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Amazon has all but confirmed rumors about an incoming breed of smaller Windows tablets by accidentally listing an 8.1-inch Acer Iconia over the weekend, running the full version of Microsoft's latest operating system. The listing has since been removed, but not before several sites caught a glimpse at some specs and its price.
Specifically, Amazon's listing described the Acer W3-810 as a $379.99 tablet powered by a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM, and an 8.1-inch 1280 x 800 display. The price tag is particularly interesting given that the slate is based on Windows 8, not RT, and will therefore run 'legacy' applications.
Other specs include 32GB of storage, 2-megapixel front and rear cameras, one micro USB 2.0 port, and a micro-HDMI port. The tablet is said to weigh 1.1lbs and provide up to 8 hours of battery life.
Right now your options for a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet include Microsoft's own Surface Pro, from $899 without the keyboard, as well as 10.1- and 11.6-inch devices from Acer, Dell, HP, Razer and Samsung ranging from around $500 to $1,500. It's worth noting that Amazon prices are occasionally inaccurate ahead of full retail availability, but the alleged $380 price puts Acer (and Windows 8 tablets) a bit closer to Apple's iPad Mini.
By comparison, the latter weighs 0.7 pounds and starts at $329 for a 16GB model, but climbs to $429 for the 32GB variant. Android alternatives are still markedly cheaper in the 7- to 8-inch category, with the 32GB Nexus 7 going for $249, a 32GB Kindle Fire HD for $299, and a handful of alternatives in the same range.
Hints of smaller screen Windows 8 tablets began to appear back in March when the company loosened the resolution requirements for certified devices, dropping the minimum to 1024 x 768 pixels. Since then several enhancements in the upcoming "Blue" update have also suggested Microsoft was getting ready for smaller form factors, and of course there's been no shortage of rumors pointing to a 7-inch Surface coming soon.