Acer Iconia W3 Review and Gaming PerformanceEarlier, i’ve just showed you one tablet from Acer, one of my favorite tablet manufacturers (and my favorite smartphone manufacturer as well), which i thought could be a pretty good gaming tablet - of course under the lowest-end budget tablet category (below the low-end market).

And that’s thanks to the Mali 400 GPU that is found inside this tablet, which used to be considered as one powerful mobile graphics card especially back in the days when there was no iPad mini yet.

That tablet was Acer Iconia B1-720, a cheap budget tablet that costs only around $100.

Given its low cost, most of us probably think that this tablet is just useless or even a garbage. Well, i have to agree with that at some point.

However, given that this tablet is powered by Mali 400 GPU, then i just couldn’t underestimate the quality of this tablet, especially in terms of gaming performance.

Acer Iconia W3 benchmarks and gaming performance

Anyway, today i have one other tablet made by the same manufacturer - Acer.

However, this tablet definitely falls in the different tablet category with Acer Iconia B1 that i just reviewed earlier.

In fact, they both are like heaven and hell, with Acer Iconia B1 being the hell one (lol).

Well, that’s true because, unlike Acer Iconia B1 that runs on Android platform, the tablet that i’m about to show you right now is not an Android tablet.

It is a Windows-powered tablet.

As a matter of fact, this tablet runs on the actual Windows 8 Pro OS, which is considered as the best OS around the tablet market to date (no argue to that!).

This one is called Acer Iconia W3, an 8.1-inch tablet powered by Intel Atom CPU and Intel-dedicated graphics card named Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650.

By looking at its specs, then no doubt this tablet must be considered as the equal rival for big names like iPad mini Retina Display, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 or LG G Pad 8.3, given that they’re using around 8-inch display and some high-end specs.

However, screen size is actually not the only one on this tablet that makes it deserve to be positioned alongside those popular tablets.

There are some other sectors on Acer Iconia W3 that make this Acer’s tablet a suitable challenger for those Apple, Samsung or LG’s tablets - like its CPU, GPU, OS and many more.

Well, if you’re interested to get to know with this awesome Acer Windows tablet, then you can check out my personal review of Acer Iconia W3 below.

But before you go straight to the actual review, feel free to read the introduction first if you want.

And if you feel this review is helpful or informative to you, don't forget to share it to everyone guys!

I would really appreciate your contribution here.

Introduction

Compared to Apple or Samsung, then it’s no doubt that Acer is still considered as a small player in this tablet market.

Even though this manufacturer is more than capable to make some great tablets and even smartphones (based on what i’ve seen on my friend’s Acer Liquid S2 that is just awesome and a great quality smartphone with sharp-looking display), there is no chance Acer could ever surpass what Apple and Samsung have achieved in this business, or at least for now (but hopefully it’ll change in the near future).

However, that’s not stopping Acer from giving its best in this industry. It’s proved by many Acer tablets - which already got reviewed on this site – that i thought were good quality tablets, especially in gaming performance.

Acer Iconia W3 Review and Gaming PerformanceMost of those tablets are powered by NVIDIA’s Tegra processors (either Tegra 2 or 3), which are considered as great processors specifically for gaming.

Besides those Android-powered tablets, Acer apparently has another vision on other markets.

One of them is Windows tablet market.

And one of the Windows-powered tablets released by this company is Acer Iconia W3.

With this tablet, it’s really obvious that Acer really wants to revolutionize its old-outdated notebooks into modern touch-screen laptops, but still inherit some of the core components that are vital in its old laptops - like keyboard, CPU, graphics card and the most importantly, the OS.

Acer Iconia W3, as i mentioned above, is running on Windows 8 Pro, which the real and “serious” version of Microsoft’s latest homemade OS, as opposed to the Windows RT.

So with that being said, then Acer Iconia W3 will no doubt have the capability to run any legacy software of your Windows laptop - although not all of them will run perfectly on this tablet, given its weaker CPU and GPU compared to real laptops.

But the question remains, with those awesome goodies found inside this tablet, does Acer Iconia W3 stack up against other big names like iPad mini 2, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, LG G Pad 8.3 or even the soon-to-be-announced Google Nexus 8-inch tablet?

Well, we’re about to find out more about that in this review.

Design

From design standpoint, i think Acer did a pretty good job with this tablet.

I really like the how Acer puts some different finishes on the front side of this tablet, with metallic looking bezel on the top (in normal vertical mode) and dark black finish on the low.

I think this approach really makes this tablet look stand out compared to other 8-inch tablets that mostly use that generic rounded corner design and one-color finish all over the front side.

The other great thing found on the design of this tablet is its keyboard dock.

Acer Iconia W3 Review and Gaming Performance
8-inch Windows 8 Tablet

Given that this Acer’s tablet is intended as a Windows 8 Pro tablet, Acer Iconia W3 is also equipped with the standard keyboard dock that you’re already familiar to see on other Windows 8 Pro tablets out there.

However, since this tablet is only using an 8-inch display, which is smaller than the standard 10-inch display on other similar keyboard-equipped tablets, then this tablet looks really small and a bit weird when docked to its keyboard dock.

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  • 8.1 inches LCD 1280 x 800 pixels, 186 ppi
  • 1.8 GHz dual core Saltwell Intel Atom Z2760
  • Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650
  • Windows 8 Pro OS
  • Weight:17.6 oz (499 g)
  • 2 MP rear-facing camera
  • 2MP Front-facing camera:
  • 2GB RAM
  • 64 GB
  • Expandable microSD, microSDHC
  • Battery 3400 mAh
  • GPS
When it comes to specs, Acer Iconia W3 definitely will look stand out compared to other 8-inch tablets out there on the market right now, even the iPad mini with Retina Display.

And that’s because this Acer’s tablet is powered by the real serious version of Microsoft’s latest OS (actually not the latest), Windows 8 Pro OS, not the light version - Windows RT.

So with this kind of operating system, you’ll get the chance to try out many of your favorite legacy software that you’ve already come to love on your PC or laptop - although not all of them will run on this tablet perfectly, especially the ones that require much bigger RAM and much powerful CPU/GPU.

Acer Iconia W3 comes packed with an 8.1-inch display sporting the 720p (1280x800 pixels) resolution, Intel Atom Z2760 dual-core Saltwell processor clocked at 1.8GHz per core, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 2MP cameras on front and back, no LED flash, 3400mAh battery, Windows 8 Pro OS comes pre-installed and many other more.

As a Windows 8 Pro tablet, this Acer Iconia W3 definitely is a much better choice than those 8-inch rivals on the market to date, even the iPad mini 2, even though the display of this may not look as sharp as iPad mini 2, Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4, LG G Pad 8.3 and even the low-cost Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Kindle Fire 7 HDX, which are priced lower than Acer Iconia W3.

But given its full-fledged Windows 8 Pro OS, then Acer Iconia W3 is still considered as a much better choice than its rivals, especially if you’re looking for a decent 8-inch productivity tablet with the actual Windows 8 Pro OS, not the mobile OS like iOS or Android OS.

Performance

When it comes to performance, then no doubt that Acer Iconia W3 is more than capable to deliver a blazing fast performance and experience to the users.

And that’s thanks to its dual-core Intel Atom Saltwell processor clocked at 1.8GHz per core, bundled with the beast Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650 (but not as "beast" as the Intel 4400 HD Graphics Card on Surface Pro tablets) and 2GB of RAM.

And even for a Windows Pro tablet, these goodies are more than enough to keep the engine going even for the heaviest tasks that you throw on this tablet.

So for doing some usual tasks that you usually do on your laptop - like video editing, word/document editing or photo editing, then this tablet has no problem at all to run these basic laptop tasks even at once given that Acer Iconia W3 is indeed made by Acer as a productivity Windows Pro tablet.

However, given that this tablet is only powered by Intel Atom CPU, unlike other Windows 8 Pro tablets like Microsoft Surface Pro or Asus Transformer Book Trio that use the real and more serious Intel Core i5-3317U Ivy Bridge (or i7), which is actually made for full-fledged laptops, not tablets, then you cannot expect this Acer’s tablet to be as powerful as those seriously powerful tablets, especially for doing all the graphics intense tasks on laptops.

The good thing is, Intel Atom is actually already good enough for a tablet, even for a Windows Pro tablet like Acer Iconia W3.

In fact, with the internals found inside this Acer’s tablet, there are many heavy games that you’ve come to love on your PC or laptop that you can actually play on this tablet with no problem at all.

And this is why Acer trusts Intel Atom CPU to run this tablet.

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As i’ve already seen on some video reviews on YouTube, it’s amazing that many laptop and PC games can be run and played nicely on this Acer Iconia W3.

And that’s not so surprising at all given that this Acer’s tablet is indeed a Windows Pro tablet with the real Windows 8 Pro OS.

So that opens up a lot of possibilities for this tablet to run variety of different games that you are already familiar to see on your laptop or PC.

There are some PC/laptop games that you can actually play on this tablet - from Diablo 3, TorchLight, Royal Revolt, Jetpack Joyride, World of Warcraft and many other PC/laptop games.

However, given that this tablet is powered by the “light” version Intel Atom CPU, not the real beast Intel Core i5, then you cannot expect this tablet to be able to run the most graphics intense PC/laptop games like Call of Duty: Ghost, Bioshock infinite, GTV V or other games.

But for playing other simple, casual or older games, even the graphically demanding ones, this Acer’s tablet is more than capable to do that.

So if you’re looking for a decent 8-inch tablet with Microsoft’s serious Windows 8 Pro OS, with pretty good gaming performance, then Acer Iconia W3 is probably the one you’re looking for.

But then again, if you’re looking for more serious Windows 8 Pro tablet with serious gaming performance of laptop/PC, then you might want to check out other tablet offerings like Microsoft Surface Pro, Asus Transformer Book Trio or any other Windows tablets with Intel Core CPU.

If you want to know more about the gaming performance of Acer Iconia W3, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out our YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

As an 8-inch tablet, then it’s a must for any tablet with this screen size to have a rear-facing camera given its light weight, which is suitable and ideal for taking photos (although doing so would still make you look stupid in front of public. lol).

The good news is, Acer Iconia W3 has that sector covered perfectly with its 2MP cameras on front and back, the most importantly.

However, when it comes to quality, then no doubt the camera of this tablet will not be on the same level with the cameras of other flagship tablets (such as iPad or Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 or Note 8).

So you cannot expect the photos taken with this Acer’s tablet to be as great as those rivals.

But as i always mentioned over and over again my previous reviews, it’s always great to have a rear-facing camera on an 8-inch tablet.

It might not deliver some decent looking shots to you, but at least it still gets the job done and the photos are still worth showing off to your Instagram or Twitter friends.

And that’s already good enough for a scale of micro photography.

Unfortunately, the bad news is, Acer Iconia W3 is not equipped with a flash and it also lacks autofocus.

So it might not be such a great idea to take photos with this tablet at night or in low light situation.

But then again, having a rear-facing camera on a tablet should still be appreciated though.

Not all tablets have rear-facing camera, even until now (*cough* Kindle Fire 7 HDX *cough*).

So this tablet should still be considered as a complete package of tablet.

I mean, it’s still pretty rare to see 8-inch tablets with Windows 8 Pro OS, right? So you as the user of this tablet should be grateful with everything that this tablet has to offer.

Battery Life

Acer Iconia W3 is powered by 3400mAh battery inside.

This of course is considered as really low battery capacity given that most of 8-inch tablets already adopt more than 5000mAh power battery.

And the fact that this tablet is running Windows 8 Pro OS, which is really heavy operating system, then it could be a heavy burden for this tablet in the long run.

As many of know (or not?), most of Windows 8 Pro tablets are not really powerful when it comes to battery life.

You probably could only get around 4 to 5 hours of battery life for doing some heavy tasks on those Windows 8 Pro tablets.

However, it’s worth noting that most of those Windows 8 Pro tablets are using Intel Core i5 CPU, which is probably more power hungry than the Intel Atom CPU inside this Acer’s tablet.

So that’s a good thing because Intel Atom, which is mostly used on Android tablets and smartphones, is not as power hungry as Intel Core i5 CPU inside the tablets like Microsoft Surface Pro or Asus Transformer Book Trio.

So with that being said, i think the low battery capacity inside this Acer’s tablet is still good enough to power this tablet in long period of time, even for doing some heavy intense tasks - like Word/document editing, photo editing, video editing and all bunch of stuff that you usually do on your Windows laptop or PC.

Not to mention, the latest installment of Windows 8 Pro is probably not as heavy as the previous generation OSes (like Windows Vista, Windows 7 or XP). So that probably could help a lot in making this tablet long lasting in battery life.

My Personal Opinions

So my last conclusion of this tablet is, as a Windows 8 Pro tablet, then no doubt, Acer Iconia W3 is one of the best Windows 8 Pro tablets that you can find on the market to date.

And the fact that this tablet is using some lower-quality - if you would - hardware specs, compared to Microsoft Surface Pro or other full-fledged Windows 8 Pro tablets (like Intel Atom CPU, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator, 3400mAh battery, etc), then it really helps a lot in making tablet cheaper than those rivals.

So that’s kind of a great news for those of you who are looking for an 8-inch productivity tablet powered by Windows 8 Pro OS.

It’s ideal as an on-the-go tablet and the most importantly, it doesn’t cost as much as those real full-fledged Windows 8 Pro tablets.

I also really like the fact this tablet has really great gaming performance.

This tablet may not be able to play all games that you’ve come to love on your Android tablet - like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, Dead Trigger 2 or N.O.V.A 3 given its compatibility.

However, that’s perfectly covered with the ability of this tablet to run and play many games that you’ve already come to love on your PC or Windows laptop, like Diablo 3, World or Warcraft, TorchLight, Royal Revolt, Jetpack Joyride and many other games, even the graphically demanding ones - of course the older ones like The Settlers III/IV, GTA Vice City, Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow, Age of Empire, etc.

But it’s also worth noting that given its lower-grade internals (Intel Atom, Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3650, etc) - as opposed to the full-fledged Windows 8 tablets -, this tablet might not be capable to run the latest graphics intense games on your PC/laptop, like Call of Duty: Ghost, GTA V, Bioshock Infinite, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag and other games that require some heavy full-fledged specs like Intel Core i5, NVIDIA GeForce GPU and big fat 4/8GB of RAM.

So if you’re looking for a Windows 8 Pro tablet that is capable to run these heavy latest games, i suggest you to steer your target to other tablets like Asus Transformer Book Trio, Microsoft Surface Pro or many other full-fledged Windows 8 Pro tablet, not this Acer Iconia W3.

On the other hand, if you’re currently looking for a decent 8-inch productivity tablet with the real serious Windows 8 Pro OS, that has good gaming performance, awesome design, great compatibility with PC/laptop legacy software, then make no mistake, Acer Iconia W3 is still a decent choice for you.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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