Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 8.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet Review

Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 8.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet

The Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 8.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet combines the power of a small laptop or netbook with the portability and usability of a tablet, bringing true Windows 8 functionality to a market traditionally dominated by Apple and Android devices.

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It is powered by an Intel Atom Z2760 System on a Chip (SoC), which integrates a dual core Atom processor, a PowerVR SGX 545-based graphics card and a dual channel LPDDR2 memory controller into a single package. The Atom processor is clocked at 1.5 GHz, but is capable of reaching 1.8GHz thanks to Intel’s burst technology. It also supports Intel’s Hyperthreading technology, which enables each of the processor’s two cores to handle up to two threads in parallel, ensuring that the processor is always making best use of available resources. The Zs760 is geared primarily towards low power consumption and efficient use of the power that it does consume, and is broadly comparable to ARM SoCs like the Tegra 3, both in terms of power consumption and performance.

The Iconia W3-810-1416 is fitted with 2GB of LPDDR2 800 MHz memory, which is the maximum amount of RAM that the SoC’s integrated controller can handle. Although considerably less memory than is found in all but the most basic laptops, this should still be enough to allow the tablet to perform useful tasks.

Long-term storage for documents, pictures, music, movies and software is provided by 64GB of internal storage, although much of this storage space is taken up by Windows itself. Fortunately, the tablet also features a MicroSD memory slot that can accept cards up to 32GB (SDHC 2.0 compatible), giving you the freedom to pick and choose which files are accessible from a collection that could be virtually infinite.

There is also one Micro USB 2.0 port, for connecting to external devices (including external USB hard disks), although you will probably need a Micro USB to USB 2.0 adapter if you intend to connect any peripherals with a standard-sized USB 2.0 port. Fortunately such adapters are widely available at an almost insignificant price.

Pros :

  • Windows 8, 8.1-inch Display
  • 64 GB Flash Memory
  • 2 GB RAM Memory
  • MicroSD memory slot up to 32GB
  • 8-hour battery life
  • Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013

Cons :

  • A portable device, not – and not intended to be – a dekstop / laptop replacement

Perhaps more usefully, the Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, making it easy to attach wireless peripherals such as mice, headsets, and, importantly, keyboards. For all that Windows 8 is designed to work well with touch – and the tablet’s 8.1 inch, 1280 x 800 resolution screen supports 5 point multi-touch to take best advantage of that – there are times when a physical keyboard is still the most effective way of interacting with a computer.

There are also times – when watching a movie, for example – when a screen larger than 8.1 inches may be desirable. For those occasions, this tablet features a Micro HDMI port with HDCP support, enabling you to connect the device to an HDTV, monitor or projector, as required.

High definition audio is, of course, supported. The tablet sports two built-in stereo speakers, along with an integrated digital microphone. Together with the 2MP front facing camera (there is also a 2MP rear facing camera) this makes the Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 video-chat capable right out of the box. Since Windows 8 ships with Skype, there is no need to install any extra software – simply sign in to your account (or sign up for one if you don’t have one already) and start chatting with your friends and colleagues.

As you would expect from a device designed to be used on the move, all-important internet connectivity is provided by built-in 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi. Equally important in a portable / hand held device is good battery life, and here the W3-810-1416 does well, boasting up to 8 hours of 720p video playback.

Because of its diminutive size and array of sensors (Gyroscope, E-Compass, G-Sensor, Ambient light sensor), it is easy to forget that this machine is a fully fledged, Windows-capable device, albeit not a particularly powerful one compared to a full-spec laptop or desktop machine. It is, nonetheless, capable of getting real work done, particularly if an optional keyboard is added, and, to that end, it ships with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013.

The ability to run almost any pre-existing Windows-based software sets this class of tablet apart from those running Android or IOS, making it theoretically possible to do just about anything with them that one would do with a desktop or laptop. There are, of course, restrictions imposed by the limitations of the tablet’s Atom processor and fairly small amount of memory, as well as its graphics card – this class of device is never going to replace a dedicated gaming machine, for example. There again, it is not intended to, any more than netbooks were intended to.

Further complications may arise from older software being difficult to use on a small touch screen, rather than with the keyboard and mouse that it was probably designed to work with. But these issues are to be expected, and, as long as they are taken into account, should not detract from the overall benefits of a Windows-capable tablet. Rather than be desktop or laptop replaements, they are designed to be low power, general purpose computing devices, built to carry out routine tasks on the move, and, in that respect, they succeed brilliantly.

Overall, and keeping these points in mind, the Acer Iconia W3-810-1416 8.1-Inch 64 GB Tablet has a great deal to offer and should certainly be on your shortlist if you’re in the market for a hand-held, Windows 8 device with a long battery life.

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