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Acer Iconia W4

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83 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
83

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

The Iconia W4 may not stand out in any one area, but it's a textbook example of how to do a small Windows tablet with a solid design, a pleasant display and long battery life.

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Pros
  • Much-improved display
  • Above-average battery life
  • Good performance for the money
Cons
  • Slightly bulky compared to other 8-inch Windows tablets
  • Subpar speakers
83 Engadget Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
83

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Scores

Engadget

83
 

User Reviews

90
metayoshi
This is my first Windows 8 tablet, my second Windows 8 device, and I am a proud...read more
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Score Breakdown

 
90
Average user Score
 
90
metayoshi
05.23.14
This is my first Windows 8 tablet, my second Windows 8 device, and I am a proud owner of a Nexus 7 (2013). As a Nexus 7, Nexus 5, and iPod Touch user, the one gripe I have about those Mobile OS's are the limited feature sets of their browsers. Yes, everyone is moving toward HTML 5, but some sites still require Flash, require Java, require Silverlight. In other words, they essentially require an x86 Windows Browser. That was my main motivation to get a Windows 8 tablet. Other than this tablet, I considered the Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Asus VivoTab Note 8, or the Asus Transformer Book T100. Price was a consideration, so the Asus tablets became out of the question, but the mini HDMI port and a deal on the W4 64 GB gave me the last push I needed to also forego the venue 8 Pro.As a tablet, the first thing I noticed was how heavy this thing is compared to the Nexus 7. Looking at the specs, the W4 weighs almost twice as much as a Nexus 7, so it was pretty noticeable. However, everything else about the hardware was nice. It felt sturdy, though a bit slippery with the metal back. The Windows Key in front also was a much better option than the Dell's windows key on the side.As for the screen, it definitely looks nice. The 1280x800 resolution makes the screen not as crisp as my Nexus 7's 1920x1200, but it's still nice on the eyes. The IPS display helps with viewing angles, and even though I never had any experience with the W3, I hear it's much better.In terms of Performance, I didn't run any benchmarks since I just want to judge it by how I use it, the tablet is pretty responsive in both "Metro" mode and Desktop mode, though there is definitely a noticeable delay in Desktop apps, it's not so bad to be unbearable. I'm sure the Bay Tail chip inside is mainly the reason for all of this. Performance of any "Metro" mode apps is pretty snappy. Internet Explorer in touch mode - the main reason I got a Windows 8 tablet in the first place - is amazingly smooth on pretty much every desktop-version website. Heck, even the Desktop version of IE was running smooth. That definitely impressed me. Of course, resource intensive Java and Flash based sites did run noticeably choppier than my Core i7-860-based Desktop, but it was still perfectly usable, and that was fine with me.The one gripe I have about performance is the embedded NAND in the device. Doing a few file copies or file transfers showed the NAND slow down a bit, even to 0 MB/s some times. Definitely not what I want to see, but it at least didn't just stop working. I didn't expect anything near a normal HDD or a full blown SSD, but I still didn't expect it to hit 0 MB/s randomly. That was definitely a downer.As for battery life, this tablet seems to last forever. I haven't really used it to play any games or watch long videos, but when you put this tablet to sleep, it really sleeps. It barely uses any power when the screen is off, unlike the always syncing Nexus 7. I mean, I know how to make my Nexus 7 last a very long time, but that's when I'm not using it. Even when I'm using the W4, I feel like the tablet will last me the whole day, and will probably make it through the next day as well. I mainly use it for document writing and viewing, the typical social network checking, printing out documents or webpages, just basic things.As a Windows 8 tablet, it has its pros and cons. The big pro is that any old Windows program will work on it. Like I said above, I installed my wireless printer on it, and it just worked like that, even though the installation reported errors. I am able to print from anything that has printing abilities in regular Windows. Also, Flash, Java, and Silverlight can be installed just like a normal Windows computer. The performance of Windows, even in Desktop mode, is pretty snappy. Yes, I see some slowdown on the Desktop, but it's really not that bad. It's just that the "Metro" interface is so much smoother.The main con about using Windows, is the the Metro app selection. Yes, they now have Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, HuluPlus, Netflix, Evernote Touch, Skype, including a slew of Acer bloatware, though the bloat is actually not that bad. So you have quite a lot of apps. However, any Google based app doesn't exist save for a web browser replacement that essentially always has a Google.com homepage. No Gmail, no Maps. The Microsoft Mail app works ok, but it's definitely not that great compared to having a full blown Gmail app. The websites, though, work in Internet Explorer just fine, just with a bit of a performance hiccup in Maps, and sometimes it's a bit hard to scroll in Gmail, but nothing that ever really made me frustrated. I also use Instagram on my phone a lot... Not on Windows, considering there is a back facing camera on this device. I'm not going to go into the camera since I don't really consider it a deal breaker if it was bad, but I'll briefly say it's not horrible, but it's definitely not good either. Back to apps, there's also no Yelp app, but there's also nothing wrong with just putting an IE shortcut on the Start Screen that just goes to Yelp.com. There's also no Tumblr app, so anyone who uses that will also have to go through the browser, but I also see nothing too bad about that.So in the end, I really don't have anything against this tablet. Sure, some apps that we're all used to in iOS and Android are missing, but what was ever wrong with going to the desktop browser version? At least, that's my view of it. It's nice to have a Facebook and Evernote app there, but I also don't mind having to go to yelp.com instead of opening up an App. I just personally just like having a full blown web browser, and a full blown desktop. Heck, I even used it to remote into work, and though the resolution is messed up since it locks to portrait 1280x800, I haven't really had a problem with this tablet. As a new Windows 8 tablet user, this was definitely a good entry level one, and I basically handed down my Nexus 7 to my girlfriend.

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