Hands On: Take A First Look At Windows 8's Answer To The iPad Mini

Acer Iconia 04

Perhaps the biggest change that Microsoft made to its brand new operating system, Windows 8.1, is to redesign it to work with smaller tablets.

There’s even been some whispering that Microsoft will release its own “mini”┬áversion of the Surface tablet.

But so far, the first and only tiny Windows 8 tablet out in the market is Acer’s 8-inch Iconia W3, which went on sale in early June. Amazon has priced the device at $380 (32 GB) or $430 (64 GB).

Microsoft was showing off the device at its Build developers conference in San Francisco this week.

After spending 10 minutes with it, we found it to be fast and functional. Let’s take a quick look.

The Iconia W3 weighs just over a pound. Acer promises around eight hours of battery life.

It runs Intel's dual-core 1.8GHz Atom Z2760 processor

It supports 720p video playback on its LED-backlit 1280 x 800 display.

It comes with 2-megapixel front and rear cameras.

It's less than a half-inch thick.

It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Micro USB, and Micro HDMI ports.

You can choose a model with 32 GB or 64 GB of internal storage, with an additional 32 GB available through a microSD card.

Windows 8.1 has been designed to work well as an eReader in portrait mode on small tablets.

It has all the latest Windows 8.1 features and includes Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013

Now check out an Android tablet...

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