Acer's Iconia W3 is the first of its kind: an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet. It marks the start of a new category of smaller Windows tablets that are expected to debut over the coming months. When Windows 8 originally debuted in October it inspired PC makers to try out various hardware designs, but most focused on 10-inch tablet-like devices. Manufacturers avoided smaller devices in order to support the minimum resolution required for Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft recently altered that resolution rule, though, and we’re finally able to explore the possibility of an 8-inch Windows tablet.

The Iconia W3 enters a small tablet category that's dominated by devices like the iPad mini and Nexus 7. Does this smaller tablet fare well against the competition? And while at $379 it’s certainly a bargain for a full-fledged Windows PC, is Windows 8 ready for a new breed of devices?