The Acer Iconia W3 was one of the most hotly anticipated releases of 2013 as it was the first full Windows 8 tablet that was attempting to take on the iPad Mini, and it was a bold move by Microsoft to try and regain market share in the mobile sector. It was a combined effort by Acer and Microsoft to bring Windows 8 to the massive mobile market but it seems that the tablet has somewhat fallen flat and its features leave much to be desired. The tablet has struggled with both its comfort factor and design and a rather weighty issue has arisen with users saying that it is heavy for its size, especially since Apple has trimmed down the Mini to only 7.2mm thick, making the Iconia chunkier than consumers would have liked.
The less than stellar reception the tablet has received has seen Acer is already prepping for a lighter, leaner version within months of launching original. Capitalising on still being the only 8 inch Windows 8 based tablet on the market, it seems like the new version is set to be released as early as September and will hopefully be met with a better reception from mobile device users.
A refreshed version would assumedly look at rectifying some of the consumer and reviewer complaints that the device received, mostly based on the poor display and bulky size. Acer Netherlands spokesperson Sterre Swank confirmed that the refreshed tablet would be thinner and lighter, and whilst there is no official confirmation that the display will be improved upon, it’s likely that Acer will want to ensure that they offer consumers a better product and will replace the current panel with something superior.
A change in the display panel would positively affect the weight and bulkiness of the device and improve the viewing angles which have been subject to much criticism. Users have complained that the colours are dull, the images not sharp and that much of the text appears to have fuzzy edging or are blurred. The current TN-LCD W3 panel should be replaced with an IPS based version as this would greatly help the 1280X800 pixel display offer better image quality. IPS displays have better colour vibrancy and offer better viewing angles than TN displays and although they cost more that hasn’t stopped devices like the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 from using them.
The disappointing display was a sticking point for the tablet but many consumers purchased the device due to its OS and size. The size is ideal for gaming at a sites that features fast paced, interactive entertainment, and if the quality of the panel is improved it could become one of the most popular Windows gaming tablets on the market. As the first and currently only Windows 8 tablet available, many Microsoft loyal consumers have purchased the device and will most likely stand in line to acquire an updated version as soon as it is released.
The current 8 inch tablet is using an Intel Atom dual core 1.5GHz processor and has 2GB of RAM. As yet there’s no news to whether this will be upgraded or remain the same in the new device as it is a competitive offering and on par with many other top brands specs. The processor packs a punch and is incredibly responsive, allowing apps to load exceptionally fast and navigation to be almost instantaneous. It is hoped that a new release would incorporate USB 3.0 but this is not an essential, although in order to keep up with the fast pace of tech developments it may be a good idea to add this feature. Positives of the tablet that Acer need not address and many users would prefer to remain as is are the free license of MS Office Home Edition, an HDMI port that allows you to connect and share content with a larger monitor or TV and the option to expand the internal memory of 32 GB by using a microSD.
When the highly anticipated tablet was released at Computex a UK spokesperson for the company said that it was aimed at users who were looking for a device that matched fun and productivity, and the quick turnaround time on the predicted release of a newer, improved version shows Acers commitment to this promise. A lighter, leaner Iconia W3 would be a welcome addition to the mobile market and it’s impressive to note how quickly Microsoft and Acer are adjusting their product to meet the demands of the user and satisfy the ever growing tablet user base with a device that aims to meet comfort and performance requirements.