I wanted to follow up on my initial review of the W510 after some longer real world usage. And heavy usage it is! I’m still hugely enamored with Outlook 2013 on a tablet so found myself grabbing it for that initial round of emails when I start my day instead of sitting at my desk. The W510 lets me processes my mail in other sitting positions. (Stop that thought in your 12 year old inner child; I mean at breakfast). Also, while I’m more of a tactile person, I’ve found that reading my beloved Economist magazine in their newly updated Windows 8 app is a great experience. It’s so great I’m going to switch my print subscription of the last 15 years to digital only at the first of the year. Another application you definitely do not want to try is Jet Pack Joy Ride. Whatever you do, don’t download that game. Do not. Don’t click on that link unless you want to have a lot of fun and lose many hours of the day.
All is not perfect in W510 land as I’m having a few hardware problems that I believe are around the sound system. In some cases when it comes out of sleep, the sound is gone. In other cases, the sound comes back but is massively distorted. Worst of all, every couple of days the whole W510 will hang. In the random hang cases, sound was playing either from me changing the sound volume on the desktop or from Jet Pack Joy Ride. I’ve looked for updated Intel SST Audio Device and RealTek IS2 Audio Codec drivers, but it looks like the most current are on the system. Fortunately, the hangs or sound problems are less than once a day so I’m living with it.
Another issue is that I’m seeing some wireless issue where I lose connectivity or the connection flips to limited access. From what I’m seeing it looks very similar to what some people running Surface RT’s are seeing in their wireless. I’ve tried the instructions I found here for turning off some of the TCP settings. As I just set those last night I haven’t seen if it helps the situation yet.
Finally, I’m also seeing an issue where the wireless randomly decides that it doesn’t want to see my 5GHz network any more. Again, it’s very random so I’ve had the machine connecting to the 2.4Ghz network instead. I’m not sure if the limited connection problems are related to this or not, but wanted to mention it in case it could help others.
Please do know that while it might seem like I’m bashing the W510 on both these blog entries on it, I do think it’s a pretty excellent machine. There’s some problems to work out but I think Acer has a very usable machine at a good price that shows off what Windows 8 nicely.