Dick Smith's Exceptional Pair Of Ace(r)s Up Its Sleeves


The Earth has rocked our world with his latest BOGOF deal, $199 for two Acer W3-810 32GB Windows 8 tablets with Microsoft Office 365 Personal. He has found this gem in Dick Smith’s latest catalogue, valid until the 6th of April 2015. When compared to MSY’s $199 price tag on one of these tablets, you’ll quickly realise that Dick Smith is not kidding - it’s a genuine Buy-One-Get-One-Free offer. So let’s take a closer look at what you’re actually getting two of and what else is included in this package at DSE.


Spoiler alert - You can already start thinking of teaming up with a mate or a relative to grab one of these tablets at $100 a pop, which truly is an epic bargain.


Acer Iconia W3 810Acer’s Iconia was one of the first 8” tablets, whose lower price tag was welcomed by customers compared to its larger predecessors. Although this tablet was selling for over $400 when it was released in 2013, with technology improving so rapidly you can now find this relatively dated first generation tablet for $199 at most stores. To add to the general great value aspect of this offer, DSE are also throwing in Microsoft’s Office 365 Personal, which on its own is worth another $89.


Some might complain about Iconia W3’s slow processor or it’s low quality screen, but this tablet was never meant to be for the tech-freaks or heavy users. The 32GB version of the Acer W3-810 may not be your first choice when thrown into the mix of similar sized tablets, but at $100 it’s a steal. Whether you like the idea of an unabridged Windows experience on an 8” screen, or prefer to use an Android OS, Dick Smith's offer on this tab is unbeatable. Have you considered buying the HP Stream, the Toshiba Encore, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG G Pad, or even the ASUS Nexus 7 instead? You will be looking at paying between $200 and $400 on the lower end for any of these tablets, so think again.


In other words, think about what kind of tablet could you possibly get for just $100. To give you an example, back in January we have had a decent deal on an inferior, “no-name” Pendo Pad, which Target was flogging for $109. The Pando Pad, which is now selling for $199 at Target is also a Windows tablet with an 8.1” screen, just like the Acer Iconia. These two tablets share many features, such as the 1280 x 800 screen resolution, the 2MP front and rear cameras, Bluetooth connectivity, a Mini HDMI and microUSB ports and a microSD card slot.

However, the Pendo Pad only features 15GB of storage and 1GB RAM vs. Acer’s specs at 32GB drive and 2GB RAM. Not only will you get double the storage and memory with the Acer, but its battery is supposed to last you up to 9 hours as well (3 hours longer than the Pendo's estimated average battery life). Actually, only the iPad mini could beat that in its category, but we all know one of Apple’s strongest selling point is the ever-lasting battery life of it's devices. Kudos to the Pendo Pad though for its slightly faster quad core Intel Atom Z3735 1.83GHz processor.

Acer Iconia W3-810 front and back view

The Iconia is equipped with a dual core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz processor, which is the same as you’ll find in ASUS’s $300 VivoTab Smart and HP’s very pricey Envy x2. OK, to be honest the Envy x2 is a detachable 2 in 1 laptop / tablet, but still it sells for over $1300. As for the speed this processor has to offer - it takes roughly 10 seconds to boot the tablet, and another 4 to launch after entering your password. It copies a variety of files at an average rate of 21.9 MBps, which isn't particularly impressive considering this only represents a third of the average tablet measured in its category. However, unless you use heavy graphics, the Acer Iconia W3-810 is good enough for using a variety of apps, Microsoft Office, surfing the web, video chatting and watching movies in full HD (1080p).

Watching movies brings me to the display and the dimensions of the tablet itself. The 8.1” screen occupies roughly 65% of the 218 x 135 mm body, giving you a resolution of 186 ppi. It's worth pointing out the reviews of this tablet's LCD screen though, as comments have been made around it offering users a very limited viewing angle as well as having poor performance in bright light. The tablet itself is 10mm thick, covered in plastic, and a lot of it. You’re saving on the design by buying the Acer; the faux-metal silver plastic back, the black bezel and the hard plastic home button all scream of a budget tablet, and unfortunately not a pretty one.


Besides the compromise in aesthetics and some of the features, if you do want a Windows tablet, the Acer W3-810 is the most portable and affordable option on the market. It provides a full desktop OS, which you can fully enjoy as this BOGOF deal also comes with Microsoft Office 365 Personal.


Microsoft Office 365 Personal with Skype calls and OneDrive storage


This Office 365 package does not only include the latest version of Office itself (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote 2, Publisher 2 and Access 2), but in fact several even more beneficial content for tablets such as free Skype call credit and 1TB cloud storage.

You’ll get 60 minutes of Skype calls each months to use across 40+ countries. Considering the cost of making international calls on a normal mobile network, 60 minutes of talk-time for free can potentially save you a significant amount on your calls.

One of the most useful offers of this package is the 1TB OneDrive 3 storage, which is simply awesome. You can free up space on the tablet by saving your photos, videos, movies, and music online, so the 32GB hard drive might be sufficient after all.


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