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Microsoft picks on the iPad mini with a lacklustre competitor in new ad

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Acer W3 vs iPad mini
Acer W3 vs iPad mini

Microsoft has recruited Siri in the past to bad-mouth the iPad in its range of Windows 8 commercials, but this time it's aiming at the smaller version: the iPad mini. In a new ad that's set to appear on TV, Microsoft targets the iPad mini by using the Acer Iconia W3 as the comparison Windows 8 tablet. It's the only small sized Windows 8 tablet for now, but it has been heavily criticized for its lacklustre display, bulkiness, and build quality — scoring just 3.9 in our own review.

The ad points out that the iPad mini lacks a version of Halo, a somewhat fair jab, but it also chooses to highlight a desktop version of Office on the 8-inch Acer W3. It's an odd comparison point for a small form factor device with a low-resolution display, and Microsoft's Office software lacks true optimizations for touch in its current form. "You have Outlook and full Office?" Asks the Siri-like narrator, "wow, you are a full PC let's just go back to reading."

The ad ends with a price comparison: $429 for a 32GB iPad mini vs. $299 for the 32GB Acer Iconia W3. Acer originally priced the W3 at $379 back in June, but the PC maker was forced to cut the price by 20 percent recently. Acer is also prepping a successor to the W3 to address the display complaints. Microsoft has focused on 7- and 8-inch tablets for its upcoming Windows 8.1 update, and PC makers are expected to release a number of devices in time for the holiday season.