on 6 March 2013
Very, very happy with this product. Exactly what I hoped it would be and well worth the wait.
Small, stylish, light, fast and very versatile. I needed Windows 8 rather than RT, and while I wanted a tablet most of the time, I also needed a full keyboard. Amazing battery life, very quick start up, sharp screen, good speakers, and generally well thought out. And importantly, very good value compared to alternatives that are out there.
I am struggling to say anything bad about it, but be aware of a couple of points. Know what you are you are buying, it is small! Therefore the keyboard is a little cramped, and it is only 64GB, but that is good for most people, and there is a Micro SD slot for another 32GB, but I keep most of my larger stuff in 'Dropbox' anyway for safety. Also, it is, not surprisingly, a little top heavy when sat on your lap so has a tendency to rock forward. But these are such small things, and in some ways to be expected.
on 29 August 2013
so i've had this tablet for quite a few months now and have been putting it through its paces and here are my thoughts...
I initially bought this for its form factor i.e. having a full blown OS that is portable. up until recently i had been surviving on using my ipad for most of my light computing needs and for the most part it has sufficed (albeit with constant workarounds to get the job done). the Acer has allowed me to do my work which mostly involves using MS Office and citation software. for this purpose it is fine. I am drawn to the fact that despite having an Atom processor it appears to cope reasonably well having only 'locked up twice in 4 months and maybe running unusabley slow maybe twice a month since i got it. I have found this acceptable given the price and product and on average performs far better than my desktop PC with similar specs running win7.
so what are the pros and cons... as the keyboard has a second built in battery it has incomparable battery life compared to many similar tablets and is a fully docking keyboard. this was a deal maker for me as i didn't want the hassle of a bluetooth keyboard that needed to be paired all the time. additionally as it is a docking keyboard it means that i can use this tablet more like a laptop and lean the screen back so that it has a very comfortable viewing angle. the battery in the keyboard means that this is actually possible without the whole thing tilting over, yay! however the keyboard quality is a let down. the keys are unbelievably flimsy such that very often when you press the key, unless you hit it dead centre, even though the side or corner of the key gets pressed, it doesn't always register resulting in constant typos. if you will be using it for extended periods of typing, i wouldn't recommend it and would suggest to look elsewhere such as the HP envy that has a much better quality keyboard.
I you've done your research then you will know early models were plagued with lots of issues with the mouse track pad / speakers etc. I've not had any of the issues mentioned on various forums however i was very disappointed that the track pad doesn't support multi touch gestures. again not a deal breaker but is almost an industry standard.
another gripe I have is the lack of optimisation in win8 for touch. i.e. it is very poorly designed so much so that it almost defeats the purpose of having a touch based tablet. i know this isnt a fault of Acer but is certainly something that needs to taken into account when weighing up your options. i find that often for leisure use i use my ipad and only refer back to the iconia when i need to do some serious work. in which case having a touch interface isnt really critical other than the occasional swipe up and down (btw. win8 doesn't appear to have 'pinch to zoom' again not a deal breaker but almost industry standard now).
the storage at 64Gb is touted as adequate but in realtiy once youve installed MS Office you are left with about 25Gb to spare. it does come with optional SD card slot however in this digital age is no way near adequate as I started to use it for all my computing needs and found that i easily used up all y storage forcing me to buy an SD card so in reality the overall cost should take into account that you will probably have to buy some storage if you dont own one already so be warned.
I purchased this for £479 which at the time i felt was reasonable however if it can be found cheaper, then with the onset of the newer Haswell chips will make this a better buy. if you was to ask me would i buy this again given my recent usage experience i would probably say no purely because of the keyboard. sometimes it makes the tablet frustratingly unusable so much so that whenever i need to do serious typing i just plug in a full fat keyboard from an old mac instead! and whilst we're on the topic of keyboards, ive found there appears to be an issue with the bluetooth in that when pairing with a device, it interferes with the wifi signal (documented in various forums with no fixes suggested). also the WiFi antennae has been found to be rather cheap and weak so that often i have very low signal strength in a location where the ipad never skips a beat - just a little bit annoying.
so just a little over a year of use and after the warranty has expired it has developed a serious fault with the charger so that it does not charge properly. this appears to be a relatively common problem as has been documented in the ACER forums. the keyboard doc is all but dead now and the main tablet only works occasional but as i wrote this it has completely died on me. this is the second ACER laptop that has dies on me after the warranty has expired. the lessons to be learned are...
1) never by a new proof of concept type of kit if it is first to market... always wait for the version 2
2) never buy ACER products as it is just a crummy technology company that thinks it can rock it with the big boys wheras their products are just cheap and cheerful throw away products.
***Update 2 (December 2015)***
So after about 2 years with this product I am beginning to think this review is going to turn in to a long term owners review that will catalogue the demise of this particular product. so the first thing I want to feedback on is my experience on the Windows 10 update - or rather lack thereof! when Win 10 was launched the Acer Iconia was not supported because of something to do with the 'Graphics accelerator' not being updated. way to go Acer/Intel/Microsoft - this was an epic fail on their part, so much so that it has pushed me away from having any faith in an windows products with their OEM partners that I have gone over to the dark side and bought a Macbook. at twice the price of the Acer, it is exponentially better than the Acer/Microsoft offering for simple reasons such as continued support over the lifetime of the product. But that was 4 months ago. since then Ive seen a glimmer of hope as someone reported that the Acer finally is Win10 compatible to I am upgrading it as I type this. As I mentioned earlier, I no longer use the Acer and have given it to my 7 year old son (his first ever computer so naturally he loves it). I have enabled the child safety features so he only ever uses it for 1 hour a day, if that. Despite this, the screen is now beginning to show signs of ghosting on the LCD panel and there is noticeable light bleed all around the edges. After less than 2 years of ownership for the screen to show signs of impending failure is tantamount to the (lack of) quality of this product. Suffice to say, I am not expecting this product to last much longer so would advise everyone to not only steer clear of this product, but also this brand. heres to hoping I am able to add a future edit to this review.... if it makes it through.
***Update 3 - April 2016***
So heres a surprising tun of events... due to the initial bodged upgrade to Win10 and roll back to win8. the laptop had become virtually unusable, So I attempted another upgrade to Win10 and this time it went far more smoothly. now there are no dead areas and everything seems to be functional, albeit painfully slow. after running it for about 3 months in this hobbled state I bi the bullet and did a complete restore from Win10 so theres definitely no going back now to win 8. this had the effect of permanently deleting the previous version of Win8 + any of my other personal files. the effect of this has been it is working much better now but still a flaky experience. I have noticed the battery life has taken quite a hit now (I'm guessing because connected standby no longer functions correctly) as well as continuously dropping the wifi connection when going to sleep. the touchpad is still bad and occasionally the buttons stick so that one press of a key results in multiple presses. recently a micro SD card that I was using seems to have become permanently corrupted by the machine. Im surprised it hasn't died yet. lets see how long this experiment lasts. I'll post another update as appropriate.
on 15 March 2013
The Iconia W510 is the future and a short trip in the past will help explain:-
I am an expert computer user who started out in computing in 1971, I have no fear of technology and enjoy change nevertheless, my main computer is still a trusty 10-year old Dell Dimension 4600 running Windows XP. This desktop machine has been updated with everything I can get to work under XP, both software and hardware - but it can literally go no further!
I (and apparently there are millions like me) have stuck with XP because neither Vista nor Windows 7 delivered enough benefit to justify the investment of money and effort to upgrade. I have also gone (several times) down the laptop road which is much-littered with my not-so-old but very dead or at least very redundant machines.
My only other "computing" companions are my Apple iPhone 4 and iPad 2. The iPhone has become an essential tool for me but the iPad is really just an iPhone with a bigger screen (but without the phone). Nevertheless, despite its lack of storage and connectivity, it is the machine I take on holiday to keep in touch with the world.
The Iconia W510 with Windows 8 is a game-changer - you see, it is a fusion of my Dell desktop and my iPad.
It (and machines like it) are the future because they bring the power of real computing to an iPad-like device.
Firstly let's look at what it can do that an iPad simply can't:-
1. You can store your stuff on it - if you get a microSD card then you can store a lot of stuff on it
2. You can get your stuff on and off it very easily (it has a thing called a USB)
3. You can use a Bluetooth mouse
4. You can easily print stuff from it to any printer
5. Your stuff can be secure (passwords, encryption, hidden folders)
6. It has a battery that can last at least as long as the fuel in an A380
7. Its battery is good enough for self-powered hard drives, DVD drives etc
Add to all this the fact that you can run real business applications and the iPad becomes yet another piece of redundant technology (I can't bear to consign my trusty Dell to the scrapheap just yet!)
As well as the Iconia W510, I bought some other equipment to create a complete solution to my needs which others may find of interest.
First, I got a Western Digital My Passport 1TB hard drive. This is self-powered either by the USB port on the keyboard or the micro USB port on the screen. I've used smaller My Passport drives and they are 100% reliable. 1TB is far bigger than I need but these disks is so cheap now there's no point in going smaller.
Second, I bought a Samsung SE-208AB DVD Writer. Again this is self-powered via either USB and gives me easy access to all the stuff that I still have on DVD. I could have got a Blue-ray version but couldn't really justify the extra cost
Third, I added a couple of Sandisk 32GB micro SD cards to my order - they are cheaper than a single 64GB and give me more flexibility. They are darned small, easy to lose and you look like a secret agent when you use them though.
Fourthly, a micro HDMI to HDMI cable because that way you can watch any movies or TV programs you have stored on a your micro SD card on a full size TV, alternatively you could work on the bigger screen if necessary.
Finally, I bought the Poetic Flexbook case which fits the W510 like a hand-made glove and looks really good. It certainly protects the machine very well while allowing access to all the ports etc. I could have done with a user manual as it not immediately obvious how to fit it on. The only downside is it quite heavy and tends to make the Iconia tip back when angling the screen.
I had the Bluetooth mouse already (it's a Trust laser model) and for me it's essential because I use CAD software which needs more precision than a podgy finger can provide.
Do I have any criticisms of the Iconia W510?
Sure, a faster processor would be nice but with that would come heat, the need for a fan, lower reliability and less battery life. If Intel could make a 3GHz Atom with the same power consumption as the 1.8GHz no-one would be complaining.
The mix of plastics looks slightly cheap (although I quite like the look) but the engineering overall seems very sturdy - time will tell.
There's a few things about Windows 8 I could criticise but this is a product which is going to evolve very rapidly so anything I say risks being out-of-date in no time at all. Without doubt it is a worthwhile replacement for XP and, in my view, will soon become the de facto operating system and remain so for some considerable time.
Finally, I should just say that unpacking the Iconia W510 is a wonderful experience and the delivery from Amazon was within 3 days.
on 13 March 2013
I really like Windows 8, there I said it!
I have never been moved to write a review for Amazon before but since buying a 64GB Acer W510 I really would like to say a few things about this computer.
Last year I bought an Acer W500 so that I could play with the various release versions of Windows 8. I must admit that my first use of Win 8 was on a standard laptop and I didn't really get it. When I used it on a tablet however my opinion changed and I was very impressed with how fluid the interface was once you knew where things were. The up side was that I had access to the standard desktop and could run all of the programs I used on my main machine. The W500 looks big and chunky though and I wanted something that looked a bit more modern and elegant.
Having kept my eye on various devices I drew up my shopping list. I wanted a machine that ran Windows 8 proper so anything running RT was not an option. I did like the idea of the Surface pro but couldn't wait for it and also didn't see the point of paying the extra. I was looking for a machine that could be used on the sofa for browsing the web as a tablet, something with a keyboard and touchpad for "proper" work and also with a USB port for adding peripheral devices. Also I didn't want to be paying the earth for it. The machine needed a decent battery life and 3G would have been nice. (You can't have everything)
To be honest I am not sure why people have anything bad to say about this machine. The keyboard and touchpad take a little adjusting to however that has been true of every laptop I have ever owned. The machine is light, well made with plenty of room for expansion and amazingly versatile. I guess the measure of if a machine is any "good" is based on what you want to do. I want a machine that allows me to switch off from work and browse the web as a consumer device. I want a machine I can use on the train to type notes from meetings with a functional keyboard. As a University lecturer I want to be able to write class notes in Office, programs in Visual Studio and graphics in PhotoShop. I also want a machine I can add a full keyboard to and run through a large monitor if needed. I am not interested in games however this does play Angry Birds Space really well. The machine fills all of my requirements exceptionally well and I am very pleased with my purchase.
on 15 February 2013
So, I took the plunge in the end and bought the 64GB version of this. Initial impressions were very good. It was packaged well, it feels like a premium product and the build quality is high. The Windows 8 interface takes some getting used to, and (as I am not as young as I once was) I found some initial frustration trying to do simple tasks and struggling a bit. Examples include moving an icon, removing an icon and adjusting system settings. However, I cannot criticise the software for what was after all a PEBKAC error (Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair). A few days on and the frustrations are gone. I am now used to the interface, and have to say that I love it.
The battery life is excellent. I probably charge it once every three days, and it is getting frequent use due to novelty factor at the moment. It is a proprietary charger, so I will probably invest in a replacement one to keep at work, and so that I am not without one if I break the only one I have.
It runs really well, it boots extremely quickly and it runs all of the software I need!
The screen is bright, crisp and the UI is slick, responsive and a joy to use (now that I am being less of a numpty about it all).
There is a MicroSD slot on the side for additional storage, and I am using this as a backup device.
It's Microsoft, it is Windows 8 PRO, and all of my work software just installs and it works. For me, although I resent having to be, I am reliant on a Windows operating system to get my work done. My android tablet is great for email and internet and social networking, but to do my job I (sadly) still need Windows. The Acer W510 meets all of my needs and is priced with a keyboard at roughly the same level as the Microsoft (RT not PRO) version, so is for me a far better solution than Microsoft's Surface.
For my tastes the base unit with the keyboard is a little too light for the tablet on top. If you tilt the screen past around 40 degrees from upright, it tends to tip when you use the screen to swipe or tap. Obviously, there is a play off between sturdiness and total weight of the unit, so I understand why this might be the case. I guess I just like my screen further back than most users!
The usual gripe about numbers of Apps - Not a huge issue for me as I use this mostly for work anyway, but it would be good to see a larger variety of apps there. This is of course a Microsoft problem, not an Acer one!
These are minor niggles though. Overall I think Acer have done a fine job in bringing a premium quality Windows 8 tablet to market at a pretty competitive price.
on 14 April 2013
I wanted something that would be a tablet for recreation and a business netbook for work. And portable with a long battery life. And at a competitive price. And....(long list)
Unboxing - it was not a 'wow' moment for me. Its not a tablet wearing a 'little black dress', more of a 'homely comfortable' type! It grew on me and I realised it was the right decision and now I am very attached to it.
Design & Processor - very light as a tablet, easy to carry around with you. The new dual core processor is good for all business applications. Does the job well.
Battery - This is a battery camel! I get at least 9 hours on the tablet and a few days with netbook set-up. Very good. I don't need to carry a charger with me and hunt for a socket in public.
MicroSD - I bought a Samsung 64GB MicroSD card. Recognised the microSD card so got around 128GB to play with.
My Software setup & Windows 8
Setting up - you have an option to use your microsoft email account as your username. This is the full Windows 8 operating system so it works with the normal windows programs.
Start button - windows 8 gives option of tiles or traditional desktop view. The desktop view has no start button. I found a reliable virus free website to get this from called ninites (ninites dot com, and to install all my additional programs, highly recommended site).
Skype Metro (Windows 8 application) - VERY annoying. I used my old skype account to test the skype app. You CANNOT sign out of it. This is because it links your microsoft user account with your skype account. The ONLY way to un-couple the skype account is to go online, on your browser login to skype. Go to account settings and 'de-link' your skype account from your microsoft account. I do not use the skype metro app but download the normal skype program for windows.
Windows 8 app store - not as good as for android or apple. Some of the common apps are not as well functioning. But has lot of the common apps e.g. TV catchup
Web browsing - just like a normal windows PC for full browsing. No need to worry about adobe flash installation, multitasking, etc.
Tablet part is encased with the Poetic Flexbook case (on Amazon). Can clip keyboard into the Poetic Flexbook case when used for business. Case is a bit heavy with tablet and keyboard but when only with tablet in place it is fine.
Keyboard dock all other times in soft Neoprene laptop 10.1 case (on Amazon).
Cameras - good quality 2MP for skype. Rear camera 8MP good for photos and videos with flash is good.
THIS device is what Microsoft should have launched Windows 8 with and not the Microsoft Surface Tablet (including better price point). Overall very good and highly recommended.
UPDATE March 2015
Acer W510 still going strong. With newer programs requiring more RAM and processing power the Acer is definitely not a gamer laptop. But for surfing the web, office documents, portability it is excellent. And STILL getting all day battery life.
I wish Acer make a Surface Tablet Pro 3 rival.
on 21 December 2013
Acer laptop delivered but windows would not activate or update. Contacted Microsoft who carried out tests and found the licence files are corrupt and it cannot be activated. What is happening is that on each return, Amazon Warehouse reinstalls from the recovery partition without checking whether it can be activated and it goes out to a new purchaser. A previous reviewer reported similar problems. This results in days wasted trying to resolve a problem which cant be solved.
If you experience similar problems download Belarc Adviser which will tell you the serial number of windows. The serial number of the defective and worthless computer is: QN8XX-G2C8X-238CW-BW89V-6XT7T.
on 15 May 2013
This is the first computer I've owned since the internet was invented so I actually don't know what was so special about previous windows operating systems that has generated such negative emotions towards windows 8. Personally, I think it couldn't be more user friendly and the same goes for this beautiful little machine. Lovely to look at, delightful to hold, this particular customer is completely sold! Being a total newbie, I was expecting a lot of teething troubles, especially with setting up the system, but it actually sets itself up. I have to admit I am not the most demanding user so I can't comment on performance if you are but it has met all of my needs so far. And, no, Acer have not paid me to write this review! I just really can't fault this product. To those who complain about it being top heavy I say 'what do you expect?' The vast majority of the workings are in the tablet section so that it can be used as....guess what?... A TABLET. The keyboard section just gives you the extra elements that make it a notebook and another battery. And what a battery!! I can watch catch up tv nearly all day on the tablet and if I want some extra time I don't have to wait for it to charge, I just slot it on to the keyboard and carry on. Money well spent.
on 4 June 2013
Looks pretty, doesn't actually work. Straight out of the box, refuses to update Windows and web performance is slow beyond slow. Two days of installing driver updates manually and then reinstalling Windows, no improvement. Acer UK referred me to their premium support line, who thought they might be able to help, but wanted to charge. Don't be misled by enthusiastic Amazon reviewers, who must count among the lucky few. Acer's own support forums are full of people with the same problems as me: this discussion has been going on since October 2012.
UPDATED 23/10/14 Connectivity issued resolved with a new router -- wonder why the w510 is the only piece of kit that ever refused to connect through the old one.
Anyway, I have since found it useful for many things, mainly because of the compact size and long battery life. But now the charger has died, and replacements are both hard to find (Acer doesn't have them) and expensive (close to £50), and of course no more robust than the original.
on 24 July 2013
The product looks great, delivered when they said it would be. Unfortunately, when it turned up it was a 32Gb and not a ^4Gb as advertised, and also it had a dead pixel on the screen when the condition had been described as 'very good' in the advert....Therefore had to RMA.
From what I saw of the unit though it is a viable and good system and I am going to purchase a New one to make sure I don't have the faults and no warranty issues.
Amazon dealt with the issuing an RMA rapidly and efficiently and at the time of writing this the unit is wending it's way back to them via courier.