Acer Iconia W4

Tablet review

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Posted: February 28, 2014

Update: September 12, 2015 - the 64Gb version was met with lavish praise, so I changed the link to point to that model

Acer's Iconia W3 released as one of the first eight-inch Windows 8 tablets, but the mediocre design and poor display prevented it from taking advantage. Acer tablets have been hit-or-miss since then, and now the manufacturer returns to the eight-inch space with the Windows 8.1-powered Iconia W4. Are the results better the second time around?

Hands-On Impressions

While it doesn't hold up against premium devices, theĀ Acer Iconia W4 is about average compared to tablets such as the Lenovo Miix2 and Toshiba Encore. At 8.6-by-5.3-by-0.43 inches and 0.91 pounds, it's slightly thinner and lighter than the W3, though it isn't as svelte as the Miix2. It's fairly comfortable to hold, but despite the decent construction quality, the decidedly plasticky body produces a device that just feels cheaper than it should.

Tablet Tour

Taking a tour around the Iconia W4, the power button is alone on top. There's a volume rocker, micro-HDMI and microSD card slot along the right edge. The left edge is bare, while the bottom sports a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, micro-USB socket and two stereo speakers. There's also a physical Windows button on the bottom bezel. The connectivity options may not blow you away, but the inclusion of a video-out is a nice touch. An optional Bluetooth "Crunch" keyboard is also available.

Resolving the Details

In tablet comparisons, the Iconia W3's biggest downfall was its abysmal display. Acer has sought to address that problem here, fitting the W4 with a 1,280-by-800 pixel IPS panel that's far superior to its predecessor. The viewing angles are significantly better this time around, and Acer's Zero Air Gap design enhances performance in all lighting conditions. Unfortunately, the resolution has stayed the same. Considering the proliferation of full 1080p displays at nearly all price points in recent months, the W4's 189 pixels per inch just seems like a letdown.

Under the Hood

Along with the new display, the Iconia W4 also benefits from some new innards. A quad-core 1.33-gigahertz Intel Atom Z3740 processor is joined with two gigabytes of RAM to produce a fairly smooth user experience, at least during routine tasks. Windows generally responds as expected, and most apps open and close quickly. The W4 doesn't offer nearly enough power to be a legitimate laptop replacement or productivity option, but it performs pretty well versus the similarly specced Lenovo Miix2 and Toshiba Encore in a tablet comparison.

Tablet Roundup

Comparing tablets, the Acer Iconia W4 is better than its predecessor in virtually every way. However, despite several advancements, the Acer tablet is only now breaking even with competitors like the Lenovo Miix2 and Toshiba Encore. Hardware specifications are mostly identical and, although the W4 runs smoothly, there are few differences between devices. The W4 does boast a better display than the Encore, but the Miix2's panel is superior to both. The build quality is better than the Lenovo slate, but the reliance on plastic materials still feels cheap compared to tablets with better construction.

What Customers Say

As might be expected, many customers have commented on the tremendous improvement from the Iconia W3 to the W4. The improved display is a common point of praise, with customers enjoying the much wider viewing angles and better visibility outdoors. The inclusion of a micro-HDMI port is also a welcome addition, and most users find the performance to be solid. Conversely, some users have complained of software errors and a lag in the Bluetooth response. Some customers have also experienced crashes and other problems while charging the Iconia W4 overnight.

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Technical Specifications

Acer Iconia W4
 Tablet  Acer Iconia W4
 Rating  Ratings
 OS  Win 8.1
 CPU  Intel Bay Trail - 1.80 GHz
 Storage  32,64 GB
 RAM  2.00 GB
 Display  IPS - 8.1 inch
 Resolution  1280 x 800 px - 186 ppi
 Camera  Front 2.0 / Back 5.0 MP
 Weight  0.41 kg / 0.91 lbs
 Battery life  10.0 hours
 Released  2013-12

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Battery life comparison

Battery life of selected tablet

 Tablet   (h)   Battery life 
Acer Iconia W410.0Acer Iconia W4 tablet autonomy comparison

Compared to 5 tablets with largest battery life

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 1018.0Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 tablet autonomy comparison
Sony Xperia Z415.0Sony Xperia Z4 tablet autonomy comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.115.0Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 tablet autonomy comparison
Microsoft Surface 214.0Microsoft Surface 2 tablet autonomy comparison
Nokia Lumia 252013.5Nokia Lumia 2520 tablet autonomy comparison

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Weight comparison

Weight of selected tablet

 Tablet   kg   lbs   Weight 
Acer Iconia W40.410.91Acer Iconia W4 weight comparison

Compared to 5 lightest tablets - 8 and 9 inch

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.00.260.58Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 weight comparison
Sony Xperia Z3 Compact0.270.59Sony Xperia Z3 Compact weight comparison
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.40.290.65Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 weight comparison
Dell Venue 80.290.64Dell Venue 8 weight comparison
Asus ZenPad S 8.00.300.65Asus ZenPad S 8.0 weight comparison

Acer Iconia W4