Acer Iconia W510 – Windows 8 on Atom

Acer Iconia W510-1422 Review and Ratings


With Windows 8, Acer took a sharp turn. Acer’s late-2012 Windows 8 slates, compared to the company’s previous Android-based models, were, in terms of design, accessories, and features, huge departures from past products. Case in point is the Iconia W700-6465, a slick, aluminum-encased, high-resolution slate that we reviewed a few weeks before the subject of this review. We found the Iconia W700—the tablet itself, anyway—a sleek and impressive piece of hardware, although we were underwhelmed by Acer’s supplementary accessories for it.

Here, we’re looking at the Iconia W700’s smaller, less-expensive sibling, the $749.99-list Iconia W510. (It’s smaller in that the screen is 10.1 inches, compared to the W700’s 11-inch panel.) Specifically, we looked at the Iconia W510-1422, which is one step down from the top of the line among Acer’s five configurations of the Iconia W510. Our review unit came with a keyboard dock accessory, 64GB of flash storage, and Windows 8. Acer also hawks four other W510 models, starting with the $549.99-list W510-1620, which comes without the keyboard dock and 32GB of storage. After that comes the $599.99-list W510-1666, a tablet-only (no dock) model with 64GB of storage. You can also get a tablet/docking station version (the W510P-1406) with 64GB of storage space for $799.99 list. The only difference between this last one and our review unit is that the pricier model runs Windows 8 Pro.

Acer Iconia W510

While the Iconia W510’s physical appearance is similar to that of the Iconia W700, these two models differ greatly in several ways—especially in performance, due primarily to the processor family, system RAM, and type of storage memory. The 11-inch Iconia W700 runs on a laptop-grade Intel Core i5 CPU, whereas the Iconia W510 is built around a slower and less-capable Intel Atom processor. (We’ll talk more about the CPU in the Performance section.) In addition, the Iconia W510 comes with only 2GB of system RAM and flash-memory storage, versus the 4GB of RAM and the solid-state drive (SSD) used in the W700.

This substantially less peppy configuration makes for a slower slate, but it also allows for a cheaper tablet with a smaller and lighter chassis, as well as increased battery life. But the differences don’t stop there. We were not enthused with the W700’s three-piece design of docking station, keyboard accessory, and slate. The W510-1422, on the other hand, comes with a nicely designed, detachable keyboard dock, which turns this tablet into a more conventional Windows 8 hybrid laptop.

Acer Iconia W510 (Closed)In a sense, you get both a tablet and a light laptop with this configuration of the W510. But the trade-offs with the Iconia W510 are big ones when compared with its W700 sibling. With the Iconia W510, you might get a much easier-to-use keyboard and touch pad (the Iconia W700 has no pointing device at all), but you also get a more sluggish, less capable processor and an overall lesser hardware configuration.

If resource-intensive tasks are part of your daily workload (such as editing high-resolution images with Adobe Photoshop or processing digital video in Adobe Premiere), the Iconia W510 is not the slate for you. But we liked it well enough for running standard Microsoft Office Suite programs (such as Word and Excel), and it was certainly up to snuff for Web browsing and e-mail, as well as photo, music, and digital video consumption. And the battery life was extraordinary. Because of that last factor, we deem it, potentially, a nice companion for long-haul business travel—though in that scenario, you might want to opt for the $50-pricier configuration with Windows 8 Pro.

Read full review at Computer Shopper.


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