Acer's 8in Iconia tablet has been revamped in all the right ways, with a new IPS display, updated construction, and a few extras thrown in for good measure – and we were lucky enough to get some hands-on time with this slate.
With a new face and a new name, the Iconia W4 may effectively remove the aftertaste of the Iconia W3 from memory, but it now comes to market alongside stiff competition, facing off against the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad 8, the Dell Venue 8 Pro (which we’ll have a review of very soon), and others.
When Acer first announced the Iconia W3, there was plenty of excitement over the first 8in tablet to hit the market running the full 64-bit version of Windows. But it cooled off quickly once reviewers got their hands and eyes on the small tablet. The Iconia W3 certainly had the conceptual makings of a great product, but flimsy construction and a mediocre low-resolution display left a lot of people disappointed. Within weeks, Acer announced that a follow up would be better.
Well, Acer has stayed true to its word with the Iconia W4. The tablet still uses the small 8in design seen on the Iconia W3, but updates the device with improved (though still plastic) construction, and an optically bonded IPS display boasting a resolution of 1,280 x 800. The Iconia W4 gets a performance boost thanks to a new Intel Bay Trail Atom processor, which made the tablet noticeably more responsive and peppy during my hands-on time.
The rear-facing camera has been upgraded from 2 megapixels to 5 megapixels, while the front-facing webcam is still 2 megapixels. Acer is also throwing in a free copy of Microsoft Office (Home and Student 2013 Edition), which adds a lot of usability right out of the box. The port selection remains unchanged from the previous iteration with microUSB 2.0, microHDMI, and a slot for a microSD card. What you won't find is a Sim card slot, as the Iconia W4 only supports Wi-Fi.
The tiny Windows 8.1 tablet will be available in the coming weeks, with a 32GB model selling for $330 (£200), and the 64GB model priced at $380 (£230).