First hands-on impressions of the Acer Iconia W3 [Update]

There's been a lot of hype surrounding Acer's upcoming 8.1-inch tablet, the Iconia W3. Although most of the details were leaked last month, the official announcement took place earlier today at Computex 2013.

Microsoft's own TechEd conference is pushing the virtues of touch-based notebooks, tablets, and hybrid units, and one of the demo units they've been showing attendees is the Iconia W3. While we weren't allowed to record usage of the device, Microsoft did allow us to take some photos of the upcoming tablet.

While the form factor is nice, we can't help but feel that the full-sized keyboard takes away from the functionality of the 8.1-inch display. If we're going to carry around a keyboard that large, why not have a screen to match? In addition, while the tablet docks nicely with the keyboard, there doesn't appear to be a way to click the two together so that they lay flat, making transport more difficult. Microsoft wasn't sure if a carrying bag was included with the product.

Otherwise, there's not much to say about the Acer Iconia W3. It's receiving a lot of positive buzz here at the conference, but I still remain skeptical of its commercial success.

UPDATE: Thanks to a couple of comments on this post, we dug around Microsoft's site and found pictures of how the tablet docks with the keyboard. Pretty nifty!

Docking image from TechNet blog

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22 Comments

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i like the look and with Windows 8.1 this thing is gonna be awesome. so i can get a full fledged PC for $379 that doesn't lag and can do what an iPad mini do plus a lot more? and it has a rear 5mp camera? dude this could be like a secondary PC for me. could use it for my stop motion animation videos to record, edit, and upload to Youtube. I could use it to edit docs quickly. I could edit essays and the like. Man this is amazing. Wish it had the build quality and looks of a Surface with the kickstand. then I would love it

It runs 8.1 and reveals new feature and three new apps: it seems that bundled apps are no longer pre-installed, look at the tiny download icon on several Live Tiles.

Most interesting is this app with a lock icon. Maybe the kiosk mode?

Fritzly said,
Does it have pen and full handwriting capabilities?
TIA

I doubt it has the Wacom digitizer, but all windows 8 tablet so far can do basic handwriting recognition, its just some styli come out looking like you did it with a crayon

spudtrooper said,

I doubt it has the Wacom digitizer, but all windows 8 tablet so far can do basic handwriting recognition, its just some styli come out looking like you did it with a crayon


Thanks for the info; I will wait for something with Wacom and Haswell processor; hopefully by the time 8.1 will be reach RTM we will have more choices....

It's ugly, but the full sized keyboard is great for people who don't want to type documents/long e-mails using the touch screen, or a smaller form-factor keyboard. It's something that's fine just to leave at your desk and use only when you need it.

efjay said,
Tablet attaches to the back of the keyboard dock, screen facing inwards.

Thanks to you too -- I found a picture and put it at the end of the article.

"there doesn't appear to be a way to click the two together so that they lay flat"

there is, the back of the keyboard has a indented location you can latch or "click" the two together for transport.

JohnCz said,
"there doesn't appear to be a way to click the two together so that they lay flat"

there is, the back of the keyboard has a indented location you can latch or "click" the two together for transport.


Thanks! I dug around Microsoft's site and found a picture from TechNet that showed the docking. It's been attached to this article.

spudtrooper said,
Is this thing already running Windows Blue?

Microsoft said it was during their presentation, but we didn't get a chance to check before we had to stop touching it and only photograph.

It's obviously running 8.1 just by looking at the Start Screen. Notice the smaller size of some of the tiles and there's the "All Apps" glyph as well.

I have a Surface RT, never bought a keyboard. I look forward to owning a W3 and will never buy the keyboard either.

Not sure why keyboards keep coming up as a concern. Absolutely no NEED for it other than PERSONAL preference which is a GOOD thing to have.

This will be perfect to yoke mount for aviation apps!

este said,
Anyone notice the tablet is positioned upside down in the top pic?

Yeah, I found that amusing too - but it was like that when I first got there.

Nope - nobody from Acer here at TechEd; they don't even have a booth on the showroom floor. They're probably all at Computex.