Acer Iconia W510, W700 Tablets and Windows 8: Only the Beginning

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The tablet market has gotten a lot more crowded lately. When Windows 8 was released last October, it became clear that Microsoft was looking to make an impact. Windows 8 features a completely redesigned Start screen with tiles that update in real time, as well as full integration of multi-touch gestures, all of which can be optimized when featured on a tablet.

For the casual user, the Acer Iconia W510-1666 10.1” Tablet would probably be a great first Windows 8 tablet. For someone looking for a little more performance, the Acer Iconia W700-6607 11.6” Tablet may be a better fit.

Windows 8

Both the W510 and W700 feature the full Windows 8 operating system. Optimized for tablets, Windows 8 has a Start screen featuring "tiles." These tiles are more than just icons—they also contain information, such as incoming mail, weather forecasts, news headlines, sports scores, social network notifications and more. All tiles update in real time so you don't have to launch every app to see what's new. Windows 8 also supports multi-touch gestures so you can swipe, tap, drag, pinch-to-zoom, rotate and slide your way around both the W510 and the W700.

Design

Moving on to hardware, the W510 and the W700 are tablets, so it only makes sense that they’re thin and lightweight. The W510 is the smaller of the two with a 10.1” display. It measures 0.35” thin and weighs about 1.27 pounds. The W700 is bigger, due to its 11.6” display, measuring 0.47” thin and weighing just over 2 pounds.

Both the W510 and W700 have a volume up and down button, a rotation lock switch and a dedicated Windows button. In terms of sensors, both Acer Iconia tablets have a gyroscope, an e-compass, an accelerometer and an ambient light sensor. Both tablets connect with a micro-HDMI output port with HDCP support, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and a DC-in power connector. The difference between the W510 and W700, when it comes to ports, is the W510 comes with a micro-USB 2.0 port while the W700 features a standard USB 3.0 port.

The W510 has a 2-cell lithium polymer battery built in, while the W700 has a 3-cell lithium polymer battery. Both tablets are capable of maintaining up to 9 hours of battery life on a single charge. Please note that the listed battery life is based on MobileMark 2007 productivity mode testing with wireless on. Actual battery life will vary by model, configuration, applications, power management settings, operating conditions and features utilized.

One of the major differences between the W510 and the W700 is that the W700 comes with an included cradle and Bluetooth keyboard. The W700 gives you the freedom to use it as a tablet or attach it to the included cradle and use it in conjunction with the Bluetooth keyboard for a more traditional computing experience. The cradle has three USB 3.0 ports, which allow you to connect more peripherals to the W700, such as a mouse, a monitor or an external hard drive. You an also twist the tablet 295° to use it in an a-frame presentation mode.

There’s also an optional keyboard dock available for the W510. Sold separately, the Acer Iconia W510 Keyboard Dock allows for enhanced productivity when connected to the W510. The keyboard dock provides both a tactile keyboard as well as additional battery life, which boosts the W510 tablet’s run time to up to 18 hours (battery life may vary depending on usage). There is a standard USB 2.0 port on the keyboard dock as well so you’ll be able to connect a USB-compatible device with ease. The unique hinge of the keyboard dock can open up to 295 degrees so you can share your screen with others in a presentation mode. The keyboard dock for the W510 gives you more options as well as longer run time to stay productive.

Display

The W510 features a 10.1” IPS display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a 178° wide viewing angle. Of course, since it is a tablet, it has a capacitive touch screen with 5-point touch input capabilities. While there’s no dedicated graphics card, the W510 powers its 1366 x 768 native resolution with the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, which can dedicate up to 64MB of system memory for graphical use.

The W700 has a similar display to the W510, with some notable differences. Yes, the W700 also has a capacitive touch screen with 16:9 aspect ratio and a 178° wide viewing angle, but the W700 also has a bigger IPS screen that measures 11.6”. The touch screen can also support 10-point touch input as opposed to the 5-point touch input of the W510. Also, the W700 features a different processor (more on this later) that integrates Intel HD Graphics 4000, which can dedicate up to 128MB of system memory for graphical use. With integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, the W700 is able to boost its native resolution to 1920 x 1080, which is Full HD 1080p quality. The high resolution on an 11.6” display makes watching Full HD videos on the W700 enjoyable since there’s no need to upscale the content.

Performance, Memory and Storage

The W510 features a dual-core 1.5 GHz  Intel Atom Z2760 processor. It can also reach a speed of 1.8 GHz with Intel Burst technology. The W510 uses 2GB of 800 MHz LPDDR2 RAM to improve performance further. The W700 houses a dual-core 1.8 GHz Intel Core i3-3217U processor. Its 3MB L3 cache and 4GB of dual-channel DDR3 RAM ensure reliable performance.

Both the W510 and the W700 have 64GB of internal storage space. While 64GB would most likely be sufficient for the average user, the heavy-media user may require even more storage space. Thankfully, Acer provided a microSD media card reader on the W510 so you’ll be able to expand your storage space up to 32GB with microSD cards (sold separately). Unfortunately, the W700 doesn’t have a microSD slot, but you can use the included cradle to connect an external hard drive to the W700 via a USB cable.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Both the W510 and W700 tablets are capable of connecting to 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks and both have Bluetooth 4.0+HS technology, so you’ll be able to wirelessly connect your favorite peripherals, such as phones and printers. Acer Always Connect remembers frequently visited Wi-Fi hotspots, so both the W510 and the W700 will automatically connect to those networks whenever you’re in range. This removes the need to constantly go into settings to connect to the Internet.

Camera and Audio

The W510 has a 2-megapixel front camera for clear video quality while video chatting with friends and family, as well as an 8-megapixel rear camera for taking high-quality photos. Both cameras on the W510 are capable of recording video at 1080p. While not as abundant in megapixels as the cameras on the W510, the W700 still offers a decent 5-megapixel rear camera and a front HD camera. The rear camera can record in 1080p, while the front camera is limited to 720p.

While the W510 has the advantage in terms of cameras, the W700 takes the lead when it comes to audio. Both the W510 and the W700 feature built-in stereo speakers, but the audio technology they contain is quite different. The W700 features optimized Dolby Home Theater v4 audio enhancement with features like Audio Optimizer, Audio Regulator, Volume Leveler, Volume Maximizer, Intelligent EQ, Dialogue Enhancer and Surround Virtualizer for headphones and built-in speakers. The W510 has high definition audio support, which is decent in its own right, but the W700 is the clear winner when it comes to audio.

Acer Ring

Both the W510 and the W700 have the Acer Ring feature. Acer Ring is a unique touch interface that provides a fast and seamless way to read documents, play music, browse the Web, view photos and watch videos. Add your favorite apps to the Acer Ring and launch them or slide over to the device control function to manage devices quickly.

Just the Beginning

With Windows 8 tablets looking to break into an already bustling market, the Acer Iconia W510 and W700 tablets definitely help Windows 8’s cause—being a worthy alternative to iOS and Android.

Acer Iconia W510-1666 10.1" Tablet
Performance
Operating System Windows 8
Cache L2: 1MB
Graphics Card Integrated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator with 64MB dedicated system memory
Memory Slots: Onboard
Type: 800 MHz LPDDR2 RAM
Installed: 2GB
Processor 1.5 GHz Intel Atom Z2760 Dual-Core
Storage 64GB
Display
Type Capacitive
Size 10.1"
Backlight LED
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Native Resolution 1366 x 768
Brightness 350 nit
Input/Output Connectors
Ports 1 x Micro-HDMI output with HDCP support
1 x Micro-USB 2.0
Audio Integrated Stereo Speakers
Integrated Digital Microphone
1 x 3.5mm Headphone/Speaker Jack
Flash Media Slot 1 x microSD
Communications
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0+HS
Mobile Broadband None
Camera Front: 2-megapixel
Rear: 8-megapixel
General
Keyboard Virtual
Battery 2-Cell Lithium Polymer Battery Providing up to 9 Hours per Charge (3540mAh)
Dimensions 10.18 x 0.35 x 6.6" / 25.9 x 0.9 x 16.8 cm
Weight 1.27 lb / 0.58 kg
Acer Iconia W700-6607 11.6" Tablet
Performance
Operating System Windows 8
Cache L3: 3MB
Graphics Card Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 128MB dedicated system memory
Memory Type: DDR3 RAM
Installed: 4GB
Processor 1.8 GHz Intel Core i3-3217U Dual-Core Ivy Bridge
Storage 64GB
Display
Type Capacitive
Size 11.6"
Backlight LED
Aspect Ratio 16:9
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Brightness 350 nit
Input/Output Connectors
Ports 1 x Micro-HDMI output with HDCP support
1 x USB 3.0
Audio Integrated Stereo Speakers
Integrated Digital Microphone
1 x 3.5mm Headphone/Speaker Jack
Flash Media Slot None
Communications
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.0+HS
Mobile Broadband None
Camera Front: 720p HD
Rear: 5-megapixel
General
Keyboard Virtual
Battery 3-Cell Lithium Polymer up to 9 Hours per Charge (4850mAh)
Dimensions 11.6 x 0.47 x 7.5" / 29.5 x 1.0 x 19.1 cm
Weight 2.09 lb / 0.95 kg