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Acer Iconia W510 – Performance, Battery, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Acer Iconia W510 – Specs and Performance

Considering we’re dealing with the exact-same innards as the HP Envy x2, it’s hardly surprising that the Acer Iconia W510 performs almost identically: well enough for tablet apps, HD video and light workloads, but not so hot for intensive multi-tasking, demanding programs and 3D gaming.

PCMark 07

General: 1438

Entertainment: 1045

The inevitable Intel ‘Clover Trail’ 1.8GHz dual core Atom Z2760 takes care of CPU/GPU duties. It’s backed by 2GB of RAM, which is the maximum the platform supports. On our review sample there’s 64GB for storage, of which a little over 33GB remains free after Windows 8 and essentials like Office are installed. This might not seem a lot but do keep in mind that – unlike the iPad 4 or Google’s Nexus tablets - you can store media on a microSD card of up to another 64GB.

A 32GB version of the W510 is also available, but we do wonder how many apps that configuration will let you install as you’ll likely only get around 14GB free on a bare install without extras. Considering the 64GB edition will only set you back around £50 more, we would consider that money well spent unless you don’t plan on installing many apps/games.

The single weakest aspect of the new Atom architecture is still its graphics. Most 3D games won’t even run, regardless of the sacrifices in detail and resolution you’re willing to make. Even casual gamers should beware, since titles as old and undemanding as TrackMania Nations Forever refused to proceed past the menus.

The W510’s solid state storage, while not up to the performance you’d get from a laptop/desktop SSD, still means these latest Atom convertibles can match a Core i3 with traditional hard drive in some scenarios, but overall this is still Atom we’re dealing with. As we said in the Envy x2 review, as a tablet this convertible will perform admirably, but as a laptop-replacement you have to be prepared to put up with its limitations.

Acer Iconia W510 – Battery Life

While the new Atom architecture might not make a splash when it comes to performance, you do get passive cooling and simply superb battery life. Dual 2-cell 3540mAh batteries let this Windows 8 hybrid live up to Acer’s claims of 18 hours in our tests, with the tablet managing just under 9 hours.

Battery (40 percent screen brightness, mixed productivity and web-browsing)

8 hours 56 minutes (tablet only)

18 hours 01 minutes (tablet plus dock)

Basically, the Acer Iconia W510 will last you all day on a charge without any problems. Its 18hr run time is doubly impressive when you consider that the larger, heavier HP Envy x2 only manages 14 hours…

Acer Iconia W510 – Price and Value

The value situation for the Acer Iconia W510 is quite simple: at around £490 for the 32GB edition (£530 for the 64GB), it’s the cheapest proper Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop available.

Of course, one could also argue it’s the least well-featured. It doesn’t offer a pressure-sensitive Wacom stylus like the Asus Vivo Tab and Samsung Ativ Smart PC, nor even the option of an alternative pen like the HP Envy x2. It also doesn’t quite match up to the connectivity of its bigger 11.6-inch brethren.

However, it’s smaller, lighter and more flexible, and offers longer battery life than any but the Asus Vivo Tab which it nearly matches. In fact we would be lauding this as our favourite little convertible, were it not for the issues with its keyboard and touchpad. Even so, considering rivals start at £700, a £170 saving makes the 64GB Acer Iconia W510 well worth considering.

Verdict

The 10-inch Acer Iconia W510 comes very close to being our favourite Windows 8 convertible tablet/laptop with Atom inside. It’s smaller and lighter than 11.6-inch rivals, but doesn’t compromise on resolution, connectivity or battery life to get there. It also sports a unique (at least for a detachable convertible) rotating hinge that genuinely expands it usability, while its screen and speakers more than hold their own.

Unfortunately, the keyboard won’t be for everyone due to its poor layout, and the touchpad is rather stiff. If you can live with these flaws and don’t mind the absence of a Wacom stylus, this hybrid comes recommended.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 10
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Screen Quality 8
  • Value 9

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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