One month in, first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet already set for a refresh

By on July 17, 2013, 2:30 PM

Last month, Acer’s Iconia W3 became the first (and still only) Windows 8 tablet to sport a smaller 8.1-inch form factor, alongside an all-time low starting price of $380. But faced with poor reviews it appears that the company is already moving to bring an updated version of the device addressing some of its weakest points.

According to, Acer Netherlands spokesperson Sterre Swank revealed that a successor will be out in September, sporting a thinner and lighter build and possibly an upgraded IPS display. Although Swank couldn’t confirm the latter it is certainly one the most serious gripes raised in reviews.

Aside from the lack of an official confirmation from the company, it’s unclear at this point if the purported tablet would replace the existing model or arrive as a higher end and more expensive variant. Switching from TN panels to IPS is bound to increase manufacturing costs, but devices like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD manage to pack one while keeping the price at $200 or lower.

A release in September also lines up well with the arrival of Windows 8.1 in late August, which is expected to bring several improvements for smaller form factors. That said, it’ll probably be a little early for Intel's next generation "Silvermont" Atom chips, which are slated to land by the end of the year with Bay Trail-T powered tablets. The new SoC should offer “3x more peak performance, or 5x lower power” compared to existing Atoms.

User Comments: 6

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JC713 JC713 said:

This is such a coincidence. Just yesterday I was reading all of the bad reviews of this product!

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

32-bit Dual Core Atom slow..

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

In a market this fast people don't get attached to bad products in the hope it will be updated for a better one, they just look the other way. Acer blew it with the first edition, and by the time they improve it there will be overall better products. Time to move on.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

8" is a size I'm interested in, but of course I'd rather have a non-crappy product, so it would be interesting to see how the new tablet ends up. I'd still probably wait for Intel's next gen (or a good AMD based tablet), but I will certainly follow this form factor.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Yes use the new AMD 6 Quad-core but then again that would add cost. They need to figure that out. Most at SONY agree the marriage of Windows 7 and Windows 8 needs to be corrected. Should be just one UI in there not going to flip into old Windows 7 Ui with Windows 8 features. That process quires a lot of RAM. 2GB of RAM is not enough, and 4GB is pushing it. These tablets from Windows should have min of 8GB of RAM. Internal storage as high as it can have. Otherwise the marriage is over then!

nismo91 said:

Hands-on with this tablet, one thing comes to mind: awful screen quality. I mean the W510 and W7 are praised for their screen quality (strange for acer) but this one is totally off.

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