97 of 100 people found the following review helpful
Good unit with some minor cons
, November 14, 2012
This review is from: Acer Iconia W510-1422 10.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet with Keyboard Dock (Silver) (Personal Computers)
I'll be making some comparison to my Acer Iconia W500 (Acer's first X86 win7 tablet) and the new W700 . If any of you wants me to check on something specific. leave a note here.
I used my W500 for mostly for browsing, watching media on the go, ebook and some minor office work so I'll be making comparison on those area first.
General Win8 Metro experience:
Many apps already have update waiting when I got my unit(over 30). I'm fairly new to Win8 metro having only spent a few days with touch enabled Win8 devices in the last few months. Touch response is very good and smooth. Have not notice any slowdown even with apps downloading and install updates in the background. Rotation have a little lag compare to iPad but still pretty good.
One of problem with the W500 is that Netflix HD have very poor performance and even SD is not quite smooth at times so that was the first thing I tried. In desktop mode, after installing MS Silverlight. Things seems OK for a bit but then video starts to lag but audio kept going so they are out of sync after a few seconds. Turning off HD however produce a perfectly smooth SD playback.
I was quite dis-appointed by this but then I notice the Netflix app on the Metro interface so I decided to give that a try. Turns out there is already an update so I logged into my MS account and updated the app. It seems that removing the need to run in a browser plug-in environment is all it needs for smooth HD playback. I watch 2 episodes of BSG without any problem. Playback is perfectly smooth all the way through.
Next up, I tried some HD video from a Patriot USB 3.0 Flash drive (although the unit only support USB 2.0). The drive mounted with no problem and I start playing a 4.4GB 2hr 720p .mkv file (have to install KLite codec basic). I have the same video on my W500 and while it played fine on the W500. The playback on the W510 is noticeably smoother. I then tried a few 1080p 1.1GB 24 mins .mp4 videos and they playback perfectly smooth.
I then proceed to playback a bunch of 1080p Youtube video on IE and the playback is perfectly smooth again. Basically, HD video playback seems much smoother on the W510 vs the W500.
Construction and overall impression:
Much better put together than the W500, Fit and finish is good. Tablet portion much lighter and the attachment to the keyboard is very solid with a locking catch, no chance of the keyboard getting detached when you hold onto just the tablet portion. With batteries in the dock, the unit balance much better and feels less top heavy but it will still tends to tip over on your lap if your lap is not at least level to the ground.
There are a few point that I'm a bit dis-appointed. The use of mini ports on the tablet portion means you will at least have to carry a mini-USB adapter if you plan on doing files transfer on the go. The MicroSD slot would not be a problem except that it's only rated for SDHC 2.0 with max 32GB vs the SDXC of the W500. This means that unless or until they release a Micro SDHC 64GB card, you effective storage is going to be capped at an additional 32GB over the internal. (update: I have read other comments that someone was able to use a 64GB SDXC MicroSD with no problem, I do not have one to try so I cannot confirm that).(update 12/9: I just got a MicroSD 64GB SDXC card and it works fine).
Having only 1 USB port on the dock also hurts especially since there is no ethernet port on the dock. If you ever have to wire connect to a LAN using a USB to RJ45 adapter, it will effectively leave you with no open USB port (unless you use the one on the tablet).
The 64GB version only shows 46.6GB total with just over 30Gb available out of the box. It seems that Acer included a hidden recovery partition. Nice that you can recover without using any external device but not so nice that it eats up over 10GB. I guess those willing to do a flash install of Win8 can delete the hidden partition to free up some space. The 32GB version does not have the hidden recovery partition so you'll have to restore from the recovery DVD. (Update 12/9: If you use Acer's eRecovery and create a restore disc, you are then given the option to delete the restore partition and recover the space used).
I'll add more to this report as I test more apps on this device but so far I'm pretty happy.
ADDED ON DEC 02
Got my hand on an i3 W700 (without dock or keyboard) during the Thanksgiving weekend and played with it quite a bit and since the price of the i3 W700 is fairly close to the price of the top W510 model. Some of you may want a comparison between the 2.
General Impression on W700:
Very solidly built. Great screen but fonts and buttons can be a bit hard to read/click unless you change to 125% or 150%. MS office runs just like on my desktop. Sound is pretty good for it's size and compares well to the W500/510. Netflix and Amazon prime video is perfectly smooth in HD. I played a bunch of videos in varies format up to a 12GB 2 hours 1080p video file (with proper codec installed) with no problem. I did not install any games as others have already post about them. The included leather case works well and offer a few viewing angle options. The batttery life is amazing. I have yet to run the unit out of power despite only charging it at night. Sure, I'm not using it constantly but I would be streaming a couple hours of video and do some browsing and reading all thru the day. I would say that's between about 2.5 hours of video playback and about 4 hours of general use both indoor and outdoor and I have yet to see it drop below 20% so I sure you can get close to the 9 hours as advertised. The unit felt cool during all these time (cooler than an iPad). I have not notice the fan so far but I'm probably not stressing it with what I'm doing.
In comparison to W510:
The construction is another step up from the W510. The screen offer more real estate at 1920x1080. It's is a bit hard to read with the small fonts size but zoom is very fast and smooth. So far, I really have not notice much of a speed difference between the two but then again I'm not really running anything that complicated (programs and Apps may take a fraction of a second longer to launch but not noticeable). Not having any SD slot on the tablet is a pain but having a full size USB 3.0 port on the otherhand is great. I get great transfer speed from a Patriot 3.0 flash drive (over 150/mbps read and 80 write). However, the extra .8lbs really does make a large difference. Although the weight is about the same as the W500, the fact that it's wider/longer (depending on orientation) makes it feel heavier in the hand. You can forget holding this in portrait mode for any length of time so it's of very limited use as a handheld book reader. Landscape mode also have a small problem because the "window" key is on the lower edge and you will hit it by mistake many time till you learn to just hold the tablet upside down.
The W700 is great for someone looking for a laptop replacement and needs to run some serious software. It's lighter than any similar spec Ultrabook on the market and last longer on battery. That makes it much easier to carry around to meeting or clients. You can certainly get in a full days work without carrying around a charger and a bag. It's is however a bit heavy and bulky for someone who wants a tablet experience.
The W510 is thin and light and runs forever. It's lighter than the current ipad and although it's not as powerful, it's actually does more for all practical purpose. I think thin and light is the key for those who wants a tablet experience and being able to run normal windows software is a nice bonus on top.
Added on Dec 6th
For those looking at real world comparison between The W510 and the W700 on heavy duty tasks. I did some video conversion test on the W510 vs a S7 i5 with 128GB SSD (basically the same spec as the i5 W700). Converting a 1.1GB 720p .mkv file to iPhone 4 720p mp4 took 10 minutes on the S7 and 45 minutes on the W510.
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