Details of Acer's 8-inch, $380 Windows 8 tablet leak

Details of Acer's 8-inch, $380 Windows 8 tablet leak

Summary: Details of the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet have leaked, after Amazon.com prematurely published a listing for a new Acer device. The tiny tablet could be ready before Microsoft's much anticipated Windows update (code-named Blue), which is due this summer.

SHARE:
71

A few months ago, Microsoft officially relaxed its size and screen resolution requirements for Windows 8 certified devices. The obvious target is new tablets in smaller form factors and possibly with different aspect ratios.

Now, thanks to a leak from Amazon, we’ve seen more details of what might be the first of a new wave of small Windows 8 tablets.

The first pictures of Acer’s Iconia W3-810 appeared at TabletGuide.nl a couple weeks ago.

Yesterday, PC World’s Brad Chacos spotted the listing for Acer’s W3-810 and snapped this screenshot:

acer-iconia-w3-810-leaks-amazon

Image: PC World

If the specs in the Amazon listing are accurate, this device will have a 1280x800 touchscreen at 8.1 inches. That horizontal resolution is below the minimum 1366 pixels previously required for a Windows 8 device. It’s the same resolution and roughly the same size as Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. The aspect ratio is less elongated than the current crop of 16:9 Windows 8 tablets and is noticeably more appropriate for applications such as reader programs, which work best in portrait mode.

According to the Amazon Product Information sheet, the device will weigh 1.1 pounds (significantly less than the 1.5-pound weight of the current iPad but more than the 0.68 pounds of the iPad Mini). The claimed average battery life is 8 hours.

Those earlier photos show optional covers and a keyboard dock for the device.

Acer-Iconia-W3-1-tabletguide-nl

Image: TabletGuide.nl 

At least one spec in the listing that Chacos snagged is wrong. This device won’t have a 1.5 GHz Apple A4 processor (that’s an error that appears in some other Windows 8 device listings at Amazon as well, probably the result of someone entering data into a template snagged from an iPad listing). Instead, a handful of GeekBench results saved at Primate Labs’ website show that the device contains an Intel Atom Z2760. That’s the same CPU found in several currently available 10-inch Windows 8 tablets, including HP’s Envy X2, Dell’s Latitude 10, and Acer’s 10-inch W510.

The earliest benchmark scores are from nearly a month ago, suggesting that the device could enter the market sooner than the expected unveiling of Windows Blue at Microsoft's BUILD Conference in late June.

The specs show this device running a 32-bit version of Windows 8 Pro, which means in theory it’s capable of running almost any Windows desktop app, including Microsoft Office. If the performance of existing devices using this CPU is a guide, though, that will be a secondary task for this device, which is much more suited for reading books and playing music and movies and games.

Topics: Tablets, Amazon, PCs, Windows 8

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

71 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • And this is

    ..where the dual UI doesn’t make any sense, no way you will be able to “enjoy Windows" on an 8” screen. Metro is the only appropriate UI for this form factor.

    Anyway, if the price is correct, I would say it is a cute and a very interesting device...it is worth considering.
    mil7
    • not necessarily

      There were Windows XP phones in the market.
      wmac1
      • Yep, now I remember

        You are right, they had those and some mini PCs running XP too, I always liked those because they look cute. I never had one though, they were too expensive and slow.

        But I still think they will be useless for any real work/tasks and Metro is more suited to this form factor. Back then we didn’t really get any proper tablet oriented UIs, so we had no point of reference.
        mil7
        • I Would Rather Buy A Netbook

          ...which typically has 4GB RAM, 11+-inch screen, 320+ GB hard disk, *lots* of connectivity options, including HDMI. And best of all, they run Windows 7 in stead of Windows 8.
          Le Chaud Lapin
          • And so I did

            I did buy a netbook in the past an HP dm1 with Win7 and served me well, but it was cheap and cheerful type of device. I could do some development but the 11” screen size was tiring if used for a long time and it was not very fast either. So now I ended up with an X1 Carbon (again Win7), 14” is the minimum size for any real work.

            But yes for non-demanding use/work patterns I would prefer a netbook. For not getting bored during commuting I would go for a 7” tablet or an oversized phone. So I do think that trying to do everything with a single mobile device you end up compromising on all usage patterns.

            I find myself wanting a device like W3 but I do not have any use for it :P
            mil7
          • no thanks

            Windows 8 + Atom = no thanks
            Henrique Dourado
          • Or an Ultrabook would be even better

            I ran Windows apps on a netbook for a while. It was too sluggish and too cramped. If I actually needed to run Windows applications natively on my portable device, I'd go with a thin 13" Ultrabook before I'd try to run Windows desktop apps on ANY tablet. Tablets are meant to be personal companion products which complement a desktop, not replace it. In reality, I've never needed to do anything on my tablet which absolutely required Windows apps. Plus, in a pinch, you can remote desktop into a real desktop.
            BillDem
          • Windows on a Netbook

            I agree 100% on using W7 on a Netbook. It really was sluggish and I got kind of disgusted trying to use the thing that way. I cobbled a copy of Android 4.0.3 on it, and it worked great. I had it set up to dual boot with W7, but very rarely did that while I had it. Gave the Netbook away to someone and fortunately the device boots to Android if you don't intervene. It was a real pleasure to use it with Android. I actually did that since I just wanted to give Android a try, and decided to get a Nexus 10 and gave the Netbook away to a woman friend who had some kids, and the device gets a workout now using it on Android playing games connecting to Facebook, and various other uses. I never intended to keep it after converting since I wanted a full blown Android Tablet, and the Nexus 10 fills the bill on that. They should have offered Android as an option on a Netbook, and I think that more people might have bought them. An Atom Processor and 2 gig of ram is more suitable to Android than it is to Windows.
            rgeiken@...
    • Include styluses with these devices, and things will be generally fine

      I believe if all Windows 8 mini-tablets include styluses for users to manipulate the desktop, these devices will be fine. These devices aren't meant to do heavy work. But they will allow you to do at least some amount of work, in both the new and old environments.
      P. Douglas
      • Stylus

        I dont believe a stylus will work on these touch screens, but, if they did I would agree with you. It would be handy!
        Woned B. Fooldagan
    • Too expensive.

      And I would spend more on this than on an iPad Mini or the next Nexus 7/8", why?
      Han CNX
      • The device would come with Windows 8, and not an OS for toys and readers

        and media consumption.

        Windows 8 is a full-powered OS, and that alone is worth more than the price you might pay for an iPad or a Nexus.

        ;)
        adornoe
  • Ok but is the price still too high?

    If it comes with the keyboard and its halfway their in specs and quality. It might do a bit better then some of the higher priced Windows tablets. But it still comes in above the iPad Mini and we still need more Apps from Microsoft and its partners. I myself would not spend $380 on any tablet at this point in time when their are plenty of good ones under $250. I give credit to Acer for trying. At least the PC makers won't be accused of killing off Windows 8.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
    • Windows 8 already has more apps than Apple's iOS or Android,

      because, Windows 8 will be able to run the millions of "apps" that were ever created for XP and Windows 7. The UI, whether "metro" or the regular desktop, will be where the number of apps might matter. If one intends to just use the metro-UI, then the number of apps might be less than you can find in Android or for iOS. However, having the luxury of running both types of apps, metro and desktop, is something that neither Android nor iOS can touch.
      adornoe
      • lets be serious

        Could you imagine running a full version of Photoshop or any CAD software on a netbook processor? I don't know what range of windows apps will run on an Atom processor at least not until Atom 2 comes out. So millions of apps is no where near true. To expect any processor or Graphics heavy app to run on this is rediculous.
        I'm one of the people waiting for the lower priced workable tablet too. Over $1000 for a tablet is too much but anything less than core I-5 dualfor productivity is just as rediculous.
        ronf57
  • Atom Processor Performance

    IMO the 8-inch screen would be a bigger impediment to running Office than the Atom Z2760. I never had any interest in Atom until I bought, with great skepticism, a ThinkPad Tablet 2. The performance is surprisingly awesome, although I'll admit that I wouldn't want to run a power hungry app like PhotoShop on it. But I don't care - I'm not doing that or editing a huge spreadsheet on a small screen anyway, and IMO the Atom is more than adequate for what people are likely to use a tablet for.
    1DaveN
    • External screen

      I think we are moving into the era of the single device, a mobile device that works as a tablet and phone on the move and plugs into a dock, with a proper sized screen, keyboard and mouse when you get back to your desk.

      That is how I use my Samsung ATIV, on the move mainly in Apps, then plug it into the desktop dock and 24" monitor at my desk to work with Windows applications. If I need the Windows desktop side on the move, I can use it and have access to all my applications, but it is certainly more comfortable using them on the 24" display.
      wright_is
      • That would be correct

        If you do not mind using such an underpowered device as a desktop, in that case we are already there.

        Now there some people who do have a ~4GHz 6 core or a dual Xeon with 64GB of memory and a few SSDs as a desktop, plus a few 27” or 30” monitors plugged to it. Not to mention the graphics card that costs more than this device.

        How can we be moving towards one device that does it all? If that ever happens it means that every other form factor stays static and the only thing that gets updated is the tablet form factor.
        mil7
        • I don't disagree

          For heavy lifting, a mini mobile solution is never going to be enough.

          For most office and home workers, a current generation Atom is generally enough for what they need to do.

          I use the Atom tablet for most things, but I still have a Core i7 machine for photoediting.
          wright_is
          • I agree

            but I bought and returned three atom powered Windows 8 tablets (Asus M400 and HP Envy X2 twice). They were powerful enough for most things that I did but it felt like Microsoft and these OEMs had some work still left to do. Both machines were prone to random freezes and reboots and the Envy X2, while being perhaps the most elegant piece of hardware I have ever owned, had major hardware failures (I bought and returned two units because of bad speakers).

            I went with a Samsung Chromebook instead for now and I like it but it is more of a companion device than a real laptop. I hope MS and Intel work out the issues with the update because I'd like to have a Windows tablet/hybrid.
            redhaven