TAIWANESE HARDWARE MAKER Acer has unveiled its second 8in Windows tablet, the Acer Iconia W4, on Thursday, as it looks to challenge the Lenovo Miix2.
The revised model, an update to the Acer Iconia W3, brings Microsoft's latest operating system Windows version 8.1 alongside slightly better screen.
Saying that, the screen is still just 1280x800 resolution, only slightly improved over the Iconia W3's 1280x768 screen, which we found was disappointingly poor quality when we saw the Iconia W3 at Computex earlier this year. However, Acer has promised better viewing angles this time around, with an optically bonded IPS display, so you should notice less glare.
On the inside, The Acer Iconia W4 is powered by an Intel Atom CPU clocked at 1.8GHz. Acer claims its battery is good for up to 10 hours, a two hour improvement over the Iconia W3.
The Iconia W4 is also both lighter and thinner than its predecessor, weighing 412g and measuring 10.7mm thick.
Expected to start shipping in the US this month, Acer's next generation tablet will be priced at $329.99 (£204) for the 32GB model, and $379.99 (£235) for the 64GB model. Like the Iconia W3, the Iconia W4 will feature standard connectivity options, such as integrated 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 along with microHDMI and microUSB 2.0 ports.
As yet it is only available in the US, Japan and Taiwan. We asked Acer when the UK is expected to see the Iconia W4, but the vendor told us there is no indication yet for the EMEA region.
The tablet update proves Acer's ongoing push into tablets due to a declining PC market.
Gartner's most recent report conveyed the continuing bad news by announcing that 80.3 million PCs shipped in the third quarter, a drop of 8.6 percent from the same quarter last year and marking the seventh consecutive quarter of declining worldwide PC shipments.
Acer bore the worst of the slump, seeing the PC industry's largest decline in shipment growth. Shifting 6.6 million PCs in the third quarter compared to the 8.6 million PCs it shipped in the same quarter last year, Acer saw PC shipments drop 22.6 percent year over year. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ