Acer Iconia W510 Review

Acer has made a lot of noise recently about its renewed focus on premium, high-end products. The Iconia W510, despite the premium price tag, most certainly is not among them.

It’s portable and it performs basic tasks reasonably well, but in terms of construction, it offers little else.

Hands-On Impressions

The Acer Iconia W510 does its best to look like a stylish alternative to the tablets it’s compared to most often, including the HP Envy x2 and Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet 2. In terms of appearance, it mostly succeeds.

At 10.2-by-6.6-by-0.3 inches and 1.27 pounds, it’s conveniently light and handy. Its two-tone, black and white design is sharp and stylish. Its lightness is achieved by the use of plastic, however, and you can certainly feel it.

Compared to the appealingly rubbery ThinkPad Tablet 2 or the ergonomically designed Envy X2, the Iconia W510 feels cheap.

Tablet Tour

The top of the device sports a headphone jack, power button and orientation locking switch. The right edge holds a volume rocker as well as micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports and a microSD slot.

The bottom features connectors for the keyboard dock. There’s a pair of stereo speakers near the bottom of both edges, though it’s placed such that you’re likely to end up covering them with your hands when you hold the slate in landscape mode. An 8-megapixel camera can be found at top back, with a 2-megapixel webcam at top front.

Resolving the Details

The decision to include a widescreen display with 16:9 aspect ratio is a bit puzzling for a tablet, though the 1366-by-768 resolution does make for a solid display. The widescreen format is wonderful for watching movies and other videos, but it can make using the device in portrait mode a bit difficult.

The display, like the device itself, is solid but forgettable. The resolution can make reading text difficult at times, but it’s fine for most applications. The 350-nit brightness isn’t an issue under normal lighting conditions. Viewing angles, too, are quite good.

Under the Hood

The Iconia W510’s performance specs make for a less impressive tablet compared to its more powerful competition. Its 1.8-gigahertz dual-core Z2760 Clover Trail processor is paired with two gigabytes of RAM and either a 32 or 64 gigabyte solid-state drive.

During routine web surfing and other everyday uses, the Iconia W510’s performance is nothing to complain about. That said, don’t expect anything approaching laptop or ultrabook performance from this setup.

Battery life is particularly impressive, with an average of eight hours in standalone use and nearly 15 hours with the accompanying dock attachment.

Tablet Roundup

By itself, the Acer Iconia W510 makes for a decent device for casual users. Compared to tablets such as the HP Envy x2, Samsung ATIV Smart PC or Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, there isn’t much to separate it from the competition.

The Iconia W510 is pleasingly light, and it ought to get some attention for its portability compared to bulkier tablets like the ATIV Smart PC. Performance is comparable among all four devices, as are the 1366-by-768 displays.

Build quality is where the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 and the HP Envy x2 set themselves apart. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 looks and feels as if it’s constructed of premium quality materials, and it feels great in the hands. The Envy x2, too, feels great thanks to a sleek and ergonomic design and high-quality materials.