Hands-on with the Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet (Clover Trail)

The Acer Iconia W510 is a 10 inch tablet with an Intel Atom Z2760 Clover Trail processor and Windows 8 software. It’s one of the most affordable Windows 8 tablets on the market, with a starting price of $499. But if you want a model with all the bells and whistles the price jumps to $749.

A handful of stores including J&R and Adorama are taking pre-orders for the $749 model, but I haven’t seen any retailers selling the $499 model yet.

I did, however, get a chance to spend a few minutes with the tablet this week.

Acer Iconia Tab W510

For $499, you get a tablet with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It has a 10.1 inch, 1366 x 768 pixel display, and feels just as thin, light, and sturdy as any decent Android tablet of the same size.

It features microSD, USB, and HDMI ports as well as docking ports for an optional keyboard. For the most part the tablet seemed pretty responsive in my tests… but I didn’t try running any heavy duty apps like Photoshop.

Since the tablet is running Windows 8 and not Windows RT, it can run full desktop-style apps designed for earlier versions of Windows though. It’s not limited to apps downloaded from the Windows Store.

Like many Windows tablets I’ve used, automatic screen rotation is kind of slow on the Iconia W510. But most of the Windows 8 apps I’ve seen (with the possible exception of eBook and magazine apps) look better in landscape mode than portrait, so I wouldn’t expect to spend a lot of time rotating the screen on this type of device.

The $749 model includes 64GB of storage and comes with a keyboard docking station. The keyboard dock also has a built-in battery, which Acer says should double the computer’s run time, giving you up to 18 hours of total battery life.

It’s not clear whether Acer will offer the keyboard dock as a standalone option for those that would rather buy a 32GB tablet and keyboard for around $649.

Overall, the Iconia W510 appears to be a reasonably well-priced, well-specced Windows 8 tablet… for those that are satisfied with the performance offered by Intel’s low power Clover Trail processors, which are designed to offer always-on capabilities and long battery life rather than high performance for CPU-heavy tasks.

If you are looking for more desktop-class performance, Acer also offers the Iconia W700 tablet with an Intel Core i3 processor for $799 or less.

  • KJ

    Good work. Has Acer accomodated for a SIM slot and GPS. It is not clear if either will be supported (for US). Do you get a chance to verify? If you look at your video (0:24 mark), you’ll noitce the SD card and sim card slot. Also, in the past (on previous ASUS/HP/etc. h/w that supported SIM cards), you could purchase the SIM reader (ebay) and install. Looks likes it will be much harder on these tablets.

  • Guest008

    Does the screen wobble a lot when touched (or simply moved around) when it’s docked?
    Does the keyboard (contrary to the tablet which look well built and good) look cheap and does it feel ok when docked/used as a laptop?
    The Envy x2 looks fantastic but almost $1000 for the same hardware supporting an Atom (11″6 and alumnium casing but still…) is ludicrous.
    Maybe the ATIV 500T… Did you have a chance to get your hands on this one?
    So many questions but One of these is going to be my next laptop… These detachable hybrids look too sexy to resist.

    • Stu

      The keyboard base is very sturdy and their is no wobble when touched. It can actually rotate the other way up as well (kinda like a lenovo yoga) to make more of a presentation view

      • Guest008

        Thanks for your reply.
        I asked because I saw the Engadget review and the tester was complaining about the cheap feeling of the keyboard and the fact that it wobbled a lot.
        So, when you poke the screen (in laptop mode), it doesn’t move right?

      • Stu

        Doesn’t move at all in normal operation. Of course if you jab it hard then it will, but that’s hopefully not how you’d normally use it. I am really picky about wobbly screens so it would have been a deal breaker for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sam-Curcio/100001739982933 Sam Curcio

    It’s annoying that the manufacturers are taking their time releasing the keyboard docks for the Windows tablets. I have a ATIV 500T tablet, and would like to use the keyboard, but it’s nowhere to be found.

  • anon

    too bad you do not date your articles. does this tablet dual boot ubuntu or other linux?

    • nona

      It says “Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2012, 10:00 am” or are you talking about something else?

  • Guy

    Can you customize how the keyboard and tablet batteries are drained/charged? It’s always been annoying on my ThinkPads with two batteries where I can’t control how the batteries are used.

    • Stu

      When connected to the dock the base drains first and then the tablet battery. When docked it doesn’t use the base battery to charge the main battery. When charging both batteries charge simultaneously.

      • Guest008

        Can you charge the dock separetely from the tablet (when undocked)?
        We would be able to use the tablet while the keyboard is charging. Would be good.

  • Stu

    I picked up one of these a couple of days ago. It’s a really excellent device with an absolutely huge battery life. Can’t say I’ve been this excited about a new device in a very long time.