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Acer Iconia W3 revealed as world’s first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet

Acer has finally taken the wraps of the Acer Iconia W3, which is particularly notable for being the world’s first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet.

Acer has used the Computex 2013 show being held in its native Taiwan to launch the new compact Windows tablet. Having been leaked back in April, the Acer Iconia W3’s official launch doesn’t exactly come as a surprise, but it’s certainly a notable event.

That’s because it’s the first device to live up to Microsoft’s promise of smaller factor Windows 8 tablets after a string of 10-inch (and bigger) devices. Weighing just 540 grams and measuring 11.35mm thick, Acer reckons it’s “compact enough to use comfortably in one hand for reading and web browsing.”

The Acer Iconia W3 sports an 8.1-inch, 720p (1280 x 800) display, which makes it roughly as sharp as the Google Nexus 7 and a fair bit sharper than the iPad mini.

It’s powered by a dual-core Intel Atom CPU, and is backed by either 32 or 64GB of internal storage. This can be expanded thanks to the presence of a microSD slot. There’s also a microHDMI slot for outputting to an HDTV.

You also get front and rear-facing 2-megapixel cameras, chiefly for video-calling purposes.

Arguably the most attractive thing about the Acer Iconia W3, other than its unique (for the platform) size, is its price. Starting at just $379 / €329, the tablet will be a much-needed affordable entry point into the world of full-fat Windows 8 tablets (no RT compromises here).

The Acer Iconia W3 is available for pre-order in the US now, and should see a retail launch some time in June.

There’s also an optional full-size Bluetooth keyboard (which was also leaked back in April) available for €69. This docks the tablet in an upright position, which admittedly looks a little odd given the smaller screen area.

Next, read our opinion piece asking whether the forthcoming Windows Blue update can make users care about Windows 8.