Acer Iconia W3 8-Inch Windows tablet: Unboxing & first impressions
Today at Build, Microsoft handed out a few thousand Iconia W3s to the attendees. For those of you don’t know, the Iconia W3 is Acer’s first attempt at an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet running with an Intel Atom processor.
Is it good, bad, somewhere in between? We’re not a 100% sure yet but we do like playing around with it a whole lot. Head past the break for our hands on video and some impressions!
To refresh on the all the specs of this little bad boy: the tablet weighs 1.10 pounds, is .45 inches thin, sports a 1200 x 800 8.1 inch LCD display, 32 or 64 GB of memory, and is powered by an Intel Atom Clover Trail CPU.
Truth be told, the display is a bit “meh”. By that sophisticated description we’re referring to the lack of an IPS display, making this straight up LCD, which seems like something from 2010 rather than 2013. Of course, it was done to keep the price down and like all displays, once you use it for a few minutes your mind kind of forgets. But on first loading, Sam Sabri and I each thought something was wrong with our screens.
Guess we’re spoiled.
Device performance is what you can expect from an Intel Atom: it rocks for Windows 8 Start screen apps, but lags a bit when you run full desktop apps (this is full Windows 8, after all). But what option would you rather have? A somewhat sluggish desktop experience or no choice in the matter? Because of that we prefer Atom processors over ARM, though we hope to revisit that issue later this year.
Biggest surprise? The speakers. Located at the bottom of the device, when held vertically, they’re surprisingly loud and sound a lot better than you’d expect. Cameras, on the other hand, are a bit muddy. The W3 features both 2.1MP front and rear cameras, which is probably done once again to cut costs.
Having said that, we see a real opportunity for some OEM (cough, Nokia, cough) to make an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet with stellar front and rear cameras, because this size device lends itself to Skype and even general photo taking.
We’ll do a follow up in a few days from Sam and me on the Iconia W3. It’s not a perfect device and it’s really the tip of the iceberg for what’s coming in this range—but it is quite compelling to use and is keeping us entertained. For $379 (32GB version) it will certainly raise some eyebrows.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
By Jez Corden
Just like setting a room when selling a house. RT needs some guidance for potential buyers
I honestly can't see any reason to get an RT device.
It's great for Remote Desktop (the one way to run Visual Studio & Visio) and browsing, but, overall -- I think RT has a lot of kinks.
But I really hate the design and the keyboard just doesn't cut it for me. I still much prefer the sober elegance and intelligent design of the Surface.
Or did you swipe one from one of the other atendees? :P
Develop or and Jr. Systems admin.
I know what I want out of my surface rt. I knew what I didn't. Bottom line, my expectations were on point.
I think the rt is the perfect tablet. Oh yeah, it can do desktop file management and other tasks. Not, I can't install tradition desktop software on it... But why would I want to? Even on the atom processors, the software I would want to us would make the tablet crawl. The surface pro runs too hot and is the laptop replacement that I do not meet.
I have a lot of computers at my disposal and each has its purpose. The surface rt goes out with me everyday, where as the others stay put if not needed. Besides if o do need something the use of software on one the other much stronger one, I will use remote desktop.
Performance wise, the rt is wonderful and the sluggish that others speak of is nit that bad. If fact it is a rarity for me. Maybe I have benchmarks to compare good and bad computers to from my own personal experience that helps me be rational. I'm not saying it does not exsost, just that it is not a deal breaker.
I think rt should be the future. People installing "shitware" on there computers now is what gives them a bad experience. My surface does everything I need to. I did my research... I was realistic. You have a sound mind and ration thought process. Get what you need, not what others say. Microsoft said they were commited to the rt for years to come. Even if it just updates, I am fine with that. With all if this said, it would be nice to have an rt device in 8in form like the surface. It would be even easier to carry it with me.
Also being a 11.6 inch screen do you get tired after working on it for a while? I been considering it as my work/uni tablet for a while, but i'm kind of in doubt between the ATIV Tablet and the W700
Can you install bluestacks and play some android apps and games and show us the performance? I really want a windows tablet but I might get the Iconia w700 instead for its core i3, larger screen, larger hd, etc.
I wanna get some light work done in it too, university stuff, programming, work, well pretty much all of it!
As for the value proposition of RT? Right now it's quite limited, but as the Windows App Store catalogue keeps expanding and once Office enters Metro, an 7-8-inch model can be a VERY GOOD deal. With Flipboard and Facebook already on the horizon, I'd say my consumption tablet needs (on the go) would easily be met by a Windows RT unit.
On the other hand, Intel has been making some serious strides with its low-powered CPUs. If we see someone release a 7-8 inch on Intel's Haswell ULX chips, then man, wow... It'd be tough for anyone to compete, much less Windows RT.
Can you verify if the microSD card does in fact support up to 32GB or can it exceed and go to 64GB? Acer's site indicates the former instead of the latter. Not sure why it can only support up to 32GB, where as other comparable tablets can go to the higher sibling of 64GB.
cool can not wait,, i hope soon to se this in denmark
Can I install Visual Studio 2010 and SQL Server on this device ?