Sunday, March 31, 2013

First impressions of the Acer Iconia w510


So after only owning this device for over 24 hours, here are my thoughts on the Acer Iconia W510 so far.
Things I like:
  • Device is nice and light. The main benefit of its all-plastic construction is that it doesn't weigh as much as an iPad 3. The device is still a bit awkward to hold in one hand in its intended orientation (landscape), but it's less tiring to hold for long periods.
  • Screen size to resolution - along with all of the other atom powered tablets and lower level win 8 laptops, the resolution of the Iconia is 1366x768. But on a smaller, 10.1' screen, the display is still quite crisp and clear. It's not retina by any means, but it's less noticeable on this screen vs the 11.6' displays.
  • Size - related to the previous point, I think 10.1' is the ideal size for a tablet...any larger and the device becomes more unwieldy, and you don't actually see any more stuff, since the tile interface scales for different resolutions anyway, while the touch targets would just end up being even smaller in desktop mode in the higher resolutions.
  • Claimed battery life - I've qualified that statement because I haven't spent a full day using this tablet as yet, but I'm not racing to the power cable after a couple of hours use, and the reviews I've read seem to support the claim of 7-9 hours of battery life. Another thing that I want to check is how long it takes to charge the device from empty - which you don't often see being tested in reviews, but are important when you're pressed for time and need to get as much juice in your device as possible.
  • Extras - I do appreciate the inclusion of a carry case (pungent as it is - see below), micro-HDMI to VGA adapter, and micro-USB to USB host cable. It's a nice touch, and means that the device is more flexible out of the box.
  • Position of ports - with the exception of the power port, which is on the bottom of the tablet, the micro-HDMI, micro-USB and micro-SD slot are all located on the side of the tablet, so they're readily accessible even if you place the device on a dock or stand.

Things I don't like:
  • Device gets really hot when charging - and I don't just mean warm, I'm talking hot. Specifically, it's only the top right-hand side that gets hot, and you definitely feel it on the display. It doesn't seem to have an effect on the screen at the moment, but it does make me worry about leaving the device to charge overnight, and of the long term impact of that side of the device getting baked with all that heat. When not plugged in that area is only slightly warm (suspect that is where the CPU resides) so at least it's not a constant issue.
  • Build quality - the device is solid overall, but there are issues with seams not being as tight as they could be, and components like the display not joining up evenly to the chassis (shall post pics in later post)...and for the RRP of $699 AU, I'd have expected more. Basically, with screen off, you'd be forgiven for mistaking this tablet for one of those budget no-name android tablets based on the materials, fit and finish of the device.
  • Stinky case - so this is nit-picking a bit, but the supplied pleather case supplied with the tablet gives off some strong solvent fumes. I've thrown it back into the box for the moment, but I'll eventually get around to airing it out and using it.
  • Position of speakers - they're basically where your hands would go if holding the device in landscape (lower left and right-hand sides of the tablet)

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