Acer Iconia W3 Review—The Original 8-Inch Windows Tablet Still Stands Tall

Acer won the race to ship the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, in the form of its Acer Iconia W3 Tablet. There have been others since, like those from Lenovo and Dell, but it’s high time we took a closer look at the one that started it all. By James E. Gaskin

Acer won the race to ship the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, in the form of its Acer Iconia W3 Tablet. There have been others since, like those from Lenovo and Dell, but it’s high time we took a closer look at the one that started it all.

The Acer W3 comes in two models, the W3-810-1416 and the W3-810-1600, with the only difference being 64GB of SSD storage for the 1416 and 32GB for the 1600. Both are powered (so to speak) by an Intel Atom Dual Core processor Z2760, 2GB of RAM, a 720p HD (1280 x 800) screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, front- and rear-facing cameras (a sad low-res 2MP for both), and a full copy of Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013. Acer also shipped us a Bluetooth keyboard and a case.

This tablet is pitched as "ideal for professionals, students, and families who want the ease of a one-hand tablet with access to their most-used productivity programs." That’s the long way of saying it’s pretty much for everyone.

Is it though? Not quite. It is a pretty good tablet and an excellent replacement for those netbooks people bought three years ago, and it's also a good option for larger companies wanting to provide tablets in place of laptops. Those companies will appreciate the Windows 8 operating system and included Microsoft Office, and the employees who complain they need a "real keyboard" will get their wish.

Since casual tablet fans look at prices and compare all tablets to iPads or the Nexus 7, the price points for Acer's W3 are in line. The 32GB version can be had for $300 and the 64GB model for $329 (street prices). Add another $55 for the nice Bluetooth keyboard/stand and $20 for the case, and you get a Windows 8 tablet for less than $400, including MS Office, saving you $139. The Iconia W3 is slightly more expensive than the Nexus 7, but less expensive than the iPad and iPad Mini. Well slotted, Acer, well slotted.

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