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.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
The first two Snapdragon 7c PCs are here, and they start at $299 with LTE
Along with a slew of announcements for the education market this week, Microsoft debuted the first two PCs to be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 7c platform. Both are targeted at the education market, and they bring LTE for as little as $299.
Need a laptop with a Thunderbolt 3 port? Every PC here deserves a look.
Looking for a new laptop that has Thunderbolt 3 ports? Well, you're in luck, as we've rounded up what we think are the best Thunderbolt 3 enabled laptops available to buy today.
Windows 10 build 19546 arrives for Fast ring with graphing calculator
Microsoft pushed out another new Windows 10 Preview build for Windows Insiders on the Fast ring today. This build brings the build number up to 19546, and it includes a new graphing mode for the Calculator app.
These external monitors go perfectly with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an excellent laptop, but what if you want to project the display onto a larger screen? You'll need an external monitor for that. Here are our favorite options.