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Eight inches of Windows 8: hands on with Acer's Iconia W3 tablet

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acer iconia w3
acer iconia w3

This morning Acer became the first company to announce a Windows 8 tablet in a smaller 8-inch form factor, and we've checked out the Iconia W3 for ourselves. At 1.1 pounds in weight and 11.43 mm thick, Acer's Atom-powered tablet is a little bulkier than the likes of the iPad mini, but it's by far the most diminutive device to date that runs Windows 8 in full. It also costs just $379.

Unfortunately the screen quality leaves a lot to be desired, with poor viewing angles and color reproduction. The construction also fails to impress — I often saw artifacts on the screen where my fingers were gripping the device from behind.

The optional full-size keyboard dock is wider than the tablet itself, which will limit the combination's effectiveness as a portable solution. And, while it's sized well for one-handed use, Windows 8's predominantly landscape layout makes that a little more awkward than it might be — the weight doesn't feel altogether balanced. But it's still impressive to see a full-featured PC at this size, and this is likely to be only the first of many.