Acer's Iconia W3 squeezes notebook performance into a device no bigger than an iPad Mini.
Advertised as the only tablet that can put a full desktop in your hand, the Acer Iconia W3 is definitely a sign of things to come. Microsoft is expected to reveal 8-inch Surface-branded tablets at its upcoming BUILD conference later this month and a number of other PC and tablet makers have signaled similar intentions.
The Iconia W3 runs the full desktop version of Windows 8 and comes with the consumer version of Office pre-installed, highlighting that Acer believes that this device will suit families and students rather than business use. Still it does come with an optional full-sized Bluetooth keyboard that doubles as a stand.
The tablet only packs an Intel Atom processor but its efficiency should give the device eight hours' battery life. Light power consumption is also aided by the fact that the display is 720p rather than ‘full' HD (which can put extra strain on both the power and the processor) and while by no means the thinnest tablet on the market -- it's nearly 12mm thick -- that extra thickness allows the incorporation of micro USB and micro HDMI ports for connecting to external devices such as TVs and projectors.
Available with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, the Iconia W3 also supports memory expansion via a microSD card (up to a further 32GB). The tablet will be available for pre-order starting on Tuesday, June 4 in the US before rolling out further in the coming weeks and months.
Revealed in the run-up to this year's Computex conference in Taipei, which officially starts on June 4, initial hands-on reviews have been mixed, with the Verge in particular being critical of its build quality. The Iconia W3 comes with a recommended retail price of $379 (€300).