Report: Acer releasing updated Iconia W3 8-inch tablet, improving the terrible display

Like most people who picked up an Iconia W3 8-inch tablet, running full Windows 8 on an Intel Atom processor, we loved the concept but recoiled at some of the execution.  We’ve joked in the past that Acer has two design teams: A and B with the former being responsible for the S7 and R7 (gorgeous devices) and the B team overseeing the less-than-pretty W510 and W3.

Forgetting the looks of the W3, which seem to be something designed three years ago, functionally the nimble 8-inch tablet had one glaring flaw: its display. In 2013, IPS displays are all the rage and found in most ultrabooks and laptops, giving users high visibility at various angles and great color saturation. High viewing angles are even more relevant for a device that you hold in your hands and flip around.

As we noted in our W3 hands-on (see above), the display on this device is positively dated. It’s a straight up LCD display and looks like something you would have wanted five years ago, but not in 2013. Indeed, everyone we spoke with at Build had the same story: “I thought the display was broken the first time I turned it on!”.

We’re certain Apple never had that complaint about their working-as-normal iPads.

Now, Dutch website Tablets Magazine is reporting that Acer is rejigging their production of the W3, updating the display for future orders. They note that:

“The new version of the Acer Iconia W3 according to the company has a better display, probably with the IPS technology to provide higher contrast, better viewing angles and higher brightness.”

And because IPS technology is thinner and lighter than old LCD, we can probably expect a smidge in savings for weight and girth.

That’s great news unless of course you already purchased an Acer Iconia W3, in which case you just got hosed. We suppose those who received them for free at Build can’t complain too much--after all, you got a free 8.1” tablet and keyboard—but c’mon, Acer, you can do better than this for a launch.

Source: Tablets Magazine; Thanks, Martino, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.