Announced at the tail-end of 2013, the Acer Iconia W4 is the company's latest Windows 8 tablet. Using the Consumer Electronics Show 2014 as a platform to officially launch the product - it will be available later this month, replacing the W3 - we got to experience first hand just how this 8-inch tablet handles.
If you've been eyeing the original iPad mini but are not an Apple fan, then Acer has tapped into the Windows alternative with the Iconia W4. The 8-inch 1280 x 800 resolution screen is an IPS panel which is bright but also maintains good visibility throughout a variety of angles. There's no resolution jump from the earlier W3 model, however, which is a bit of a shame.
At 415 grams and just under 11mm thick it's a fairly light tablet offering too. The build reflects that, though, as it's plasticky. That wouldn't be a problem, but the silver-grey edge with the Windows button on protrudes beyond the glass tablet surface and we're not big fans of that element. But then this is a €299 (£250) product.
With full Windows 8.1 on board, including Office Home & Student 2013 installed, there's plenty of scope for both work and play. And with the latest Intel Bay Trail processor on board - the fourth-generation 1.8Ghz Atom processor to be precise - power consumption should be low to deliver hours of use from a single charge. Up to 10 hours it is claimed, although we've only spent a handful of minutes rather than hours inspecting the device so don't know how accurate that will be. What we do know is that Bay Trail is very good, so a welcome architecture to have behind the scenes.
We're also really pleased that it's full Windows on board, not the RT version, which offers more flexibility and the touchscreen controls are very responsive. An optional Acer Crunch Bluetooth Keyboard is sold separately, which is far larger than the 8-inch tablet size, but makes for a more comfortable typing experience.
Available in 32GB or 64GB versions, the W4 also has a microSD card slot for further expansion. You could effectively double the capacity with a cost-effective card solution. None of this locked down to internal storage only nonsense.
No word on a UK price as yet, but if its predecessor is anything to go by then we'd think around the £280 mark. Looks like a reasonable and affordable Windows 8.1 solution, from what we've seen.