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

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.