Review: Acer Iconia Tab W510

Distinctive construction makes the Windows 8-powered Iconia Tab W510 one of the very few tablets we've tested that doesn't look like an iPad impersonator.

NameWindows 8 tablet: Acer Iconia Tab W510 (27602G06iss)
At a glance:10.1-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel display,Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core 1.8GHz CPU,2GB RAM, 64GB SSD storage,Windows 8 (32-bit),295 x 191 x 8.8mm, 580g
Summary:A little plasticy, but overall a fantastic combination of low weight, long battery life and great value.

Acer's Iconia W510 doesn’t look like a top-shelf piece of hardware. Its white-and-silver plastic construction isn’t unattractive, but it’s a far cry from the brushed aluminium common among its competitors. Even Dell’s Latitude 10 looks a little more stylish, with its satiny black plastic exterior. However, there may be a positive side here: the distinctive construction makes the Iconia Tab W510 one of the very few tablets we’ve tested that doesn’t look like an iPad impersonator.

The construction feels solid enough, though unlike many of its aluminium brethren, if you squeeze or twist the W510 hard enough it will distort the image on-screen. However, it didn’t feel like it would suffer any permanent damage from the stresses of day-to-day use, even in the hands of a less-than-careful owner.

That 10.1-inch, 1366 x 768-pixel IPS display is crisp and clear, bright enough to be viewable under direct sunlight, though only just. Acer advertises a wide viewing angle, and that’s true, both horizontally and vertically.

Inside you’ll find the Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core CPU – the 1.8GHz workhorse behind most of the Windows 8 tablets we’ve tested. The W510 has 2GB of RAM, which is the Z2760’s upper limit on memory. A 64GB SSD provides storage, and there’s a microSD card slot for additional capacity.

Performance is unremarkable – not to infer it’s bad, just indistinguishable from the other Windows 8 tablets we’ve tested with the same spec. It’s ample for web browsing, will play HD video smoothly, and handles documents and spreadsheets just fine.

In our intensive ‘Productivity’ battery life test, the W510 ran for an impressive 7 hours 37 minutes with the onboard battery alone. Acer sells an optional keyboard dock that turns the W510 into a cute little clamshell netbook and adds a secondary battery. Unfortunately we couldn’t get our hands on the dock to test, but it seems to have a good-sized keyboard and touchpad, and can fold back 270 degrees to act as a picture-frame stand.

A fold-over leather sleeve case is bundled in the box, which can hold the tablet with or without its keyboard attached. While the tablet can’t be used while it’s in the case, the case does fold to make a reasonably stable little prop-up stand that would be useful for watching videos on the tablet without the keyboard attached.

Disappointingly, the W510 lacks even a single full-sized USB port. There’s a micro-USB port on the side, and short adapter cable is included to let you plug in USB devices. However, that means you need the cable whenever you want to plug in a flash drive, camera or other USB device. It’s a hard ommission to excuse, as the W510’s square-edged chassis is just thick enough to have fit a full-sized USB socket.

A micro-HDMI port sits beside the micro-USB port, and a micro-HDMI to VGA adapter is included, which is great for older projectors and TVs. We would have liked to see a micro- to full-sized-HDMI cable or adapter included, though, as most people are unlikely to have one sitting around. If you’re heavily invested in the Windows ecosystem, or just want to try your luck with a Windows 8 tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab W510 provides excellent value-for-money. Sure, it’s not quite as solid or as stylish as, say, HP’s Envy x2, but it offers lower weight and much better battery life at a highly competitive price.

We’ll be revisiting the W510 in a future issue, when we can get our hands on a sample with the keyboard attached.

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Tags TabletWindows 8Windowstouchscreenwin8touch

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Harley Ogier

Harley Ogier

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