Looks like Acer and Amazon just confirmed that smaller Windows 8 tablets are on the way.
Although Acer revealed a load of goodies during its press event in New York City on Friday, what the company didn't introduce was the Acer Iconia W3 tablet that recently popped up on Amazon for $379.99. Yeah, it's a bit expensive for a device of that size, but it sports Windows 8 Pro which doesn't have the benefits of free licensing as seen with Google's Android platform.
At one time the listing could be found on Amazon here, but by the time this report went live, someone had yanked it offline. Luckily we have the keen eyes of Engadget who managed to take a screenshot and grab a list of specs before the gadget was sucked into the void. Sorry Microsoft: it looks like the rumors have been confirmed.
According to the specs, the Iconia W3 will weigh 1.1 pounds and sport a dual-core Atom Z2760 SoC from Intel, meaning the Windows platform of choice will be Windows 8 Pro, not Windows RT. Other hardware goodies will include an 8.1-inch CrystalBrite LCD display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, integrated graphics with 64 MB of memory, 32 GB of internal storage, and 2 GB of RAM.
The specs also revealed that the tablet will feature Wireless-N networking connectivity, a 2MP camera on the front and a 2MP camera on the back (which seems odd), and a two-cell 3,500 mAh battery, promising up to eight hours of continuous use on a single charge.
The Amazon/Acer leak appears after Microsoft's upstream supply chain said that they already shipped components for 1 to 1.5 million Intel-based Surface units since the end of 2012. They also confirm that this next wave will include form factors ranging from 7-inches to 9-inches in size. Of course, the Acer Iconia W3 unit isn't a Surface device, but it does show that Windows 8 tablets are indeed shipping under the 10-inch form factor.
That said, perhaps the upstream sources meant Windows 8 tablets in general, and not strictly Surface units. There's speculation that an actual small-screen Surface tablet may not appear until next year when the component prices are lower. Unless the Amazon price tag was a place holder or a typo, the Acer Iconia W3 is a good example as to why Microsoft would want to wait.
Currently the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $269 USD, the 7.9-inch iPad mini starts at $329 USD, and the 7-inch Nexus 7 starts at $199 USD.