The reviews are in and they’re hardly flattering – tech reviewers just don’t seem to like the Acer Iconia W3.
This device is the first 8-inch tablet is the first to sport Windows 8, and it represents Microsoft’s first attempt to edge in on the smaller tablet space, joining the company of such devices as the iPad Mini and the Nexus 7.
Microsoft made a big deal out of the Acer Iconia W3 a few weeks ago at its developers conference, so expectations were high.
Unfortunately, they may have been too high.
That said, let’s hop into this fillet and roast of the tablet everyone seems to love to hate.
“[The] first 8-inch Windows tablet is a device that shouldn’t exist…the Acer Iconia W3’s screen is a standout—because it is worst-in-class. I hated every moment I used the Iconia W3, and I hated it because I hated the screen. Its colour accuracy and viewing angles are both miserable (whites aren’t white—they’re weirdly colourful and speckled). The screen has a peculiar grainy appearance that makes it look permanently greasy. You can polish as much as you like; it will never go away. The whole effect is reminiscent in some ways of old resistive screens.”
“It’s lightweight and slim, and the tile-based Windows 8 scales well to the smaller screen. This turns out to be a great size for one-viewer video playback (via Netflix, for example)…The news is not all good, however. The low-res screen (an unusual 1,280×800 pixels) is simply awful, with a gauzy coating and terrible off-axis viewing. I tried two different W3 units and ran into some buggy performance on both, including occasional screen unresponsiveness, sometimes requiring a reboot to fix. And, of course, with an Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, there are a handful of things this tablet will do well, and a whole lot it won’t.”
“Despite the fact that this is sort of a thick tablet, it doesn’t actually make room for that many ports: There’s your requisite power / lock button on the left, along with micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports. Flip it over to the right landscape edge and you’ve got both speakers, along with the power port and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. All that’s left are the volume buttons up top, plus an exposed microSD slot (and a bit of conspicuous Iconia branding). Wrapping up, there are cameras on the front bezel and also around back. Surprisingly, they’re actually the same resolution: two megapixels.”
“There’s no way I can recommend the W3 right now, at all. It’s the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, but the hardware sucks. Acer can do so much better here, even for a budget device. The screen is shockingly bad, and that’s the main way you’ll interact with this device unless you’re set on using it with an optional dock / keyboard or you want to hook it up to a HDMI display. Either way, there are many better devices that work as tablets or notebooks out there right now, and the W3’s only unique offering — its 8-inch screen — is its biggest fault.”
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