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Better, but not there yet

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on July 30, 2014

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Is the Acer Iconia W4 any better than its predecessor?



Last year, around this time, we tested the Acer Iconia W3, and we were not impressed. We were disappointed by its clinical white body, lacklustre (literally) display, flimsy body and overall performance. But we did appreciate it for one thing – it was one of the first Windows devices to appear in the 8-inch form factor. Because of its screen size, it was pitched in a segment that was ruled by the iPad Mini.

Less than a year later, Acer has launched the successor, the Iconia W4, but this time around it has even more competition to face – it’s not just the new iPad Mini with Retina Display, but there’s a whole arsenal of Android tablets, and Windows tablets too, such as the Dell Venue Pro. So, has Acer made the W4 any better than its predecessor?

What’s new

In terms of design, the Iconia W4 isn’t really a makeover. It carries forward most of the lines and curves that we saw in the W3. The build of the entire plastic casing now feels much better and reassuring. Most importantly, the tablet now comes in a nice, brushed shade of dark grey, looking way better than the W3. The device isn’t exactly extremely slim at 10mm, and weighs 430grams, so it does feel a bit chunky while using for a longer period.

The display is definitely a major improvement, with higher resolution and more brightness and clarity – it’s an IPS LCD screen that supports a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. However, there are tablets at this price point that offer full HD resolution. That being said, the W4’s screen is good enough for multimedia on the go, and even some light gaming.

We liked the innards that the W4 packs – Intel Atom 1.33GHz (peaking at 1.8GHz) processor, 2GB RAM, Intel graphics and a number of useful ports. With Windows 8.1, that’s a good setup, if you have moderate to slightly advanced usage. You also get Office apps bundled with this tablet, making it quite useful for students and young professionals. You can choose from storage options of 32 or 64 GB, and there’s a microSD expansion slot for an additional 64GB.

The battery life averages out at 7 hours, which is quite satisfactory. But the in-built speakers fall way below our expectations. The front camera works fine for video calls, but as far as the rear camera is concerned, we’d suggest you use your own smartphone camera.

Verdict

The Iconia W4 is a huge improvement over its predecessor, but it still falls short in front of competition. For this kind of performance and build quality, Acer is actually asking for a bit more than it is worth. Sure, the Microsoft Office bundle is a nice proposition, but consumers have the option to just choose an Android tablet and then using Office there.

₹29,999 onwards (64GB)

Love – Good design; bright screen

Hate – Pricey; poor speakers

Published on July 30, 2014

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