Acer's new Iconia Tab 8 packs in a Full HD screen and Bay Trail processor (hands-on)

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Acer's Iconia Tab 8. Nic Healey/CNET

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Acer's tablet push continues with the impressive Acer Iconia Tab 8 getting demonstrated at Computex 2014.

The Tab 8 is an Android tablet running KitKat, and packing an Intel Atom processor and a super-bright IPS screen with a Full HD resolution. It's all rounded out with a high-end metallic finish that makes for a great looking device.

Design and Display

It's the screen that really shines on the Tab 8 -- if you'll forgive the pun. The 8-inch IPS panel has a 1,920x1,200 resolution and an impressively wide viewing angle. It's also using something called Zero Air Gap that brings the panel closer to the protective glass. LG also uses this in its smartphones, and the result apparently provides brighter images and crisper detail, but also less reflectivity and better viewing in sunlight.

We were stuck inside, but the screen definitely looked great, with colours popping out even under the harsh lighting on the conference floor.

Overall, the Tab 8 weighs 360g and is just 8.5mm thick. It's incredibly easy to hold in one hand, and the metal back gives a nice grip to the product. There's a Micro SD slot on an mini-HDMI port on the top.

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The Tab 8 has a metal back, with a Micro SD slot on the side. Nic Healey/CNET

Specs and software

The Tab 8 uses Intel's Z3745 quad-core Atom processors, part of the company's Bay Trail series, running at 1.86GHz. There's 2GB of RAM and it comes two flavours of storage: 16GB or 32GB.

In our quick hands-on performance was solid -- browsing was fast, applications opened quickly and there was no noticeable lag when changing between apps.

Acer says the battery life is about 7.5 hours when watching videos, which isn't bad, but not exactly top of the line.

Acer has also included its Touch WakeApp feature on the Tab 8. When the screen is off, touch five fingers to the screen and you'll automatically open the app of your choosing. The same function can be set up for two thumbs as well. It's a neat feature -- certainly not a must have, but a handy piece of functionality nonetheless.

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Nic Healey/CNET

Outlook

Acer didn't provide pricing at the show, but PC World is reporting that the Iconia Tab 8 should have an RRP of $270 or $199 -- that's £161 or AU$290. If Acer can keep such a premium product at such a low price point, the Tab 8 stands a good chance of differentiating itself in the rather large pool of 8-inch Android tablets on the market.

Acer says it's looking at a Q3 launch, but it's unknown into what regions it intends to launch the Tab 8.

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Acer Iconia Tab 8

Part Number: A1-840FHD
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