Acer Iconia W510 Tablet: The First Week! #TabletCrew #IntelTablets.

By Posted in - Travel Blog & Travel Gear on January 27th, 2013 A brand new Acer Iconia W510 Intel Tablet unpacked for the first time.

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A brand new Acer Iconia W510 Intel Tablet unpacked for the first time.

Unboxed and looking good! The Acer W510 in all of its glory.

Ever since the first tablets hit the scene several years ago, I have fantasized of ditching my laptop and traveling with one, but alas it has remained just a dream. However, with Intel’s introduction of its new Atom processors that dream may have just become a reality.

I’ve only had the Acer Iconia W510 for a week, so I’m not going to make any bold predictions yet. However, I do plan to put it to the test on some of our upcoming adventures to see how this Windows 8 tablet can handle the road. Until then, I’m going to be posting my experiences with the W510 as well as sharing tips and tricks for the tablet and Windows 8 that I discover along the way.

Thus far, I’m really impressed with the power that this extremely lightweight tablet wields. At 1.37 pounds, the W510 is lighter than the new iPad (1.40 pounds) and nearly identical in thickness. However, unlike the latter tablet, the Acer can run Windows 8 in all its glory thanks to Intel’s new Atom processor.

You probably remember Intel’s Atom chip from those light duty netbooks, which seemed to be all the rage a few years ago. Well, as a former netbook owner (I recently just upgraded from an Acer), I am here to tell you that the name is the only similarity between the old and next-gen Atom processors (also known by the code name Clover Trail). On my netbook, I could barely browse the internet–opening a new tab was tedious process, and I learned early on that multitasking between a web browser and a word document would cripple the system for minutes if not crash one of the programs entirely.

The W510 on the other hand has no problems at multitasking. For example, today I had a handful of tabs open in Google Chrome (including a YouTube video) as well as Internet Explorer and I had no problems at all. Ironically, just before Christmas I upgraded to a new Windows 8 11.6 Touchscreen laptop that has an Intel i3 processor, and I’ve got to say the new Atom chip can really hold its own. While my laptop is snappier when it comes to opening apps and running desktop programs, the tablet does a fantastic job of doing exactly what it is supposed to do–surfing the internet, casual gaming, word processing, productivity, etc. And when it comes to battery life, the W510 completely trumps my laptop. I’ve been getting approximately nine hours out of the tablet, while my laptop only lasts four hours or so. Plus, I find the colors on the display to better on the tablet than on my laptop.

iTunes running on Windows 8 tablet

I love being able to run legacy programs like iTunes on a tablet.

Because the tablet runs the full version of Windows 8, I can install all my favorite legacy programs on it–iTunes, Tweet Deck, Google Chrome–which is a plus when it comes to taking the tablet on the road. No doubt the Apple and Android operating systems have come a long way and are getting better with each release, but they are still not there yet in terms of being functional for full time use. For instance, using WordPress on mobile browsers–even when I switch to desktop mode–is still too quirky to use on a regular basis, and its app is only really good for quick edits. The inconsistency with WordPress on iOS and Android has always played a large part of why I never felt comfortable ditching my laptop for a tablet.

Another advantage to running Windows 8 is that I can easily attach a hard drive to the tablet or a DVD drive–this afternoon I burned a CD into iTunes on the tablet. The W510 features Micro-USB, Micro-HDMI, and a microSD card slot. It ships with a USB adapter cord. And in the coming weeks, I’ll be setting up the tablet to act as a screen for my Windows 8 laptop. I may also splurge for the detachable keyboard (sold separately or as a package deal from Acer) or a bluetooth keyboard.

I am really excited to dig deeper into the W510 and see if it’s worthy of the road. Along the way, we’d love to hear your own tips and tricks for getting the most out of Windows 8 with an Intel tablet.

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Do you use a tablet for your travels?

*Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Intel. While the Intel Smart Squad sent us the Acer Iconia W510 to sample and review, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.

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(14) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Andi of My Beautiful Adventures -

    January 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

    My hubby has a tablet. I want one too, but feel like I can’t justify it since I have a Mac Air and an iPhone.

    • Randy -

      January 29, 2013 at 8:34 am

      @Andi of My Beautiful Adventures, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve wanted an iPad for the longest time, but couldn’t justify it either for the same reasons.

      However, since I already have a Windows 8 computer, I’m excited to see what I can come up with in terms of syncing between the tablet and the computer at home and on the road since they both run the same OS.

  • Stacy Carpenter -

    January 28, 2013 at 9:35 am


    Looking forward to hearing more of your field review! I borrowed an Acer A500 tablet for a trip and shockingly, it really let me down for video/sound quality. Bad. Acer products are generally some of the most superb on the market and until the video quality fail, I was planning to get one. Truth is, I’d still like to and this one sounds perfect, but I don’t want to have that video/audio fail again. Would you be willing to review the photo and video quality? How did those features work under your “field conditions”?



    • Randy -

      January 29, 2013 at 8:39 am

      @Stacy Carpenter, Hi Stacy! I feel your pain. There’s nothing worse than getting a key interview or footage in the field only to find that your equipment couldn’t handle the job.

      We’d love to do a review of the photo and video quality for you. I will be doing a polar plunge soon and I plan to record the entire event on the W510. Stay tuned!

  • MarkG -

    January 28, 2013 at 12:24 pm


    I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this tablet as I am considering using a Windows operating one in future, but out of interest…which Windows 8 11.6 inch Touchscreen laptop are you currently using?


  • Andrea -

    January 31, 2013 at 5:50 am

    Tablets are so handy, especially for travelling. We have an iPad and a Xoom…had no idea Acer made these but thanks for letting us know about it!

  • Erica -

    January 31, 2013 at 9:47 am

    This is much more up Shaun’s alley for tablets since he is a PC and I’m a mac. 🙂 Although, I wonder what he can do with it now that he is dabbling in Linux.

  • Sonya -

    January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Some of the newest tablets on the market are dazzling. I’m a iPad user but I’m tempted to try one soon.

  • Jennifer -

    February 3, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    I don’t like using a tablet for blogging on the road, but tablets are quite nice to take with you to industry shows like WTM or ITB. It’s handy to load on your latest media kit and be able to have it at the ready during impromptu meetings.

  • Nicole -

    February 13, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Baby B has taken over our tablet. He loves all the game apps!

  • Maja -

    August 8, 2013 at 12:57 am

    I’m starting my studies soon on university, so i thought i would get a smalller laptop to take with me, but when i found this beauty (Iconia W510) I was sold. Bought it together with the keyboard, and I’m hardly using my “old” laptop anymore. I’ve gotten them connected using teamviewer – my plan is to use this one in school and the bigger one, for writing my assignments and back-up. So far, I’m using my time to get used to the tablet/computer-universe, but damn, the possibilities!

  • Luke -

    November 25, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Hi Guys,

    Would you recommend this over a Kindle Fire for easy of use while blogging on the road? I know the Kindle is primarily for books but you can get an attachable keyboard and theres lots of document editing apps and functions and the battery life is really good