If you're in the market for a portable Win8 machine, and you don't fancy lugging Lenovo's monster Horizon Table PC around, you'll likely reach for something more manageable like Microsoft's own Surface Pro. Should your tastes run to something a little more one-hand-friendly, you'd probably need to abandon the Redmond giant's touch-tastic operating system for iOS or Android. The Iconia W3 from Acer changes that. Introduced at Computex, it's the world's first 8.1-inch tablet running the full-fat version of Windows 8.
The new Iconia W3 joins the company's W5 (10.1-inch) and W7 (11.6-inch) Windows 8 tablets, and features an 8.1-inch, 1280 x 800 resolution CrystalBrite LED backlit display panel. The 300-nit screen offers users a viewing angle of 178 degrees in 16:10 aspect, while supporting up to ten simultaneous touch points.
The tablet is powered by an Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core processor that runs up to 1.8 GHz with Intel Burst Technology, and is supported by 2 GB of LPDDR2 RAM and either 32 or 64 GB of solid state storage (plus microSD card expansion).
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Measuring 8.62 x 5.31 x 0.45 inches (218.9 x 134.9 x 11.35 mm), and tipping the scales at 1.1 lb (500 g), the W3 sports 2-megapixel cameras front and rear, integrated stereo speakers that pump out high-definition audio, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technologies, and micro-HDMI and micro-USB 2.0 ports. Its 3,500 mAh Li-Pol battery is reported to be good for up to eight hours of usage between charges.
In addition to running the full version of Windows 8, the tablet also comes with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013 pre-installed at no extra cost. The tablet can be paired with, and docked in, an optional full-size Bluetooth keyboard that holds the (smaller) tablet at a comfortable viewing angle. It attaches to the back of the keyboard for ease of travel.
Acer has confirmed a suggested retail price of US$379.99 for the 32 GB model (810-1600), and $429.99 for the 64 GB flavor (810-1416). They both go up for pre-order tomorrow. The keyboard/dock accessory is priced at $79.99.
There's a short introductory video below.