The wave of Intel Bay Trail devices grows, as Acer makes official its Iconia W4 tablet, which is an improved successor to the Iconia W3, and is Acer’s second 8-inch tablet. Intel’s Bay Trail chips seem to be getting along very well with Windows 8.1, which has just been made official by Microsoft. Acer didn’t see too many sales with the Iconia W3 and probably that’s why it has released the W4, to corrects its shortcomings and to take benefit of the newly released Windows 8.1 and the power extending Bay Trail chips from Intel.
With the launch of the Iconia W4 eight incher, Acer joins Lenovo, Dell and others. As a matter of fact, one of the direct competitors, albeit slightly below the W4 per specs and price, is the $299 Lenovo Miix 2. One of the most important improvements over the W3 is the resolution, which is now a 1,280 x 800 IPS display. In real life, this mean a better quality of the images as well as less glare when exposed to sunlight or other similar environments. Also, the touchscreen now offers wider viewing angles with a maximum of 170 degrees.
The 8 incher is a tad lighter than its predecessor, having 0.91 pounds (0.412 kg) instead of 1.1 (0.498 kg); thinner, measuring 0.42 inch (10.66 mm) versus 0.45 inch (11.43mm). If you compare it with the current iPad Mini, you can definitely say it’s bulkier and heavier, but it won’t break your arm. The Iconia W4 has a camera improvement, as well, sporting a 5MP back shooter with front webcam of 2MP. The W3 had 2-megapixel cameras on both the front and the rear, so you might rely sometimes on the W4 for occasional pictures.
The tablet’s Bay Trail processor is clocked at 1.8GHz and it has 2GB of RAM. Iconia W4’s battery life should last up to 8 hours for video playback and up to 10 hours for web browsing, which is quite good, actually. The Iconia W4 comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, which means users will be able tocreate and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documentss virtually anywhere.
In the ports category, nothing has change – micro-USB, micro-HDMI and a microSD slot are all there. Acer will also introduce a good number of accessories for the Iconia W4: the protective Acer Crunch Cover for $35, a case that doubles as a stand for $40 and a the Acer Crunch Keyboard for $80. And this is not all, you will also be able to get an Acer Keyboard Cover, protection films, responsive passive styluses, power banks, adaptor kits with bag and Micro USB cable.
Acer will start shipping the Iconia W4 in the United States this October in two versions: the cheaper 32 gigabyte model for $330 and the 64GB model for $380. Would you be interested in it? Perhaps this hands-on plus some pictures with the Iconia W4 might convince you that this is a good looking affordable tablet.