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Tablets

Microsoft ad slates iPad mini, reviews say otherwise

Microsoft's new ad for the first small Windows 8 tablet comes up short in a few different areas.

Oh, Microsoft. Just couldn't help yourself could you?

The Redmond company is obviously pleased as punch that it now has its own diddy Windows 8 tablet in the form of the 8-inch Acer Iconia W3. And so it's made an advert comparing it with the 7.9-inch iPad mini. Unsurprisingly, the W3 comes up trumps in the ad. In reality? Things aren't as cut and dried.

Here's the ad.

As you can hear, Microsoft is parodying Apple's Siri voice. The W3 is bigged up as a "real PC" running Halo, as well as programs like Outlook and full Office. The person using the iPad mini, meanwhile, is stuck reading an ebook.

There's no mention of how many tablet-specific apps are available for each device though. Apple's iOS trounces Microsoft's Windows Marketplace in this area.

The Iconia W3 hasn't fared too well in reviews so far, either. While not completely slamming the tablet, our sister site CNET.com called it "buggy and held back by shortcuts and lacklustre features". Others have gone to town on the device. Supersite for Windows damned its "infuriatingly poor screen and surprising heft", saying these shortcomings relegate it to "also-ran status".

The prices the ad gives are also slightly misleading. Admittedly the 32GB W3 is cheaper than the 32GB iPad mini, but Apple's tiny tablet also comes in versions with less storage. You can pick up the 16GB model for £269, which is a tenner cheaper than the 32GB W3. The iPad mini also comes in versions that use a data connection to connect to the Internet, whereas the W3 is Wi-Fi-only. You'll have to pay more for the data connection though, of course.

Another partial success, then. What do you think of companies slating each other in their ad campaigns? Below the belt? Or all above board? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.