The Acer Iconia W4 includes a 4,960mAh battery, which is a significant jump up from the 3,400mAh one nestled inside the W3 and is actually bigger than the one inside the Dell Venue Pro 8 (4,830mAh). Acer claims you can get up to 10 hours of battery life in theory promising more stamina than the iPad Mini and Android tablets like the Nexus 7.
Putting it to the test, those claims are slightly ambitious if the W4 is used intensively. Running Netflix continuously on default brightness it averages closer to 8 hours 30 minutes, though this still beats the Encore and the Venue Pro 8.
Used more sporadically during the day, it will edge closer to that 10 hour mark, so it's still impressive. When the battery is flat a 30-minute charge can get you back up to 10%, so it’s not superfast at restoring its power reserves.
The Acer Iconia W4 certainly makes a better impression than Acer’s first attempt at an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet. While we prefer the look of the Dell Venue Pro 8, it’s a still a well-built tablet with a slightly slimmer and lighter body. The screen might not be class-leading, but it is a big improvement on the W3 and like its rivals, it has the capacity to keep you working throughout the day.
While it might run on a full version of Windows, it doesn’t mean it’s capable of the same performance as a conventional desktop or laptop. The power on board is sufficient for typical tablet tasks, but if you attempt anything more intensive, the chinks in the armour begin to show. Intel is planning 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablets this year, which should support more RAM that would better handle the burden of a full fat Windows running on a small tablet.
To get the best out of Office, you’d need to invest in a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard and mouse, although the HDMI support does mean you can hook it up to a larger display to make working with it more manageable. Acer does provide its own official accessories like the W700 keyboard case and Bluetooth keyboard but they are not cheap.
If we had to pick an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet to buy, we’d opt for the Dell Venue Pro 8 based on the design but there’s very little separating the two.
The Acer Iconia W4 is another 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that offers a solid all-round performance, but the combination of full Windows on a small tablet still isn't one we'd recommend to everyone.