Acer has carved out a niche for itself as a maker of solid but unremarkable tablets. With the Iconia Tab 8 the company finally breaks from that trend, but not for the better.
PC Mag reports that the Iconia Tab 8 certainly has the "premium looks and feel" to compete with rival slates, and Laptop Magazine finds it "fairly attractive." CNET says "the smooth texture feels nice against my fingertips and its rounded corners are comfortable" but they also took issue with its construction, finding it "lacks the solid feel premium tablets have." However, PC Mag and Laptop Magazine did agree about the Tab 8's weight, with the latter outlet noting the tablet "has a bit of a weight problem" and caused strain "during long sessions of play."
The screen isn't too shabby, with PC Mag saying that it's "just as sharp as the Dell Venue 8's panel" and CNET thinks the display's "higher resolution helps it stand out in the crowd." But Laptop Magazine says it "isn't the brightest bulb in the box, nor is it the most color accurate."
While critics were somewhat divided on the Tab 8's exterior attributes, they were more of one mind when it came to the slate's performance. PC Mag may have experienced "generally snappy" performance, but struggled with "buggy behavior within apps." CNET thinks it was rather slow, with large games and apps acting "problematic in performance." The battery was also a disappointment, with Laptop Magazine finding its sub-four-hour runtime "woefully short."
The Tab 8 may look nice and run some games rather well, but the performance and battery life are serious marks against it. With so many rival budget tablets also available for under $200, there's no reason to settle for the Iconia Tab 8.