Remember that 8-inch Windows 8 tablet from Acer that briefly appeared on Amazon a few weeks ago? It's back, but this time on Acer's own Finnish website here. Called the Iconia W3, it's the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, the company claims, a true multi-user tablet with easy access to personal apps and settings. So far there's still no pricing, release date or an official list of hardware.
"The Iconia W3 Series puts desktop PC capability in a tablet, so you can work and play on the go more conveniently than ever," reads the description. "At 8-inches, it is compact enough to hold in one hand, yet sports a screen big enough for comfortable viewing. Rounding out this premium mobile companion are Windows 8 and a robust Intel processor."
According to the specs that were shown on the Amazon listing before it was pulled, the 8-inch tablet will weigh 1.1 pounds and sport a dual-core Atom Z2760 SoC from Intel, 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. Other features will include Wireless-N networking connectivity, a 2MP camera on the front and a 2MP camera on the back (which again seems odd), and a two-cell 3,500 mAh battery promising up to eight hours of continuous use on a single charge.
Amazon also listed the Acer tablet's pricing at $379.99, which seems a bit much for an 8-inch form factor. Then again, Windows 8 isn't free, thus consumers are eating the licensing costs even though Microsoft has supposedly cut a deal for ODMs producing devices under ten inches. 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.
Will an 8-inch form factor help Microsoft bring Windows 8 to more consumers? It will definitely help if the price is reasonable, as the sub-ten-inch market clearly shows that consumers are looking for a form factor that's affordable, high-performance and easy to carry. However, overshooting the iPad Mini's selling price could prove destructive for a Windows 8-based tablet of the same size.