Windows RT is (pretty much) dead, long live Windows 8.1. That seems to be the message Microsoft’s tablet manufacturing partners want carried out of late, as Asus, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, HP and Acer all look to have something in the pipeline in that department.

Acer Iconia W4 Unreleased Acer Iconia W4 manhandled at Intel event, packing Bay Trail CPU and Windows 8.1

Exactly as it was tipped a couple of weeks back, Acer is as we speak putting the finishing touches on an Iconia W3 sequel, apparently called Iconia W4 (aka W4-820). The new 8-inch tablet, which is still technically unofficial, has been caught on camera at some sort of Intel event in Netherlands a few hours ago.

Aside from the Windows 8.1 running, the W4 has a couple of other tricks up its sleeve, namely a 1.33 GHz Bay Trail-based Intel Atom Z3740 processor and a slightly improved display, though at a first glance it may not seem so.

Rocking the same exact size (8.1 inches) as Iconia W3’s screen and even an identical resolution (1,280 x 800 pixels), the new panel uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology instead of TN (twisted nematic), which essentially translates into wider viewing angles and crisp colors. But mostly wider viewing angles.

And anyone that’s ever held the W3 in their hands knows that was a pretty serious problem for the first-gen 8-incher.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-zC3Bc8SmE

Meanwhile, most of the other features have remained unchanged, including the 2 gigs of RAM, 32 GB of on-board storage (presumably there’s a 64 GB option coming as well), micro HDMI, microSD, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Like on the Iconia W3, there are dual cameras on the W4, the front-facing one featuring the same 2 MP sensor, whereas the rear-facing unit has upped the ante to 5 MP.

On the whole, the Acer Iconia W4 doesn’t exactly look like a groundbreaker on paper, which is why it’s bound to cost about as much as its forefather: roughly $380 in America and €329 in Europe. No words on an ETA just yet, but since Windows 8.1 will become officially official in mid-October, a commercial launch by the end of the same month is probably in the cards.

Sources: Bouween PC, Liliputing