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Acer Iconia W510 Hands-On: Three Modes, One Windows 8 Tablet

Here at Computex Taipei, Acer made sure to let the world know it's supporting Windows 8 in a big way, announcing two slates, the 10.1-inch W510 and the 11-6-inch W700.We had a chance to take a closer look at the W510 right after Acer's announcement and, though we didn't get to really play with the device, we were intrigued by a few things we noticed.

First, the W510 has a matte screen with really solid viewing angles. We really appreciate Acer's decision to go with an anti-reflective display when the vast majority of tablets have glossy surfaces that reflect ambient light back at the user. Some vendors have told us that glossy screens are popular on notebooks and other devices because they make colors "pop" more in a retail environment and generate sales. However, the colors seemed to pop really well on the W510 and we'll take better viewing angles over gloss any day. We do, however, wish the W510 had a full HD screen rather than a 1366 x 768 resolution display.

Another thing we noticed was how responsive the white keys on the keyboard dock felt. We didn't get to sit down and touch type but when we hit individual keys with a single finger, they provided really strong tactile feedback. We didn't get to try the device's clickpad so we can't vouch for its accuracy.  

Clearly, one of the W510's strongest selling points is what Acer calls its "tri-mode" function, its ability to serve as a slate, as a notebook or as a presentation / internet appliance when attached to the keyboard and bent backwards. In a brief demo, an Acer rep showed us the Iconia W510 flipping around into all of these modes so it seems pretty easy to use it any orientation you want or detach it from the keyboard.  

When connected to the keyboard, the W510 is supposed to get 18 hours of endurance, but when acting as a slate, a rep told us ot expect 9 hours. These numbers are in the same ballpark as those we've gotten from the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime which runs Android on an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor but has the same detachable keyboard design. Unlike the Transformer Prime, the W510 uses an Intel processor, runs Windows and comes standard with its keyboard rather than offering it only as an accessory.

We look forward to reviewing the Acer Iconia W510 when it goes into final production sometime later this year. In the meantime, check out the demo video and gallery below.