Charging, Battery Life & Dock Power

Both the W510 and its optional dock feature integrated 27Wh batteries. As a result, with the dock attached you can expect a near doubling in battery life. It’s not an outright doubling because the dock itself obviously draws some power.

With the dock attached Windows 8 recognizes both batteries and displays individual charge details in desktop mode:


Battery 1 is the W510 tablet, Battery 2 is the dock

The lock screen displays the combined charge percentage across both batteries to keep things simple.

Similar to how things worked with ASUS’ Transformer series under Android, the dock is used to charge the tablet’s battery. Only once the dock’s charge is depleted will the W510’s internal battery start to drain, at which point it will power both the tablet and the dock.

As is the norm with most modern tablets, the W510 introduces Acer’s own proprietary power connector. The connector itself is reminiscent of similar connectors from Apple (prior to Lightning), ASUS and Samsung. Both the tablet and the optional dock feature a power input so you can charge the system regardless of whether or not it’s docked. The same power connector is used to connect the tablet and dock so it functions for both power and data delivery.

Acer bundles an 18W power adapter with the W510. The power adapter itself isn’t anything remarkable, however Acer did use a nifty removable plug that easily twists on/off. The W510 only ships with the plug for whatever region you purchased it in so I’m not sure how useful this feature is, but it’s nice to see design innovation from Acer here.

Charge time on the W510 is pretty reasonable for a 10-inch tablet. I clocked in a full charge from 0% with the tablet off at 3.632 hours. Peak power draw during the charge was 16.74W at the wall.

Note that this is just how long it takes to charge the W510 itself. The dock contains another 27Wh battery which should roughly double charge time.

Intel’s Atom Z2760 inside the W510 is passively cooled, but under load the upper right corner of the tablet can get fairly warm. I measured a max surface temperature of 38.2C under a heavy CPU load.

Battery Life

We've started running our new smartphone web browsing battery life test on tablets as well. If you missed its introduction in our iPhone 5 review, here's a bit about the new test:

We regularly load web pages at a fixed interval until the battery dies (all displays are calibrated to 200 nits as always). The differences between this test and our previous one boil down to the amount of network activity and CPU load.

On the network side, we've done a lot more to prevent aggressive browser caching of our web pages. Some caching is important otherwise you end up with a baseband/WiFi test, but it's clear what we had previously wasn't working. Brian made sure that despite the increased network load, the baseband/WiFi still have the opportunity to enter their idle states during the course of the benchmark.

We also increased CPU workload along two vectors: we decreased pause time between web page loads and we shifted to full desktop web pages, some of which are very js heavy. The end result is a CPU usage profile that mimics constant, heavy usage beyond just web browsing. Everything you do on your device ends up causing CPU usage peaks - opening applications, navigating around the OS and of course using apps themselves. Our 5th generation web browsing battery life test should map well to more types of mobile usage, not just idle content consumption of data from web pages.

AnandTech Tablet Bench 2013 - Web Browsing Battery Life

With only a 27Wh battery, the W510 delivers our shortest runtime in our new test thus far. Normalizing for battery capacity however and the W510 looks quite competitive. Note the huge advantage that Samsung's Clover Trail tablet enjoys here however. I suspect there's something more than just a smaller battery holding the W510 back. Running the same test with the dock attached increases battery life by 86%.

Our video playback test remains unchanged from previous tablet reviews. Here I'm playing a 4Mbps H.264 High Profile 720p rip I made of the Harry Potter 8 Blu-ray. The full movie plays through and is looped until the battery dies. Once again, the displays are calibrated to 200 nits:

Video Playback - H.264 720p High Profile (4Mbps)

Video playback battery life is a similar story. Equipped with a fairly small battery for its screen size, the W510 weighs in at just under 9 hours of continuous playback. Samsung's 30Wh Clover Trail based ATIV Smart PC does much better by comparison.

 

WiFi & Camera Performance Reflecting on Windows 8
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  • Pirks - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - link

    I noticed serious differences in user experience between Win8 tablets bought at MS retail store and elsewhere. Anand went for the worst possible scenario and got tablet stuffed with crapware instead of buying a tablet at MS store, online or retail, WITHOUT any crapware. Guys, PLEASE bear this in mind when reading this review. THIS REVIEW IS NOT, I EMPHASIZE THIS AGAIN - _NOT_ REFLECTING REAL END USER EXPERIENCE AS ENVISIONED BY MICROSOFT. In other words, standard stores AT buys its review hardware from and MS stores are DIFFERENT things.

    Please, KEEP this in mind when reading this review. It is VERY likely that you will see quite a difference between experiences using two same tablets bought in different stores, MS and non-MS one. I've seen it by own eyes when for example comparing how responsive the OS is, and how stylus works on ATIV Smart PC bought on Amazon versus the one bought in MS online store.

    In the end, if you buy hardware not in MS store and see some issues - quite likely it is now YOUR issue, not Microsoft's. MS is offering people retail and online stores to buy clean reliable crapware-free Windows hardware. If you buy elsewhere - you must be dumb. End of story.

    Anand, please consider what I said above. I am serious, no trolling or anything here. You are one of the best tech reviewers on the net. You should strive for better, so please think again where are you buying your review units in the future. PLEASE. Thank you.
    Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - link

    I don't believe I am even dignifying your comment by commenting on my own. Firstly, I didn't find an online MS store that would sell me a W510 in Germany. Amazon.de has that. Secondly, you say it is all worse, yet you only talk about crapware, which Anand mentions in a few paragraphs but has no bearing on his conclusion or any of the real numbers (performance, battery life...). So your post screams either "bought" or "troll" to me. Reply
  • Ned - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - link

    Ive just had confirmed that the first batch of Acer W510 optional Keyboard docks have a faulty touchpad which is fixable by any Acer service centre.
    All new batches from Acer have this now fixed.
    Also, if you have one of the original first production W510, make sure you update the BIOS which is available on the Acer website.
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Sunday, December 23, 2012 - link

    And yet again Intel fail to deliver a quality GPU driver for PowerVR series hardware, how many times will customers be forced to put up with this mess?

    The reason why a Tegra 3 is more responsive is that at least Nvidia know how to write a driver that isn't a buggy mess, even the fact that Clover Trail is x86 means little at this level of dire performance, what the hell are you going to run on it that you can't already do on a WinRT platform?
    Reply
  • agentsmithitaly - Sunday, December 23, 2012 - link

    Dear Anand
    I know it has been already already debated, but measurement units are quite inconsistent in Anandtech's articles.
    Sometimes they report both Celsius and Fahrenheit for temperatures, as well as inches and millimeters for length measurements, in this case we see imperial units for dimensions and weight comparision, dock and tablet weight in grams, millimeters for keyboard keys. Of course it's perfectly fine to express display size, or storage unit size in inches as it is the de-facto standard.

    Is it possible to have International system of units on all articles? Not only for the international visitors I'm sure Anandtech has, but also because this is technology website, which I think it could be considered as science. And scientists use metrical units, including NASA ones. You remember what happened to the Mars Climate Orbiter, right?

    Apart this, keep up the good work guys! And Merry Christmas to all!
    Reply
  • yannigr - Monday, December 24, 2012 - link

    We NEED AMD solutions. Pity AMD is for far behind. A tablet with for balanced hardware would have been great. Reply
  • zeo - Monday, December 31, 2012 - link

    Yes, though AMD is releasing the Z-60 Hondo as a stop gap for now. Being a slight update to the previous Z-01 Desna, which itself was just a more power optimized version of the C-50 Ontario.

    2013 though will see AMD's 28nm updates, with the newer Jaguar CPU cores.

    Specifically, for tablets, the upcoming 2W max TDP SoC AMD Tamesh will be their first serious entry into the tablet market and we'll see then how they compare.

    For now, the Hondo is at least a option for those who don't mind limited run time but want 3x better graphics than Clover Trail, which also puts it above Tegra 3 graphical performance, and full 64bit and better Linux support.

    At 1GHz though, don't expect better CPU performance...
    Reply
  • OBLAMA2009 - Monday, December 24, 2012 - link

    i think all these windows 8 tablet/notebook thingies will be a huge fail. carrying something with all these parts isnt more convenient that just using different devices or using chromeos and doing things in the cloud. atom is a seriously damaged brand name because of low performance and this new stuff doesnt change that. finally the prices for stuff like this are ridiculous. were used to paying $350 for laptops, we arent going to pay $600 for stuff a tenth as good Reply
  • zeo - Monday, December 31, 2012 - link

    First, there aren't that many parts and overall it is more convenient to carry one device than multiple... especially, if your actual usage favors tablet usage most of the time.

    Second, people have being paying such prices for iPads for years, a lot more when you consider the cost of peripherals, and ARM has only recently gotten around the performance range of a ATOM!

    Tablets are typically higher priced than laptops, though Ultrabooks puts a premium that lessens the difference a bit.

    People though have and will pay for the convenience of mobility, which laptops can only be considered to be portable but not truly mobile. While tablets can provide mobile usage, along with hybrids and other solutions retaining most, if not all, of the benefits of laptops as well.

    It's just that there's always compromise when going smaller and lighter, and no solution is perfect for everyone! Along with it yet being determined what size the actual market will be, as these are first gen Windows based devices and many are just waiting for the pro and second gen products.

    So it's comparing apples to oranges with tablets and laptops, different solution for people with different needs!

    Btw, even Chromebooks require a certain level of performance. Cloud doesn't run everything and you can't always have a high speed connection, which is one of the reasons why Chrome OS has a native client and support for hardware acceleration!

    The Cloud isn't that reliable yet either and not everything can be replaced by Cloud apps yet. Though such services are getting better and help alleviate the limitations of these mobile devices.
    Reply
  • mhaager2 - Monday, December 24, 2012 - link

    I don't really understand all the negativity towards Win RT and the Surface RT in particular. We have an iPad3, a nexus 7, and now a surface RT in our house. Hands down I like my Surface RT the best. It is by far the best of all in terms of productivity. I like the OS a lot. Its stable, responsive, and a pleasure to use. I like the touch cover a lot. I can type well enough on it to be useful without being a hassle to lug around. I have never experienced lag with it yet.
    Could MS improve the Surface? Of course. A higher DPI screen would be nice. A faster CPU is always nice. A lower price would be nice. Still despite all of this I still find this the most useful tablet I have used. As far as the paucity of apps goes, I think having half a million apps in your app store means a LOT of redundancy. MS is missing some key apps for me unfortunately which means I can't go to Win8 phone yet but as long as they keep adding quality apps I think this is the platform for me going forward.
    Reply

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