The Iconia W700 (review) was a good tablet, but was let down by a strange keyboard and docking station combination that was difficult to carry along. The Acer Iconia W510 puts an end to this problem.
The Acer W510 offers a keyboard dock which you simply click the tablet into. Although made from plastic, the keyboard comes across as well designed. One thing to remember is, since this is a 10.1" tablet, the keyboard’s size is a lot smaller than you might be used to working on with a regular notebook. The same is true for the trackpad, but nonetheless, it is a great deal better than trying to type on Microsoft’s onscreen keyboard.
Going to the dock
The docking keyboard provides one full sized USB port, and although a micro USB connector is found on the tablet itself, Acer doesn’t provide the necessary adaptor. Ditto for the micro HDMI port, while a MicroSD card slot can be used to expand on the 64 GB of storage space provided.
One thing that Acer can be commended on is that, once docked, the screen can be tilted backwards far enough to provide a comfortable viewing angle, without the unit falling over. The Samsung Ativ, for example, doesn’t provide the same degree of flexibility, which makes it difficult to type when it’s on your lap, while HP’s Envy X2 (review) simply tilts over due to the weight of the screen.
We received in the region of 5½ hours of battery life on the tablet, while the dock provided another 4 hours, so a full work day is possible.
The W510 cuts down on processing power, since it does not include the Intel Core i3 processor as found on the W700, but rather opts for a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 processor running at 1.8 GHz and 2 GB of RAM, similar to the Samsung Ativ smart PC. If you’re going to work with large files, the W510 is not the one to get, although common tablet tasks should be fine.
To the point
As a tablet with a keyboard docking solution, we were quite fond of the Acer Iconia W510, but its R10 000 pricetag makes it compete more closely with the larger Samsung Ativ which boasts better connectivity options.
Article first published in TechSmart 118, July 2013. Download or read it here.