Organizations are overwhelmed by the number of convertible tablet choices based on the Microsoft Windows 8 operating system. In one device, they need both a tablet and a keyboard; they need both touch and type to support new and legacy applications for years to come. With a versatile blend of features, the Acer Iconia W510 strives to fit the bill.
The tablet itself is very light and a bit smaller than its competitors, at just over 1.25 pounds and 0.35 inch thick, with a 10.1-inch diagonal screen. The high-definition, LED-backlit LCD, made of Gorilla Glass 2, is largely standard for tablets of similar size and features. The screen itself feels soft to the touch and is exceptionally responsive. With the Windows 8 operating system, a user can install both applications from the Microsoft store and standard enterprise applications such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader.
The tablet features a 2-megapixel front-facing webcam with 1920x1080 resolution and an 8MP rear-facing camera with 3264x2448 resolution. Both cameras support 1080p high-definition audio/video recording. A dual-purpose microphone/audio output jack is available for high-definition audio.
The Iconia W510’s keyboard dock wowed my coworkers. Unlike any other tablet I’ve reviewed, the W510 docks into a 0.25-inch groove, supported by a sturdy, 7.5-inch hinge that is part of the keyboard base. When docked, the tablet functions just like an ultrabook: The user can hold either the tablet or the keyboard, as they are locked together by a spring-loaded mechanism that can be released with a touch. The hinge even bends back to support a tent-like configuration, so that the user and another person can share the view without either having to hold the tablet.
The keyboard is solid, adding a pound and a half, for a total weight of 2.78 pounds when the device is docked. But it’s more than a keyboard — it’s a battery too. In a battery test that simulated normal office use, the tablet alone lasted a little longer than 8.5 hours. When I added the keyboard, it nearly doubled to more than 15 hours.
Why It Works for IT
The Acer Iconia W510 runs a full 32-bit version of Windows 8 Professional on an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor at 1.8 gigahertz, with 2 gigabytes of RAM. A 64GB solid-state drive is used for storage, with 33GB free out of the box. An Intel Graphics Media Adapter with 64 megabytes of dedicated memory is also fairly standard.
Connecting devices to the W510 is fairly smooth. Wireless connectivity is supported for 802.11 a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. The tablet also has a Micro SD card reader, and Micro USB 2.0 and Micro HDMI ports, along with a volume rocker. The keyboard itself also includes a full-size USB 2.0 port on the right, but curiously no USB 3.0 ports anywhere.
The 3-inch-wide touchpad does not include multigesture support, like pinch and zoom. It functions well enough as a mouse, and is very sensitive — maybe a little too sensitive, as I found myself wanting to turn it off. Luckily, Acer has included a key combination (Fn + F7) to disable it.