Acer Iconia W510 Hands-on: The most affordable Windows 8 tablet



I got a chance to play with the Acer Iconia W510 a few weeks ago. I think they just made a school tour. FYI, the Acer Iconia W510 is one of the most affordable Windows 8 tablet in the market. This is not powered by Windows RT but this one is powered by Windows 8. Yes. A full Windows experience with a real no compromise. So what’s interesting about this hybrid aside from having a full Windows 8 experience? The Acer Iconia W510 also has a very affordable price of PHP 30,000 for the 64 GB Version (Without the keyboard dock). That’s almost on par with the iPad. So what do I think of the Acer Iconia W510? Check it out after the break.




Just like what I told you earlier, it was just a school tour and I just played with this tablet for a little while. They don’t have a dock there but at least I got to play with this tablet for a little while. The one I got to play with is the white one. I’m not sure if there are other colors.

Hardware


The Acer Iconia W510 is purely made up plastic and glass. The front is purely made up of glass with a bit of plastic while the back entirely made up of plastic. The back looks like aluminum back but unfortunately, it is made up of a plastic. And yes, the back is well built and solid but some of you might feel that the plastic body feels very cheap.



The connectivity of the tablet is already adequate. There’s micro HDMI and Micro USB. I’m not sure if there’s a MicroUSB to USB included in the box. But if you’ll buy the keyboard dock then there will be no problem. There’s NFC in the tablet too but I guess you won’t need that feature that much.



There are dual cameras, which are decent enough to use for video chat and for taking some pictures. Don’t expect a high quality images. This is a tablet not a smartphone or a dedicated camera. Video chat client? Don’t worry folks, there’s Skype for Windows 8.

Software



Before we talk about the software, I want to remind you guys that this tablet is powered by Dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8 GHz. Intel Atom processors are specifically made for smaller devices such as netbooks and we know that netbooks doesn’t have enough power and speed like the one that can be found on the notebooks (the ones that are powered by i3, i5 and i7 processors). So what are the pros of the Atom processors? Well, they’re power efficient, they don’t heat up that much and they don’t need a fan, and because of these Atom processors, we can have smaller and slimmer devices with a much affordable price than the other intel core processors. Anyway, let’s talk about the Acer Iconia W510 again.

Windows 8 32 Bit runs in the blood of Acer Iconia W510’s veins. And no, Windows RT which is the crippled version of the Windows 8, isn’t powering this device. The RT version of Windows 8 can’t run old Windows 7 apps and it is only made for devices with ARM processors. In this full Windows 8, you can use your old desktop applications that you use in Windows 7.

Like what I’ve told you earlier, you can use your Windows 7 applications but you might have a problem with navigating and clicking things because non-metro or desktop applications are specifically made for computer with keyboards and mouse. But don’t worry!, you could still use your old input devices on this one but course, it’s recommended to use the optional keyboard dock. There are some gestures that you need to familiarize in Windows 8 in order to maximize its features. It might be difficult to remember to some but I know most of you will get used to it.



The Acer Iconia W510 that I’ve reviewed has a storage of 32 GB. There’s a 64 GB version too if you need some more space. The Windows 8 OS eats almost half of the 32 GB storage. So I suggest that if you’re buying a tablet like this then just get the 64 GB and not the smaller one. 16 GB of storage for apps and some of your files might be very small for you guys. This is a full fledge Windows 8 OS, not an iPod touch. Some desktop applications like office might take more than 2 GB of your storage.

If you’re asking me if the tablet is fast, The Acer Iconia W510 won’t fail you. It is fast on Metro. Its experience is as silky smooth just like the 1st generation WP7 phones. Unfortunately, there’s no Internet and I haven’t tested any desktop apps during my hands-on. Switching apps is fast but I noticed some slowdowns when there are a lot of apps that are open. Oh and before I forgot, this Windows 8 powered Atom tablet is expected to have a 9 hours of battery life. Not bad at all.

Check out my hands-on video:

I know, the hands-on video was crappy. Forgive me.

Verdict



Microsoft really want to change the game by offering the tablet friendly Windows 8. Acer Iconia W510 is one of those Windows 8 devices that has ambitions to beat the king of the tablet market, the iPad. But I don’t think that Acer could chomp a lot of share in tablet market. They need to prove that they can really compete well in the industry of tablet. So the question still remains, Should you buy this tablet? It would still depend on how you will use it. Why? Atom can’t cater your power-hungry applications. So if you need some power then this one is not for you. So to whom do I recommend this tablet? If you’re looking for a device that is mainly use for browsing the net, not so heavy office use and some tablet needs then this tablet would be perfectly fit for you. The SRP of the Acer Iconia W510 64 GB is quite high at P30,000. But this tablet is the most affordable of its kind.










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