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

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.
Written by Ed Bott, Senior Contributing Editor

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:


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.


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.

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