I mentioned previously that there’s a “middle ground” option when considering a Windows 8 mobile device and the Acer W510 is a perfect example. This 64 GB tablet with a 10.1-inch capacitive touchscreen gives you the Windows RT experience but with the added benefit of full Windows 8 compatibility at $599. For another $150, an optional keyboard dock provides a laptop form factor while nearly doubling its battery life.
As I note on camera, with the Intel Atom processor, the W510 won’t offer high performance. But it does offer stellar battery life, a touchscreen experience and a full Windows 8 desktop so you can install whatever software you’d like. The only full-sized USB port is on the keyboard dock, not on the tablet. The slate offers a micro USB port and microSD card slot for memory expansion.
I’ll follow up after a few more days of use. So far, I have more likes than dislikes — that trackpad isn’t the best, for example — and just don’t see why I’d bother with a Windows RT tablet after using this, especially when a comparable Surface RT in 64 GB with Touch Cover is $699. The 64 GB Acer W510 with keyboard dock has a $750 suggested price and I’ve seen it as low as $710 online; just a few dollars more with greater battery life and full Windows 8.