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 Tweakers.net, 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.

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