Acer Iconia W510 Win 8 Tablet gets 7/10 and 16hrs in Full Test

Posted on 06 December 2012 by



At 499 Euro, including docking station and up to 18hrs battery life, the Acer Iconia W510 CloverTrail tablet (32GB) is somewhat of a bargain in Europe. Price and positioning is different in the USA but you can still get the tablet with 64GB storage for $599. It’s also the lightest Windows 8 PC in the world which makes it pretty interesting for mobile users. I took a closer look at the device in an article recently but today I was able to read through a full review from the good people at Tabtech.de. The original is in German but I’ve pulled out some of the important data for you.

 

Acer-Iconia-Tab-W510-Test-23-imp

 

First thing to note is that the battery life is good and can be  doubled with the keyboard dock. The keyboard gets an OK review and looking at the quoted eMMC (storage) speeds, it seems on par with the Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500T. Any of those three items could have been a big problem if they had been poor quality.

Build quality doesn’t appear to be top-notch but Tabtech say the look of the device is good and that it is easy to hold. Only a small amount of warmth was noticed on the device during handheld use.

GPS and NFC are confirmed.

As for the keyboard dock, Tabtech got a good impression all round – and that goes for the hinge which can rotate beyond 180 degrees to offer a stand mode. Key presses are said to have good feedback but obviously the size will be something many users will have to get used to – it’s netbook sized. Note there’s no SD card slot on the dock.

The display is an IPS model at 1366×768. Tabtech noticed that it could have been a bit brighter. It’s protected with Gorilla Glass 2.

The 64GB version under test was delivered with just 31GB free which means the 32GB version is really going to be too tight for most people. The 64GB version is 599 Euro and probably the version most will (and should) choose.

Battery life was tested with video playback and Wi-Fi on to nearly 8hours. Adding the keyboard dock brings that to a very impressive 16hrs. It looks like this is the one for long-haul flights! CPU performance is on par with the Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500T with SunSpider completing in 720ms. Tabtech have other performance results available on the review.

The 8mp camera appears to offer reasonable performance. It’s not the best out there but probably the best you’ll see on any laptop today. Again, check out the review for example images and video.

In summary Tabtech gives the W510 7/10 and although there are problems to consider (no USB post on tablet, single touch mousepad, relatively low storage capability) there’s a lot to like here.

Head over to their article for their full photo set and the full article in German and translated to English.

Anyone tempted with the worlds lightest Windows 8 PC?

10 Comments For This Post

  1. meengla yip says:

    Thanks for the review. Interesting to see the battery life of 8 hrs on the tablet alone while playing videos!

    Osiris Reply:

    Pretty much all of the clover trail atom tablets can pull off that feat @ 720p or 1080p, the variable to the long milage is the screen brightness.

  2. Steven says:

    The 32GB version is just fine; just get an microSD card for it. This is from personal experience.

    James Reply:

    Cards help with storage but apps can only be installed on the main drive. So some may need or prefer the higher capacity. It may also be advisable for those who don’t do much maintenance and wind up slowly losing capacity over time.

  3. Mike Cane says:

    >>>The 64GB version under test was delivered with just 31GB free which means the 32GB version is really going to be too tight for most people.

    That is awful. I guess that will hold true for Surface Pro too then?

    From what I’ve seen, this Acer tablet can be bought relatively easily in the USA, while the tablets I like from Asus are nowhere to be seen in any stores.

    James Reply:

    Samsung includes many of their own apps pre-installed, like the S-PEN related apps. So space is probably more used up than in other Windows tablets.

    The modern UI apps, though, don’t require as much drive space as traditional desktop apps. So as long as people stick mainly to those apps then the drive space may be enough but otherwise it’s better to invest in the larger drives.

    Basically, the x86 Windows tablets are suppose to start at 64GB. The 32GB are just the more affordable models being released, as it’s the RT version that’s suppose to start at 32GB, and is why they’re offering up to 128GB for the full Windows 8 tablets.

    Pro models can probably offer up to 256GB and we should see larger drive capacities being offered over the next year. Already there’s suppose to be a 480GB mSATA drive coming out that should be applicable to both Ultrabooks and Pro Windows 8 Tablets by the end of the year, though pricey at $499 but prices should drop sometime next year as the new capacities become the new standard.

  4. Jeff says:

    Anyone know if Clover Trail can decode HD h.264 content without hardware acceleration? I’d like to estimate if it can decode the occasional video that’s not compatible with the hardware decoder. For example if a hardware decodable 720p video is barely playing smoothly on CPU decoding then it’s not likely for non-hardware acceleratable videos to play well.

    James Reply:

    CPU decoding is non-hardware accelerated, dual core ATOMs should handle up to 720P pretty well and some limited 1080P. While hardware acceleration gets you full HD as the Imagination PowerVR SGX545 can handle even Blu Ray quality up to over 20Mbps bit rate.

    Main limitations for the GMA is for things like 3D graphics, so gaming performance is very limited but for just media it should be fine for most videos unless very high bit rate.

    Jeff Reply:

    To elaborate what “non-hardware acceleratable” videos are, they are videos that use h.264 settings that the dedicated hardware decoder wasn’t designed to handle beyond just high bit-rates even though it’s part of the h.264 spec. I occasionally encounter these videos and the particle profile/setting varies: high frame rates, Hi10P, interlacing, high bit rates, number of references frames, etc.

    Anyway, does anyone have any CPU usage info on various HD videos they’ve played on Clover Trail? Does most 720p take up 50% of both cores or 80%? Thanks.

    James Reply:

    Uh, no, that’s just one condition where video wouldn’t be hardware accelerated. What “non-hardware accelerable” really means is any video that is software rendered instead of hardware, otherwise it wouldn’t play at all, and that’s primarily handled by the CPU when that occurs and it can occur with any video type, format, etc. that isn’t handled by the hardware decoder for any reason…

    Like wrong codecs, or hardware acceleration is not enabled, or issue with drivers, or incorrect configuration for the player, etc.

    For CPU usage, it’s very low when hardware accelerated at about 25% or less with 1080P… Youtube, Adobe hasn’t added hardware acceleration support for Clover Trail GMA, bumps up CPU usage to around 50% for 1080P youtube videos.

    Source: http://hothardware.com/Reviews/Intel-Clovertrail-Atom-Z2760-Windows-8-Tablet-Performance-Preview/?page=4

    Jeff Reply:

    @James

    I’m specifically talking about h.264 here. I’m sorry if I was vague about this. So the codec, hardware acceleration of h.264 videos being disabled, driver bugs, player settings, etc. is outside my original question about non-hardware acceleratable h.264 videos. Well, except for disabling the h.264 hardware acceleration to test CPU decoding on Windows 8′s default h.264 software decoder. Well, knowing if there are driver bugs in Windows 8 is pretty useful too. Otherwise, I agree with your comment about videos in general and hardware accelerated video decoding.

    Thanks for the YouTube info since it’s my understanding that YouTube’s Flash videos use h.264 and that Adobe’s decoder isn’t exactly very efficient. It’s a good sign for my consumption based tablet search.

    vrr4141 Reply:

    Sorry, just to make sure : this machine can play a 1080P MKV (H.264) “Hi10P” with VLC software encoder/ MPC from CCCP, smoothly without stuttering? If the answer is yes, than I will take a loan to get this machine soon. My 7 years old Pentium-M laptop (yeah poor me) just can not handle that type of video files.

  5. lever says:

    Chippy, have you heard any rumors of any actual clover trail pocketable being in the pipeline yet? I didn’t go for the f 07c because it had too many shortcomings. But it seems the technology is finally there to make something really useful in the sort of form factor if someone would just sell it!

    Chippy Reply:

    I haven’t heard of anything yet but I believe it could happen in 2013. I’ll be keeping a look-out.

  6. Frankie says:

    Just wanted to comment that the majority of the space used on the 64GB version is taken up by a recovery partition (which is not on the 32GB version). Free space on the 32GB version is 10-12 GB. And it supports 64 GB microSDHC.

    some guy Reply:

    How do you restore the OS to factory defaults? Was it just Windows RT devices that had this reset functionality built in?

    vrr4141 Reply:

    Can it boot from usb flashdrive or usb dvd drive? I plan to buy the 32GB one since that the only model available in my country. If without recovery, I will need to make backup of the ssd using clonezilla.thanks

  7. meengla yip says:

    I have seen an Acer prompt in the Desktop mode for creating a restore image–presumably, on a USB flash drive. Some people say 8 GB is enough?

  8. Mike Cane says:

    Did yours include the microUSB to female USB adapter? I’d like to know if a portable hard drive (USB-powered) can be run off the tablet’s microUSB port. That’d let me watch archived videos from my HD without having to move them to a microSD card first.

    Chippy Reply:

    Mine came with the adaptor, yes.

    Chippy Reply:

    External usb hard drive via usb adaptor works. I sent you a pic Mike.

  9. meengla yip says:

    Mine came with micro usb to usb.. but no micro hdmi to hdmi. Unfortunately an adapter I just purchased from Amazon looks like mini hdmi to hmdi… my ignorance.

  10. lewis says:

    I’m probably getting this for school nxt year, does anyone recomend this or should I get the Samsung ATIV, I’m Year 8 so it doesnt matter that much but id like to get a good one…