Acer Iconia W3 review

6/10 AVG.
RATING



6/10
Informr score
The Acer Iconia W3 currently has an Informr score of 6 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 6 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Until now, tablet support for Windows 8 was limited to 10-inch devices. This is less than ideal from a portability standpoint. The Iconia W3 is the first 8.1-inch tablet to ship with support for Windows 8 Pro. While it does offer improved portability, it comes with a few tradeoffs in return. Gizmodo sums up the tablet well by saying “It’s great hardware let down by its form factor and a crappy screen, but by virtue of being the only competitor, it’s the best 8-inch Windows 8 tablet on the market.”

The performance of the tablet is respectable. No, it is not a gaming tablet. But for productivity purposes, media consumption and web browsing, it has plenty of power thanks to its Atom processor clocked at 1.8-GHz. Support for microSD cards and USB OTG helps to improve flexibility and accessory options as well. The best part is that Windows 8 Pro allows you to install legacy Windows applications and have a full version of Windows that fits in your bag with ease. Best of all, the processor is incredibly battery-friendly, with PC Magazine’s video test achieving nearly 10 hours on a single charge.

Unfortunately, there are a few things that are really working against the Iconia W3. The first is the display. It is an LCD TFT display at 1200x800. This not only means that graphics are less than stellar but that viewing angles are atrocious as well. Dana Wollman of Engadget described the screen well: “Even for a budget tablet, the W3's 8.1-inch, 1,280 x 800 screen feels like a letdown.” You won’t be letting anyone peek over your shoulder with tablet. They could not read your screen. The lower resolutions also means that you cannot snap applications on the screen. So no multitasking on the tablet without the normal bouncing between apps. The last problem with the tablet is the materials. For a device at this price point, it feels cheap. Screen bezels are thick, the plastic chassis of the tablet is sturdy but cheap looking and it is about as visually interesting as a rock.

The Good: Windows 8 Pro, portability, outstanding battery and low price.

The Bad: Poor viewing angles, cheap feel, dull display and no included dock.


Operating system
Windows
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
8.1"
Camera
2+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


TouchArcade

Blokshot Revolution is one of those brilliant titles that finds a central mechanic that feels good and runs all the way home with it. It's exciting, tense, and has a great learning curve that keeps it fresh well beyond what you might expect from its somewhat simple premise. It takes skill, quick thi...

- Shaun Musgrave, TouchArcade
Good E-Reader

I was turned off automatically by the chosen design aesthetics with 4 different colors on the back, body and sides. Just pick one color and stick with it! The speaker quality was also very poor, that warranted me constantly having to strain to hear anything. The display is terrible and is much akin...

- Michael Kozlowski, Good E-Reader
Ars Technica

I don't really understand the Acer Iconia W3. I mean, I understand on a conceptual level why OEMs want to produce sub-10-inch Windows tablets: Android and iOS have both demonstrated that there's a substantial desire for this kind of form factor. But in practice, I don't get it. The Windows desktop...

- Peter Bright, Ars Technica
The Verge

Ultimately, it might be up to Microsoft to really make this form factor shine. This first effort from Acer is cheap and plasticky, and I can’t help but feel that Microsoft won’t want all these smaller Windows tablets to head down the bargain route. A Surface mini feels inevitable, and wi...

- Tom Warren, The Verge
PC Pro

At best, the Iconia W3 proves Windows 8.1 can run smoothly and for a respectable duration on a compact tablet. We can only hope there’s more attractive hardware to come, though, because the W3 doesn’t have anything like the quality to justify its premium £330 price tag.

- Barry Collins, PC Pro


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Quick view

Screen Size
8.1"

The Acer Iconia W3's screen size is 8.1 inches with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Intel Atom Z2760 Dual core 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Windows 8 Pro operating system (OS).

Camera
2+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 2+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 2+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
32/64 GB

Internal memory is 32/64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3500mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3500 mAh battery. Acer's performance ratings are 7 days standby time, 8 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Iconia W3 Specs

Overview
Release date June 19, 2013
Regions available USA, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Windows 8 Pro

Compare Windows Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Intel Atom Z2760 Dual core 1.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 32/64 GB
RAM 2 GB
ROM No
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode No
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3500 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 2 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 8 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 8 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 7 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Silver
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.5 x 21.9 x 1.1 cm (5.3 x 8.6 x 0.4 in)
Weight 499 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1280 x 800 pixels
Pixel density 186 pixels
Size 8.1 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 b/e/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Additional Main Camera Info
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
2+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
Acer Iconia W3 Reviews
Where to buy Acer Iconia W3
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Critic Reviews


TouchArcade

A challenging arcade shooter

from TouchArcade

Blokshot Revolution is one of those brilliant titles that finds a central mechanic that feels good and runs all the way home with it. It's exciting, tense, and has a great learning curve that keeps it fresh well beyond what you might expect from its somewhat simple premise. It takes skill, quick...More

Blokshot Revolution is one of those brilliant titles that finds a central mechanic that feels good and runs all the way home with it. It's exciting, tense, and has a great learning curve that keeps it fresh well beyond what you might expect from its somewhat simple premise. It takes skill, quick thinking, and a keen eye to win, and I love that your inevitable losses never feel unfair. You can always see things well enough ahead of time that you know you could have done something differently and survived. While it's a bit threadbare in terms of options, play modes, and that sort of thing, it also doesn't need any of it. What's here is simply divine all on its own.

Read full review

Less

Good E-Reader

The W3 is the most affordable Windows 8 tablet right now

from Good E-Reader

I was turned off automatically by the chosen design aesthetics with 4 different colors on the back, body and sides. Just pick one color and stick with it! The speaker quality was also very poor, that warranted me constantly having to strain to hear anything. The display is terrible and is much ak...More

I was turned off automatically by the chosen design aesthetics with 4 different colors on the back, body and sides. Just pick one color and stick with it! The speaker quality was also very poor, that warranted me constantly having to strain to hear anything. The display is terrible and is much akin to a 3D TV in its viewing angle. Finally, there is only 8 GB of memory when you power it up for the first time. I don’t think Star Wars – The Old Republic would even install all the updates after the client was done.

Read full review

Less

Ars Technica

A machine without a purpose

from Ars Technica

I don't really understand the Acer Iconia W3. I mean, I understand on a conceptual level why OEMs want to produce sub-10-inch Windows tablets: Android and iOS have both demonstrated that there's a substantial desire for this kind of form factor.

But in practice, I don't get it. The Window...More

I don't really understand the Acer Iconia W3. I mean, I understand on a conceptual level why OEMs want to produce sub-10-inch Windows tablets: Android and iOS have both demonstrated that there's a substantial desire for this kind of form factor.

But in practice, I don't get it. The Windows desktop offers no meaningful value in this form factor. The last time I used a device with an effective resolution as low as 1024×640, Windows NT 4 had just been released. And then there's the size—if I'm using the W3 with its dock at a typical "laptop" distance, everything is just too small.

Read full review

Less

The Verge

A new, smaller kind of Windows 8 tablet

from The Verge

Ultimately, it might be up to Microsoft to really make this form factor shine. This first effort from Acer is cheap and plasticky, and I can’t help but feel that Microsoft won’t want all these smaller Windows tablets to head down the bargain route. A Surface mini feels inevitable, and...More

Ultimately, it might be up to Microsoft to really make this form factor shine. This first effort from Acer is cheap and plasticky, and I can’t help but feel that Microsoft won’t want all these smaller Windows tablets to head down the bargain route. A Surface mini feels inevitable, and with Windows 8.1 it will make a lot of sense. For Acer, it’s back to the drawing board. A refreshed W3 with an IPS display would be a good start, and losing some of the unnecessary weight would also help make this device a little more appealing. Hold onto your dollars until we start to see better 7- and 8-inch Windows tablets.

Read full review

Less

PC Pro

An ugly first attempt at a compact Windows tablet

from PC Pro

At best, the Iconia W3 proves Windows 8.1 can run smoothly and for a respectable duration on a compact tablet. We can only hope there’s more attractive hardware to come, though, because the W3 doesn’t have anything like the quality to justify its premium £330 price tag.

Read full review

At best, the Iconia W3 proves Windows 8.1 can run smoothly and for a respectable duration on a compact tablet. We can only hope there’s more attractive hardware to come, though, because the W3 doesn’t have anything like the quality to justify its premium £330 price tag.

Read full review

Less

Laptop Magazine

Most portable, affordable option if you want real Windows on your tablet

from Laptop Magazine

The Acer Iconia W3-810 provides a more-than-serviceable Windows 8 experience in a design you can easily take with you. WIth nearly 9 hours of battery life, a free copy of Office 2013 and some helpful Acer software, this tablet can help you do real productivity work and run all of your favorite Wi...More

The Acer Iconia W3-810 provides a more-than-serviceable Windows 8 experience in a design you can easily take with you. WIth nearly 9 hours of battery life, a free copy of Office 2013 and some helpful Acer software, this tablet can help you do real productivity work and run all of your favorite Windows applications on the go. What holds the Iconia W3 back is its lackluster display. You can get a screen with better viewing angles for less than half the price.

Read full review

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