After Microsoft CFO Peter Klein confirmed that Windows 8 was headed for smaller devices, images of an upcoming 8-inch Windows 8-based tablet appeared online at French website MiniMachines.net. The page was quickly taken down thanks to a request made by Acer, but the page's Bing cache remained long enough for additional reports to surface. That cache too has also been deleted as of this report.
That said, The Tech Report claims that the 8-inch Windows 8 tablet will be known as the Iconia W3. It will feature Intel's "Clover Trail" Atom Z2760 dual-core SoC clocked at 1.8 GHz – meaning no Windows RT on this device – 2 GB of RAM, dual cameras, a possible microSDHC slot, and an optional foldable sleeve that can prop the tablet up when placed in landscape mode. Photos indicated that the display aspect ratio is 16:10, and the original report speculated a 1280 x 800 IPS screen.
Alongside the tablet's launch will be an optional keyboard, according to the report. It will be wider than the tablet itself and will not have a hinge, meaning the peripheral will be a standalone accessory and not the other half of a complete convertible design. Based on the image above, the accessory looks to be a dock that holds the tablet up and supplies a recharge at the same time.
Reports speculate that the unannounced Acer tablet may be on par with larger Windows 8 tablets currently on the market including the 10.1-inch Asus VivoTab Smart selling for $429.99 at Newegg. It's unlikely the 8-inch tablet will compete directly with the Nexus 7, but rather Apple's iPad mini in terms of pricing.
As shown on Microsoft's online store (opens in new tab), Windows 8 tablets and convertibles don't come cheap. The Acer Iconia W510-1674 (opens in new tab) is currently on sale for $399 USD, packing the same Intel Atom Z2760 SoC, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage via an SSD. It also sports a 10.1-inch Acer CrystalBrite LED-backlit TFT LCD screen with 5-finger multi-touch support and a 1366 x 768 resolution. There's even a separate keyboard dock selling for $149.99.
Is the new Acer 8-inch tablet just a smaller version of its current Iconia W510-1674 model? The specs definitely point that way, but we'll see when Acer actually announces the gadget soon… likely after Windows 8.1 is revealed this June at BUILD 2013.