on January 3, 2014
Well the Acer W3 came out and it looked really awesome! I mean windows on a little 8 inch slate, with a zippy atom, and a great price tag. Well unfortunately after trying it for some reason Acer had gone with the shoddiest screen known to man, with 0 viewing angle. Beyond that, for some reason they chose to have a proprietary charger unique to the device instead of using micro usb port (to some this is good, as it leaves the usb port taken but i and many others prefer usb charging). Acer is trying to bring back the series and redeem itself, so lets find out if they have.
Design: I would say out of the recent 8 inch windows tablets, Acer has the most different looking. Most of tablets are very symmetrical but the acer has a grey lip coming out of the bottom with a physical windows button. This is better than having either a capacitive button, or a button on the side of this device, i prefer Acers design on that front. No buttons on the left, bottom has micro usb (for peripherals, and for charging this time around), and a headphone jack. The right has, volume rocker, micro hdmi, and a micro sd slot, top only has a power button. This design is good however the only bad thing i can say is compared to the other slates, the w4 is a little chunky. It has a lot of bezel on the top and bottom which i could live without. It weighs under a pound and isn't quite as thin as an ipad but it's probably not much more thick than your phone.
Display: The display is really great, they added an IPS screen in this time. Viewing angles are great, the colors look fantastic to me, and i don't notice much bleed at all. The screen is extremely bright as well, right now using it in my decently lit house i have it at the lowest it can be and i have no strain at all.
Storage: This it seems like acer did better with as well. I did a crystal mark on it and for instance my sequential and 512k were177 Read/ 145 Read and 58 Write/ 43 Write. Compared to the Toshiba encore (and most other atom tablets from my research) the Toshiba scored 93 Read/ 85 Read and 44 Write/ 39 Write. So they seem to have put in a decently speedier Emmc memory chip in giving around double read speed, and a decently faster write speed.
Battery life: The battery has been better than expected as well. I ran a netflix battery rundown test and got about 9 hours of battery life. During normal use, installing applications, web surging, email, light gaming I saw around 9-10 hours of usage from my estimates, which is better than acers claim! I monitored the standby overnight and it lost like 3 or 4 percent which isn't bad at all either.
Software: Acer loaded a few bloatware programs, but nothing really to bad. It had some things i wanted loaded as well like hulu and netflix apps. But I would give them probably a 7 out of 10 on the bloatware scale, 1 being the worst and 10 being the best.
Performance: Bay trail has done wonders for the tablet market. The predecessor Clover Trail was good on metro applications but if did desktop work you saw the performance decline a lot. However with this Z3740 i have almost no lag, day to day things i barely notice a difference from my desktop . While larger applications for photo editing, video editing, gaming would obviously show the speed differences this is great for a .9 lb , fanless, 10 hr batter, 8 inch tablet.
I did a little benchmarking, and game testing.
Cinebench 11.5: Cpu: 1.18 GPU: 6.4 fps
3dmark Ice Storm: 14k
Peacekeeper browser test: 1137
League of legends: 30-60 fps lowest settings, runs very playable, very few slowdowns.
Walking Dead Season 1: Ran 40-60 fps on low , no issues would definitley be able to play without issues.
Titan Quest: Ran around 30-40 fps seemed pretty playable easily.
Mass Effect 2: low settings and fps this seems like it could be playable, around 30fps.
The first laptop i ever bought right out of highschool around 8 years ago was an acer. They weren't as well known then, but i really liked their quality ever since (even if they have a few bumps *cough* *cough* W3). I put my faith in them again and was not dissapointed in my choice. The W3 does a decent bit to stand out from the crowd giving a bit of reason to spend some more on it over something like the dell venue 8. It has a leading battery life, HDMI, faster storage speed, and probably the brightest display. Hopefully acer keeps the quality up, the W4 gets 2 giant thumbs up from this guy.
EDIT: I just bought the keyboard made for the acer w3 and it indeed works great for the W4, it docks in at the top fine and it slots into the back of the keyboard just like the w3 did.
on July 21, 2014
To put this review in context, I was in search of something to replace my aging laptop. I work mostly from home, doing technical writing and web programming. The nature of the applications I use makes Windows a necessity. I am not a gamer or video editor, so I don't need huge processing power or high-performance graphics. I do travel occasionally, and so a portable solution is the most ideal. So my plan was to find a small Windows tablet that I could hook up to my flat-screen TV at home, then sit on the couch across the room with a wireless keyboard and mouse, and work that way. In the evening, I could lay in bed with the tablet in hand and play games, read ebooks, or surf the web. For travel, I could disconnect everything and throw the tablet in a backpack. That was the plan.
I chose the Acer Iconia W4 after much research, because it seemed to fit the bill. In particular, it is one of the few 8" Windows tablets currently available with HDMI out, and that was a must for me.
So how well does it meet my expectations?
The tablet itself is wonderful. It is comfortable to hold, and feels solid and well-built. Hardware-wise, it isn't too different from any other Windows tablet on the market right now. Same processor, same ram, same graphics, same amount of memory, same interface. I've gotten used to my old 2.3GHz laptop, so switching to a 1.3GHz processor can cause bouts of impatience with certain software, but it's tolerable. The touch screen collects fingerprints annoyingly well, but I only notice them when the screen is off. The buttons and ports around the edges of the tablets are all intuitively placed and function perfectly. The speakers are surprisingly good for such a small device.
Windows 8.1 isn't as bad as many make it out to be. In fact, it's ideal for the way I use this device. With the tablet in hand, I use the Metro interface, the touch screen, and the Windows apps (sparse as they are). Connected to the TV, I use desktop mode with the wireless keyboard and mouse, and it's like I'm back in Windows 7 land. Perfect.
I'm 90% happy with the Acer Iconia W4. I have only two big complaints.
First, the tablet has a built-in combo wi-fi/Bluetooth radio. This seems convenient until you discover that you cannot use both wi-fi and Bluetooth at the same time! I had intended to use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, but it was impossible due to the constant stuttering and lag of the keyboard as long as I was connected to wi-fi. Unfortunately, I do a lot of typing, so that's unacceptable. I really hope Acer fixes this serious limitation with a driver update of some kind in the very near future. In the meantime, I have switched to a Logitech wireless (non-Bluetooth) keyboard and mouse with a USB receiver. That works fine, but it brings me to my second big complaint.
With an on-the-go (OTG) USB adapter, it's possible to connect all sorts of USB devices to the Iconia W4. Unfortunately, the only USB port on the tablet is also the charging port, so you have to unplug any USB devices (say, my keyboard and mouse) before you can hook up the charger. Luckily, the battery life is long enough that I can make it through a work day without needing to charge, but still, it's another serious limitation.
Other than those two things, I'm very happy with this tablet. For those who have made up their minds to purchase this tablet, I don't think you'll be disappointed as long as you keep its limitations in mind and are willing to work with them. Also, here are some miscellaneous tips that I've found useful as I've conquered the learning curve on this device:
* Immediately after unpacking your new tablet, download and install the latest BIOS and driver updates from the Acer website. Also, install all the available Windows updates.
* Disable automatic Windows updates. Choose the setting where updates are downloaded but you decide whether to install them. You should still install updates as they are released, but others have reported being unable to come out of sleep mode due to conflicts with automatic updates. Some have also reported that they avoid this by actually shutting down the tablet every night, instead of just leaving it in sleep mode. This is what I do. Boot-up time is lightning fast, so it's not a big deal, and I have never had a problem with a frozen tablet.
* Get the largest MicroSD card available to supplement your available disk space. Windows, Office, and other software you'll install, take up a disturbingly large portion of the on-board storage. There are bundled cloud storage options from both Microsoft and Acer, but they only offer a few gigabytes each, and memory cards are cheap.
* If you plan to use a wireless USB keyboard and/or mouse, look for a right-angle OTG adapter (I bought http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B4GGW5Q/). It keeps things nice and tight, without any unnecessary cables danging off the side. I also bought a micro-to-mini OTG cable (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DCZWK6W/), since it seems that most of the peripherals I use with this tablet (including my USB hub) have mini-USB inputs, so this one cable does the job that might otherwise take a handful of cables and adapters.
on May 23, 2014
I previously had purchased the Iconia W3 and found it to be mediocre as most of the reviews have pointed out. Lackluster CPU and screen quality were issues for me, although the unit worked fine. The W4 is a terrific device! I use it both as an electronic flight bag in my airplane as well as a "laptop" when I'm on the road. As a laptop, I'm using the Bluetooth keyboard I purchased with my W3 and a Bluetooth Adesso micro Bluetooth mouse. I have added an HDMI to VGA adapter which allows me to use the W4 for Powerpoint Presentations and online software demos. Having had the W4 almost as soon as it was released, I've had none of the issues other contributors have mentioned. Maybe I'm just lucky. In the airplane, I have an XM weather receiver connected via Bluetooth that integrates with a GPS moving map to give me complete situational awareness without having to invest in a unit that would cost close to $15,000 if permanently installed in the aircraft. I also run a complete Office 2013 suite, including Outlook without difficulty. I wish I had spent the additional $50 for the 64gb unit, but I still have almost 3gb left on this one. I believe that Acer go it right this time.
on March 14, 2014
I use this more like a netbook. But if you did want to do work you but would probably want to hook to TV. Win 8 has taken very little to get used to. Listening to all the complaints I thought it would be very hard but all it is win 7 with a tablet friendly metro on other side. I see the complaints coming from desktop users. Back to w4. Very good build. Hdmi is a must on one of these 8 inch tablets. Runs fast enough for me, mostly web, music and video. App store needs help. Games.... well that's what my nexus 10 is for. Screen gets very bright. Worth 300.00 dollars? Hell yes!
on June 18, 2014
Been wanting a smaller windows tablet for a decade at least. When MS put the Surface mini on hold I got sick of waiting and decided to research what was out their and buy one anyway.
I picked the Acer W4 because of the following
All my research pointed to this
9+ hrs battery life
Faster SSD speeds then other 8 inch Tablets
Under $300 for the 64GB version
My primary uses for the tablet is a couch surfer and a portable music player. People don't realize that Windows PC's have access to a ton of quality music playing software and the PC sound cards tend to sound pretty good. So combine good sounding output, 9+ hrs battery, 64GB internal storage + Micro SD card + full DLNA streaming you have the ultimate portable music player
These were my initial intentions for the smaller windows tablet and I'm happy to report it has more than lived up to my needs
The 9HR battery life is the real deal, the audio sound quality from the headphone jack on this tablet sound VERY good. It has a very warm analog sound signature with alot of detail. So to me it is one of the better make shift portable music players you can buy. It sounds great and is cheaper and MUCH more versatile.
As far as Windows stuff goes the Tablet runs well I have a Surface pro and just in normal web browsing and everyday stuff this tablet does it very well and does not slow down.
Win 8.1 runs very well on lower end hardware.
The Screen looks good and is very readable at different angles, the colors are good and is very crisp. Even though the resolution is 1280X800 the pixel density is about the same as my Surface Pro.
The only issue I have with the tablet is it has issues waking up from sleep mode. You often have to hold down the power button to trigger the unit to restart.
I have this tablet and a Surface Por I've had for 18month and this tablet is every bit as useful and worthwhile as the Surface Pro 1. It has better battery life and better audio quality out of the headphone jack than the Surface.
on June 9, 2014
Pros: I love the weight, endurance (10+ hours), and interface. Installing programs/apps is easy. Interfacing with touch screen keyboard is good. Interfacing with bluetooth keyboard and mouse is amazing. This greatly improved my efficiency at my workplaces. (1: business project manager, 2: biomedical engineer) This screen is fully readable when fully dimmed in full noon Arizona summer sunlight at high resolution from arm's length.
Cons: I got 1 Blue Screen of Death one week in. Occasionally the computer is reluctant to return from sleep mode. The solution is to shut down every night, and to close programs via the task manager. That said, even the BSOD was not inconvenient! I was back up-and-running in 3 minutes, and none of my data was lost. The touchscreen is a bit temperamental with Mozilla, but works great with all other programs and apps. (I feel bad about saying it, but Internet Explorer is actually the best in Windows 8.)
Recommendations: Buy a screen protector, a case for holding the computer at readable angles, and a keyboard. I also bought a mouse. I use multiple user accounts to manage my various emails and responsibilities. Shut down and plug it in every night.
Still working well. For a few days, the touch screen was registering phantom clicks near its perimeter, but this was fixed shortly via software update. I took this to Europe for several months, and was able to charge it with the included cable plus a cheap fixture adapter. The cable can handle European voltages.
Still runs well. Updated to Windows 10, which brought on some issues with the touch screen and screen rotation. The touch-screen accuracy issues were fixed. Still some issues with the on-screen keyboard for certain programs, but the work-around is to swipe right to manually activate it. Still some issues with screen rotation. This bonus is that the battery lasts a bunch longer with the new OS.
on September 8, 2014
For windows 8 tablet (full version),with a Office bundle it's a great deal, but don't expect the smooth operation of an iPad. This thing has all the functionality of a windows laptop, but it all works a little bit quirky. Sometimes the keyboard shows up when you want it, sometimes it doesn't. Soetimes it just won't turn on, and you have tomdo a reset. And as you can see frommy review, typing doesn't always work perfect. (deliberately not corrected). I still can't believe a Mega company like Microsoft signed off on the junk that their W8 delelopment team produced. This is just not ready for prime time. Must be the ME, Vista, B-team.
The screen sensitivity is not good enough to pin point cursor position with enough accuracy. Sometimes you're tapping 5 times to try to hit something. There also seems to be a weird interaction with Java apps, where it sometimes is just impossible to do what you need it to do, hitting links etc.
The windows apps are a far cry from what you may be used to from your apple product. Nobody seems to want to even try to write a decent app. For me the 32GB version is plenty big.. For 20 bucks i pluggen in an extra 32 gb SD card. In short nice and handy, cheap little tablet, with limitations, but if you are looking for something that runs all your windows and office stuff, for next to nothing, this is angood buy.
on December 24, 2014
I bought this to replace my laptop and use on business trips. This isn't just a tablet, it is a full blown PC with Windows 8.1. I bought an HDMI cable, bluetooth mouse, mini-keyboard and mini-speaker to make it an ultra portable PC for travel. Works great in hotel room as a PC. Just hook it up to the TV via the HDMI, and you have a full PC. It has the mobile metro screen, which gives you access to WIndows mobile store, but it also has a desktop to use as a PC. If you hate not having a Windows 7/XP start button, download ClassicShell. It is 100% free start button for WIndows 8 and highly customizable.
Performance is good. The quad core really works well. It comes with Microsoft Office Student Version, which is ok, But I installed Kingsoft Office Suite instead, it is free, super light weight. I also installed a 64GB MicroSD card for extra storage. It has 2GB of RAM, which I thought would be a problem for me and writing software, but it isn't. The 32GB hard drive is solid state and fast. I just made a 4GB swap file on the hard drive and it is perfect.
If you are a power user/developer, you might want to purchase the 64GB model. Just for the extra space. I installed all my development tools, office suite, etc, I didn't have much room after that. You can install some apps to your MicroSD, but some you can't. But if you are an average user who needs to replace your laptop, 32GB is perfect.
It did come with a lot of Acer related tools for their cloud and other stuff. I uninstalled all their tools to make space.
Over all, I wish I would have gotten the 64GB model, but that is ok. The tablet is a perfect replacement for a bulky laptop, and perfect to take on business trips.
on May 30, 2014
Best full windows tablet for the price. If you dont have a lot of money to spend and want full windows 8, this is the one to get. Another plus is the inclusion of microsoft office home & student for free.
on September 18, 2014
Have only had the W4 about two weeks. Screen is a bit small for Windows 8.1 but using a stylus helps. The major problem so far was a disabled wi fi adapter due to a windows update. Could not find any wi fi until I did a recovery to before the update. Finally came back but now I am hesitant to do any further Win updates.
I also have a 7" Acer Android tablet and, altho I'm not wild about the Android OS, I have to admit it is easier to use and less "cumbersome" than Windows 8.1. I only hope 9.0 is better!
In short, I may yet return this tablet and go larger. Had a 10" Asus convertible prior to this and it was too heavy to hold for long and windows was hard to see on that as well. Had a 11.6" Samsung convertible and windows was good on that but awkward to hold without the keyboard attached. I thought an 8" would be the right combo of size and weight bit rethinking that in light of using this tablet.