Acer announces Iconia W4 8-inch tablet with Intel Bay Trail, Windows 8.1

Acer announces Iconia W4 8-inch tablet with Intel Bay Trail, Windows 8.1

Summary: The new model will join a growing list of Windows 8.1 slates when it ships later this month, starting at $329.99 for a 32GB version.

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Acer is throwing its hat into the 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet ring with the launch of its new Iconia W4 slate, which joins competitors like the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Lenovo Miix 2. Like those two tablets, the Iconia W4 will be using a new Intel Bay Trail Atom processor, but unlike the Miix 2 and Venue 8 Pro, its $329.99 starting price will be a little higher than theirs ($299) -- and similar to the forthcoming Toshiba Encore 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet.

Unfortunately for Acer, it's unclear how it is justifying the higher price for the W4, which offers the same amount of built-in storage (32GB) and screen resolution (1,280x800) as the cheaper rivals. (A 64GB version will be available for $379.99.) Our sister site CNET was also not thoroughly impressed with its hands-on with the W4, finding that its so-so build quality/design was similar to its Iconia W3, which the company touts as the first 8-inch tablet to run Windows 8. (Curiously, CNET says the W4's starting price will be $299, but most other outlets are sticking with the $329.99 figure.)

With the success of the iPad mini and similarly sized Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, Windows 8 tablet makers have clearly received the message -- small is in, and the new Bay Trail processors could help lower the price point for mini-tablets. That hasn't entirely happened yet -- after all, the W4's starting price is the same as the iPad mini (albeit with twice the storage).

Do the 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets look priced right at $299 (or at $329.99)? If not, how much cheaper do they need to be to pique your interest? Let us know in the Talkback section below.    

Topics: Tablets, Mobility, Windows, Windows 8

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Talkback

16 comments
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  • What I want to see.

    A better screen to start with. The screen quality on many android tablets are far superior to these windows ones. The option for 128 ssd and 4gb of ram, baytrail supports 4gb why do none of the manufacturers provide it as an option, we are willing to pay for it. Maybe its just because of the samsung fire?

    Full sized SDXC and USB3 may be hard to do in an 8 inch but if someone had it they would gets my dollars, some ten inchers have it but I really like the feel of 8 inch tablets, maybe an 8.5 or 9 inch would be ok especially if they shrunk the huge a$$ bordars manufacturers seem to love.

    It's sad to see all the everyone clumped up with clones of each other at the same price point and the same hardware. Toshiba is the only one ahead of the pack at all with the best cameras and microphones and HDMI out and GPS but they are still looking over their shoulder and stuck with the same crappy resolution and the same crappy SDHC and the same crappy two gigs of ram.

    I'm willing to pay $600 for a GOOD 8 inch tablet, but such a thing just doesn't exist.
    animemaster
    • windows 8 fail , kkkk

      windows 8 consumes a lot of ram, very hd (consuming 32 gb)
      The windows of this tablet will slow down after a few months
      Android and iOS operating systems are much better than windows for tablets! lighter, more beautiful, more optimized
      and desktop applications are horrible on tablets, imagine in an 8-inch tablet, kkkk, windows and nowhere near the amount of apps for Android and iOS tablets!
      Henrique Dourado
      • RAM etc.

        While you may say such things, reality is quite different.
        crystalsoldier
        • I think he means storage.

          The OS takes up almost half of the 32GB leaving only 19GB free on a new machine. The fact is that the Windows OS and apps stores stuff locally - both programs and data, paging RAM to disk along with the user. The resulting in bloat will eats up space resulting the need to clean up the disk space frequently. This will happen frequently with the 32GB version if used for Windows apps.

          The 8" screen size also makes it impossible to use Windows apps without a mouse or touchpad. A magnifying glass would also help. Windows 8 tablets for running Windows apps might make sense on those huge tablets they use on Fox News, but not on anything this small.
          Mah
      • Obvioulsy you have never had a windows tablet

        Mine has run great since I got it earlier this year. No slow downs what so ever. It was also lighter than an ipad too. Not that it really matter when measuring fractions of ounces.

        I very much disagree with your FUD and your opinion about the capabilities of tablets in general.

        I can't wait to get an 8 inch computer that replaces the time wasting entertainment capabilies of ipads/androids and offers the option of having full powered operating system that can run real programs, not just limited scaled down kiddy apps.
        Emacho
        • 8"

          Really? Real programs run on an 8" device. Best to check your optometrist first, then a year later to see if eyes are still OK.
          mytake4this
          • Windows = flexibility

            I had an 8" Windows 8 tablet (64 gB) and loved it until a guest stepped directly on the screen. It never slowed down, and even though the lack of tablet apps was frustrating, I could use most of my favorite apps through the web browser (YAY flash and silverlight support).

            95% of it's use was as a tablet, but 5% of the time I needed a computer so I just attached it to a monitor and used a bluetooth keyboard/mouse and got work done.
            Thaddeus Jones
      • Full size OS

        Apps replace real desktop applications on mobile OS.. So if you can install real applications and programs and can run full websites why do you need so much apps? Plus the Windows 8 App store is getting bigger and bigger right now...

        Or don't tell me that Android at launch had the same Apps that iOS at launch? Yes I though so, Android had to catch up the lacks of Apps to be on pair with iOS for couple of years... The same is happening with Windows
        pepe-el-Toro
    • this is x32

      x64 bayteail is coming in early 2014, then u will see better configurations.... am willing to pay top of the line 8" tablet 1000$....haswell i3 would be best as battery life is not much different
      heda_prakash@...
    • exactly!

      yes agree with all this. we need good 8 inch tablets!

      I would add in: sunlight-readable (for example with a Pixel Qi screen). that way it would also replace kindle-type devices.
      And I would love to see them waterproof or water resistant (like sony tablets), so you can use them outside
      cipnrkorvo
    • Baytrail 64bit

      64 bit Windows currently does not support Baytrail because the sleep function doesn't work yet, and thus only supports 2 gigabytes of ram. if you want 128 gigabytes get the 64gb edition and a 64 gb Micro-SD card.
      AlfredRez
  • windows 8 fail

    windows 8 consumes a lot of ram, very hd (consuming 32 gb)
    The windows of this tablet will slow down after a few months
    Android and iOS operating systems are much better than windows for tablets! lighter, more beautiful, more optimized
    and desktop applications are horrible on tablets, imagine in an 8-inch tablet, kkkk, windows and nowhere near the amount of apps for Android and iOS tablets!
    Henrique Dourado
    • @Henrique Dourado

      If you're too stupid to know what RAM is then how can you know what you're talking about. Try reading an article on what "random access memory" is so you won't sound like such an ignorant buffoon. Also only a noob wouldn't be able to figure out how to delete a backup partition, which is what accounts for most of the extra storage that is consumed, not the operating system that you actually use.

      Since you're kind of slow I will clarify, RAM and storage are two entirely different things. And the restore partition is the reason why the SSD drive doesn't have much available space and it can be deleted to free up space.
      j-mccurdy@...
  • Windows OS is bigger than Android and iOS.

    Windows tablets have twice the storage of iPad mini but same amount (or even less) of usable space. I seriously think that Microsoft should either shrink their OS or subsidize users. Think about it, same price but twice the storage. If we can get same sized storage, then it surely would be cheaper. Why am I paying more just because they made a super-sized OS. Just my two cents.
    Lëò Jw
    • Storage size

      Well you are getting a full OS on this tablet, the same OS found on Desktops so you can not compare it to iOS nor Android that are mobile OS... At least you have the option to put an SD card up to 64 GB ... iPad Mini and Nexus 7 you cant
      pepe-el-Toro
  • Acer's advantage over Dell/Lenovo is microHDMI

    Acer's important advantage over Dell/Lenovo products, not mentioned in article, is microHDMI port for external monitor. According my opinion it is crucial as the combination of new Atom and Win8+Office could be a satisfactory replacement of Office desktop, very portable, but a good connection to external monitor is really needed. I wonder that Dell/Lenovo are without HDMI, i.e., from my point of view it's no problem to pay a little more for Acer.
    pegas64