Windows 10 On The Acer Iconia Tab W500…
After my experience with Windows 8.1 on the Iconia I was ready to give up and run Linux. Apps weren’t running due to massive driver issues, the firmware for auto-rotation constantly crashed… Need I go on?
It turns out though that Windows 10 runs rather well. I downloaded Windows 10 Pro (I’ve never been a fan of home versions of Windows) from the media creation tool and installed it. It’s probably worth noting that only x86 versions of Windows will run correctly on this device despite the x64 processor due to Acer not releasing any x64 drivers. At first, the performance is rather disappointing but once the correct graphics drivers are installed and the acceleration now built in to Windows can have effect. The C-50 APU really helps out here.
I was really expecting Windows 10 to feel sluggish and chug along on 2GB of RAM but it really isn’t noticeable when using the device as a tablet should be. Windows 7 Enterprise really felt slow from the outset and so did Windows 8. Light web browsing in Microsoft Edge is very smooth with almost no lag although Chrome is a little slow and feels clunky after using Edge. 1080p YouTube videos play perfectly with no dropped frames in Hyper for YouTube and so do Netflix shows when played from the Netflix app.
This was one of the main downfalls of Windows 8.1. The outdated AMD graphics drivers required for Device Control (which runs auto-rotation) broke most video apps in the Windows Store, no metro apps could use the cameras and Netflix just flat out refused to work. Not to mention that Windows constantly tried to update the drivers. Windows 10 however, seems to deal with outdated drivers much better. It doesn’t complain and store apps all seem to be working.
The only issue I currently have with the device is that the USB keyboard isn’t triggering the device to switch out of tablet mode however this isn’t really an issue as there is a manual switch in Action Centre so only a minor inconvenience.
Overall then, If you’re still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your Iconia I strongly suggest that you give Windows 10 a go. Just make sure you get all the drivers as they should be and all should work excellently.