirely of plastic with a nice combination of a predominantly plain silver faux-metal finish and matt white highlights. Acer hasn’t gone to great lengths to make it seem thin - the tablet part doesn’t feature tapering edges - and the W510’s white hinge against that silver lid makes it stand out rather than blend into the rest of the machine. None of the ports are hidden, and the screen’s inner bezel is black, which isn’t matched anywhere else on the W510.

And yet, despite all this, the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop’s aesthetic comes across as more playful than cheap. The metal look is actually convincing, and because it’s matt rather than smooth or glossy, it provides a reasonably good grip.

Mind you, we still prefer a soft-touch finish, but this is the next best thing where ergonomics are concerned. And while we’re not particular fans of white in our tech, Acer’s implementation on this Iconia is both sensible and visually pleasing.

Build quality is pretty good throughout too. In fact, we’re going to go out on a limb to say that this is one of the best-built affordable Acer machines we’ve encountered in a while - though the keyboard dock doesn’t feel quite as solid as the tablet, and the tablet in turn can wobble a bit in its hinge (even though it’s actually attached very securely). Seams are neatly joined, the plastics don’t creak or flex, and of course the tablet’s screen is protected by toughened Gorilla glass.

The Acer Iconia W510 is also one of the lightest Windows 8 convertibles going, thanks to its relatively small 10-inch screen. The tablet itself weighs a mere 570g, making it considerably lighter than the 652g Wi-Fi only iPad 4 and its 11-inch rivals, the lightest of which still comes in at over 686g.

As such, this is the first Windows 8 tablet we’ve come across that we’d have no trouble holding with one hand for extended periods. Adding the dock to the equation takes this to a still extremely portable 1.26kg, which after all includes the weight of that glass screen and second battery.

Peter Edwards

February 2, 2013, 11:58 am

Windows Tabs need another generation or two before they are buy.

This one needs better CPU/GPU (Tegra 4?), The Pro machines need their weight reduced anything over 600g is too much weight.

metobebetter

February 28, 2013, 5:12 am

Peter E... you just make me laugh. I would be happy to know that you do make a living out of this.... because otherwise it just does not make sence.

jupstejuho

March 11, 2013, 5:33 pm

Well sounds otherwise fine but the advantage of having a CPU like atom is that it stays cool, the system is compact and MOST IMPORTANTLY - it runs FULL windows x86. I don't want a tablet with a mobile OS. I'd sure love a fanless Core i5/i3 tablet with compact size and low weight.

Daniel Kerr

March 23, 2013, 10:28 am

Trust me, a fanless i5 or even i3 will be very hot without a fan...

jupstejuho

March 23, 2013, 10:43 am

Well don't skip the "compact size and low weight" part. That was the most important thing. A fan running on a tablet doesn't sound good to me, I want my tablet to be an actual tablet that's 100% passive. And now I've got W510 and I'm pretty happy with it :).

Tri Haryadi

April 22, 2013, 11:47 am

which one do you choose, having this Iconia W510 or a notebook?

Petar Tenev

April 22, 2013, 12:08 pm

If this Acer had a GPS sensor built in,i'd love to use it as a Navigation System in my car :) ...Any creativeness here ... plsss

batmobil

August 19, 2013, 6:59 am

I have been using Acer Iconia w510 for a couple of weeks now, here is my pros and cons list:

PROS
- Very light!
- No fan. It does get a bit hot in the upper right corner sometimes, but not too hot for comfort.
- For the most time feels surprisingly smooth and responsive considering it is powered by a relatively slow Atom processor.
- Great battery life.
- Supports up to 64GB micro SD. This is crucial, as the device only comes with at max 64 GB SSD, but with an additional 64GB slow storage space for less frequently accessed files it works.

CONS
- Proprietary charging cable. I would much rather have a micro USB charger, like a lot of my other tech toys. Then I would not have to deal with one more cable.
- Micro USB connector is inconvenient. I would much rather have a regular size USB port. Acer do include an micro USB to USB convertor, yet another cable to deal with though.
- I do not like the design much. The white rim looks like something they added at the last minute. I would prefer a pure black design, no black, white, silver mixed together in a practical but ugly way.
- The PowerVR graphics chip is not compatible with a lot of 3D applications, like games. I do not mind it being slow, this is not a gaming machine after all, but it would be nice to be able to run some older games that should work well without having them simply crash because of some driver problem.
- Build quality a bit flimsy. You can actually bend the whole thing quite easily. But, the plastic helps keep the weight down, so this is a minor issue I think.

All in all, I would say I am happy with it though. Windows 8 works very well with a tablet, provides you so much freedom. I will never touch my Android/iOS tablets again! And although there is still much left to be desired, it is probably the Windows 8 tablet on the market which gives the most value for your money right now.

I would give this an overall 8/10 based on value for money.

batmobil

August 19, 2013, 7:14 am

Both :)

Jan

September 11, 2013, 7:24 pm

Buy a gps with bluetooth connection or usb, and you will be in business ;-)

Karrdeful

October 30, 2013, 1:55 am

I love my W510! I've had it since about a week after they released, and probably use it more than I do my high performance desktop. I bought it for college, and can often use it for all my classes, in between as well, keep my iPhone charged with it, and still not need to charge it for 2-3 days. It's competent with plenty of games as well, I've been playing Blizzards new beta Hearthstone on it ever since they passed out keys for it. Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Manuel

March 12, 2014, 6:49 pm

I have 2 clients who purchased Acer W510 Iconia last year, May and June 2013 to be exact. This is NOT a very good product, Acer products in total are crap.

For client#1, purchased in for CAD$660, we need to send the tablet back for repair last Dec. 2013 because Windows 8 unable to boot. Through my client's shipping expense, It was repaired after 10 days. Unfortunately, just last March 7th, the same tablet won't power-on. We demanded Acer to REPLACE THE TABLET because for less than a year, it became defective twice. Tablet replacement was not approved by Acer.

I WILL NEVER EVER BUY AND RECOMMEND ANY OF ACER PRODUCTS AGAIN, you will loose a lot of customer for this.

Manuel

March 12, 2014, 6:52 pm

Continuation....

For client#2, purchased in June 2013. December, the tablet won't power ON. Unfortunately, she lost the box, SNID, and receipt, and the Acer Customer Desk cannot help her.

Again.....I WILL NEVER EVER BUY AND RECOMMEND ANY OF ACER PRODUCTS AGAIN, you will loose a lot of customers for this.

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