Acer inadvertently confirmed Iconia W4’s price tag by posting a product page for the 8-inch Windows tablet and then removing it, which means the slate may well launch in time for Christmas.
Following on the footsteps of the semi-failed Iconia W3, the W4 takes things to the next level not only in the software department, where Windows 8 has been bumped to 8.1, but also upgrades the screen, processing speed and battery life.
Granted, the 8-inch panel is still not spectacular, with the same mediocre 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution and 189 ppi pixel density, but at least it’s an IPS (In-plane switching) unit this time around, so brighter, crisper and boasting superior viewing angles.
As for the CPU, well, there’s really no comparing the old dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 “Saltwell” with the fresh quad-core Atom Z3740 “Bay Trail”. Not in raw performance and not in power-saving potential, as the Iconia W4 vouches to last up to 8 hours in video playback time, three or four north of W3’s autonomy.
Any other tweaks to note? You bet: an improved 5 MP rear-facing camera, 70 whole grams shaved off the total weight (430 vs. 500), better stereo speakers and a much cooler, sleeker, more productive optional “crunch” keyboard.
As a logical consequence, the pricing ante has been upped, albeit you can’t say the value for money isn’t fair. Besides, $330 is very close to iPad mini’s starting price (the old version), and the Acer Iconia W4 offers double the built-in storage space: 32 GB.
Aside from Apple’s contender however, Acer’s compact slate will have to fend off competitors from Microsoft’s own backyard, including the $300 Dell Venue 8 Pro and Lenovo Miix 8. Talk about tough choices, eh?
Ultimately, if the Iconia W4 will be the chosen one, be sure to keep an eye on Amazon, Best Buy and Acer’s own online store, where the gizmo should go live and kick shipping into gear any day now.