The Good Parts of the Windows 8 experience work surprisingly well in the Acer Iconia W3, which is a smaller 8-inch tablet. The carry-along keyboard is clever, and battery life is excellent for a non-Haswell system.
The Bad Outside of tile-based Windows 8 apps, navigation is a pain. Screen quality is exceptionally poor, and the keyboard dock lacks a touch pad or even a track point.
The Bottom Line The smaller 8-inch Windows 8 tablet is a form worth exploring, and the Acer Iconia W3 can be fun to use, but it's also buggy and held back by shortcuts and lackluster features.
Tablet puts Win 8 in the palm of your hand
Between large-screen phones (sometimes described with the ridiculous term "phablet"), 7-inch Android tablets, and the excellent iPad Mini, it would seem that Windows 8 has been forced to carve out its territory in relatively larger screen sizes. Most of the Windows 8 tablets and hybrids we've seen to date have had 11.6-inch to 13-inch screens, with just a couple of minor outliers on either side.
One thing we haven't seen yet is a truly palm-size Windows 8 touch-screen device -- until the Acer Iconia W3, an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that pairs with a $79 keyboard dock to form a micro version of a desktop all-in-one PC (we tested the $429.99 version, the W3-810-1650, which has a 64GB solid-state drive-- a 32GB SSD version is $379.99).
Prior to Windows 8, it had been several years since I'd seen a Windows touch-screen PC this small. There was a brief moment when(ultramobile PCs) were in vogue, but both the sub-Netbook hardware and pre-Win-8 software were far from ready for prime time.
Cracking Open: Amazon Fire illustrates dramatic drop in cost of tablet tech
TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler cracks open the Fire and explores the tech inside Amazon's $50 tablet.
Get an Acer Iconia 8-inch tablet for $59.99
Though it's a refurb, it's indistinguishable from new and far better than most tablets in this price range.
Tablets in 2014: Thinner, better, but predictable
The year 2014 was jam-packed with new tablet models, but not all of them rose to our expectations. Check out the best (and worst) of the year.
The Chromebook gains and Microsoft responds
Chromebooks continue to give Microsoft and Windows trouble. And Microsoft continues to make a case against them.
Intel reveals second super-slim tablet, vendor ties at Computex
Chip giant is showing off an even thinner version of its tablet design and announcing collaborative efforts with Acer and other device makers. Also on tap: the desktop, 2-in-1s, and a 3D camera.
Get an 8-inch Acer Iconia Android tablet for $99.99
It's no iPad Mini, but neither does it cost $400. Could this super-cheap slate fulfill your tablet needs? Plus: three bonus deals!
Tablets of CES 2014
Tablets and laptop hybrids abound at CES.
For Android tablets, 8 (inches) is the new 7
<b>commentary</b> Today's selection of Android 8-inchers, while rather pricey, are showing more creative differentiation than we're used to seeing in the 7-inch category.
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.
Ballmer: 'We made too many Surface RT tablets'
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted the company can't shift its stock of Surface tablets.
Acer Iconia W3, the first 8-inch full Windows 8 tablet, is £280
Acer's new Iconia W3, announced today at the Computex show in Taiwan, is the first to cram full-fat Windows 8 into a dinky 8-inch tablet.
Acer umming and ahhing over Windows RT tab, waits for RT 8.1
Acer is waiting for the next version of Windows RT before it decides whether to launch a tablet running that OS.