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Acer Iconia W510 review

Mahananda Bohidar March 27 | Updated on March 25, 2013 Published on March 25, 2013

Acer Iconia W510

Acer Iconia W510

Acer Iconia W510

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There has been no dearth of hybrids this year. And we’re only three months in! What seems to keep a lot of buyers going for it though is the heavy price tag, considering it’s a fairly new segment in consumer tech. There are a few though which aim to offer all that a hybrid can without costing you an arm and a leg. The 10.1-inch Acer Iconia W510 is one such device that tries to combine productivity and mobility as well as it can. We spent a week with the hybrid PC and here’s how it fares.

While using the tablet alone, the 10-inch display makes for a decent platform for media consumption across categories. The IPS panel offers wide viewing angles, which means you can watch videos with a couple of friends and not have to sit tight like a pack of sardines! I read a couple of e-books on the display including a PDF version of Wine for Dummies and the pages were rendered quite well. The experience with web browsing was no different but here we had no choice but to go with Internet Explorer.

Portability

Usually with bigger tablets the size turns out to be a disadvantage because holding it up to watch media or surf the web becomes tiresome after a bit. With the Acer Iconia W510 though, this wasn’t really the case. I could hold it up and browse or play a game for at least 10-15 minutes and even then not feel like it’s weighing my hand down. The tab by itself weighs in at 400 grams, much lighter than most you’d find in the market.

The unit, while docked, too doesn’t feel too top heavy (as is the case with most hybrids we’ve reviewed). On the contrary, it’s built in such a way that the screen can be flexed to almost 270 degrees (backwards). The point of keeping it flexible was to make sure people could use it as a presenter or a digital album if need be.

Connectivity

On the tablet itself there's a mini-HDMI, a USB, a microSD port, headphone jack, volume rocker and charging port, so it really can be a standalone performer. But if it’s productivity that you’re aiming at then the dock definitely helps the cause.

When docked in, you have access to an extra USB port (apart from the mini-USB one).

Interface

The tablet itself has the trademark Windows button at the centre which serves as a home button when you are using the tablet only. Once docked, the button’s rendered useless as you have a physical counterpart on the keyboard. As on most other hybrids, this keyboard too is laid out island-style. Some, however, might find the keys too small for their liking. While the travel is average, the keys also feel a bit too plasticky at times. The trackpad is brushed metal, like the rest of the dock, and was fairly accurate during use. The good bit is that it’s as thin if not thinner than the tab, so overall the dock doesn’t bring down the portability of the combined unit.

While the touch interface was smooth most of the times on the tablet’s display, there were times when it failed to register a tap. The Acer Iconia W510 is one of the hybrids that does not come with a stylus.

Performance

Due to the fact that it runs on an Intel Atom processor, the performance takes a beating at times. It’s most obvious when we try multitasking on the machine. There are either intermittent lags or the unit freezes up for a couple of seconds. There were times when the unit would take a couple of seconds to recognise a click too. The only advantage of the processor is that it’s extremely energy-efficient and empowers the unit with a long battery life.

Gesture support on Windows 8 is pretty amazing too – swipe to access previously used apps, swipe to access all apps in the tab or even to share media and so on. It’s so easy to just touch and point instead of moving your mouse pointer all the way up a document.

The tablet on the Iconia W510 comes with a 8-megger camera but most pics snapped turned out quite grainy, even the ones taken in well-lit conditions. There’s also a 2-meg HD camera at the front for video conferencing.

Verdict

The Acer Iconia W510 makes for a fairly decent productivity device, especially given its price tag. The only downside is its inability to handle multitasking well. But, if a combination of portability and productivity is what you’re looking for without paying a massive sum of money, you might want to consider the Iconia W510.

Rs 49,999 (with dock)

Rs 37,990 (tablet only)

Love – IPS display, good battery life

Hate – Slow processor, cramped keyboard

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Published on March 25, 2013
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