Acer Iconia W510 Windows 8 tablet has keyboard, will travel

The Acer Iconia W510 is a Windows 8 RT tablet that offers an optional keyboard dock and Intel's mobile Atom processor.

Acer has come up with the Iconia W510 -- a 10.1-inch Windows 8 tablet with a keyboard dock that turns it into a tablet-laptop hybrid. Possibly starting at around £310 (based on the US price), it seems quite reasonable, but my colleague Dan Ackerman over at CNET.com wasn't too impressed with the preview model.

The screen has a 1,366x768-pixel resolution, and on the inside, it's packing Intel's latest Atom Z2670 processor , which Dan found to provide adequate performance for the essentials -- although it's important to note the model he tested was not a final release.

To help with all your typing, the W510 can be bought with a keyboard dock. Sadly, Dan found the keys regularly failed to register a press, which made typing pretty awkward -- again, this could be corrected for the final model. Annoyingly, the weight of the tablet section meant it was very top-heavy and could fall over if pushed back too far.

The keyboard dock doesn't come as standard, so if you want it, you'll need to opt for the higher-end models, which start at around £670, making it a wallet-stretching investment. The dock does contain an extra battery though, which should greatly extend the battery life of the slate.

It's running the tablet-specific version of Windows 8, known as Windows 8 RT. That means you won't be able to install regular desktop software like Steam or Adobe Photoshop as you could on tablets like the Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro , which uses the same processors you'd find in ultrabooks. However, the tablet version is less power-hungry and cheaper, so if you don't need desktop software then it's worth a look.

While the W510 ticks the important design -- and hopefully power -- boxes it doesn't appear to be the most enjoyable of hybrids to use for long periods. And with a relatively high price tag for the full package, it doesn't offer much over moderately priced ultrabooks.

Windows 8 will be officially launched on 26 October, so expect a whole bunch of new devices to be announced between now and then. Touch is the best way to interact with Windows 8's large colourful tiles, so whether the new devices come in the form of tablets, laptops or bizarre hybrids, expect touchscreens to be on board.

There's no word on UK pricing or availability of the Iconia W510 yet, so stay tuned for more information as we get it. We'll be sure to keep you posted on how it stacks up against other Windows 8 devices when we give final versions of all models the full review treatment.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on the W510 and Windows 8 in the comments below and over on our Facebook page.

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Tablets
About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

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