web analytics

Acer Iconia W4 Review

More and more manufacturers are offering 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablets to the market. Acer is among the first ones, starting off with the W3 from last year. This time, they’re positioning the Iconia W4 as a netbook replacement. Check out our full review below to learn why we agreed.

Microsoft went out to answer the growth of Android tablets and the iPad with yet another touchscreen-optimized tablet but it never really took off. That’s the reason why they have since abandoned Windows RT.

The update to Windows 8.1 and the re-positioning of 8-inch and 10-inch tablets like the Iconia W4 has somewhat changed the perception of the market. It’s no longer a direct competitor of the content-centric iPad or Nexus tablet but a productivity device like a laptop or netbook. This is what Acer is gunning for with the Iconia W4.

Design and Build Quality.

The Iconia W4 fetaures a unibody design made up of some hard polycarbonate material. The two-tone, dark gray paint job makes it look like it’s made of aluminum while the back panel has a brushed-metal finish.

This 8-inch tablet might look small but it has some heft (480 grams) to it and it also feels a bit chunky (10.8mm). It’s mildly comfortable to hold with one hand but can be a strain in the hands after a while.

The power button is found on the top end while the volume controls are on the left side together with the microphone, HDMI port and the microSD card slot.

The dual speakers are at the bottom end along with the microSUB port and the 3.5mm audio jack. The Microsoft Home button is found at the front just below the glass display panel while the 2MP front camera is found on the upper right corner.

At the back is the 5-megapixel camera but there’s no flash paired with it. A large Acer logo is etched in silver plating at the center.

For a Windows 8.1 tablet, the size is just enough for us to use the tablet in a variety of ways — from office productivity, to web browsing, games, watching movies and almost anything you’d normally do in a laptop or netbook.

The bundled keyboard and case stand makes the Iconia W4 a better productivity tool. We’ve had several other Windows 8.1 tablets before (Miix 8 and Venue 8 Pro) that were more useful when we had a wireless keyboard to go along with it.

In the case of the Iconia W4, the Bluetooth keyboard is permanently attached in the case stand. It has its own built-in Li-Ion battery that you can charge via the microUSB port and a dedicated power button for Bluetooth pairing.

The keyboard is fully functional but quite small since it has to follow the same size of the tablet. The keys are a bit cramped and may take some time to get used to. Once we became more accustomed to the keyboard layout, we were able to type at a much faster pace. Using a Typing Test tool, we were able to achieve a speed of about 46wpm which isn’t bad at all (I get about 53wpm on a Mac keyboard).

The keyboard does not have a built-in trackpad so you’ll have to use the touchscreen to navigate or pair it with a Bluetooth mouse.


The W4 sports an 8-inch display with HD quality (1280×720 pixel resolution) using an IPS panel. This provides it with enough resolution for good viewing experience with web browsing and movie playback.

The screen is exceptionally clean and clear, images are crisp with good contrast. Viewing angles are wide and despite the glossy finish, glare is still at a minimal even in the outdoors.

The screen supports multi-touch functionality and response & sensitivity to gesture commands are quite good for a Windows tablet. Common touch commands such as swipe to scroll and pinch to zoom are both responsive when dealing with web pages.

OS, Apps and UI.

The Iconia W4 comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 (32-bit version) out of the box which fits well with the W4’s form factor and purpose.

Since this is the full version of the Windows operating system (not the RT), you have all the choice of applications you want to install in the tablet. Almost everything you have installed on your desktop or laptop can also be installed on the Iconia W4. We tried running Photoshop CS2, iTunes, MS Office and even tried DoTA (WarCraft 3) which worked quite well.

The Modern UI or Live Tiles was just fine for most of the common apps but we find ourselves switching to the Desktop Mode more often due to our familiarity with the UI. The split-screen mode also worked just fine even if the screen is just 8-inches across.

Navigating in the Desktop mode can be cumbersome at times with the touchscreen. You’d often look for a pointing device like a stylus or mouse to make things more efficient or accurate. Fortunately, you can always use a Bluetooth mouse (or a wired one via the microUSB) if you’re itching to have that desktop/laptop efficiency.

Performance and Benchmarks.

The Iconia W4 is positioned by Acer as a netbook and tablet hybrid. That is the reason why they bundled it with a case stand and wireless keyboard. Intel’s quad-core Atom processor changes everything. It is a high-performance chip with low power consumption.

Our own Windows Experience Index (WEI) taken from the system showed 6.3 in CPU score, 5.5 in Memory, 4.3/4.1 in Graphics/Gaming and 6.95 on the Disk Drive.

Performance is relative depending on what applications we use. We’re very heavy with office productivity, doing emails on Outlook and Thunderbird, some basic Photoshop work, iTunes and even do simple video edits in MovieMaker.

We tried playing Warcraft 3 (DoTA 1) on the tablet and it performed real well except for some minor hiccups that we also often encounter when we use our laptop. The lags becomes more apparent once the screen is filled up or we’re in the middle of a clash.

Using Bluetooth, we are able to connect it to a wireless keyboard. Using the microUSB port with a USB-OTG cable, we’re also able to plug a gaming mouse, an external HDD, a printer, digital camera, handy-cam and many other 3rd party devices.

We can even plug in our Nexus 7 and iPad Mini 2 just to sync or transfer files. It can also sync or recharge our smartphones via the same port which can come handy when your handset is fully drained.

Connectivity and Battery Life.

The Iconia W4 comes with all the standard connectivity you’d expect in a tablet. It has WiFi 802.11 b/g/n for internet, Bluetooth 4.0 for pairing with other devices, a microUSB port for charging and plugging to external storage and USB devices via USB-OTG, a micro-HDMI port for external display to a TV or monitor.

The wireless keyboard is permanently attached to the case stand and automatically pairs with the tablet when needed. We tried to pair another Bluetooth mouse to the tablet but it seems to interfere with the keyboard (erratic and repetitive characters appear when keys are punched).

Battery life will greatly depend on the usage behavior of the user but during our several tests we’re able to reach around 8 hours on a single full charge with typical WiFi on and doing either Word processing and web surfing alternately. With our standard video loop test, we’re able to get as much as 8 hours 20 minutes on a single full charge (40% brightness, 0% volume).


The Iconia W4 is the first low-cost Windows 8 tablet we’ve seen that’s positioned as an ideal netbook replacement. It’s portable yet powerful enough to do basic to moderate workload; comes with Windows 8.1 and MS Office Home/Student for free; bundled with a decent keyboard and case stand; and great battery life — all under a price tag that’s very competitive.

We believe the era of netbooks of 2007 has been reborn in the form of a tablet like the Iconia W4.

The Acer Iconia W4 has a suggested retail price of Php18,990 and is available in dealers and retail stores nationwide. It;s also being offered under Smart Bro plan.

Acer Iconia W4-820 specs:
8-inch IPS display with Zero Air Gap @ 1280×800 pixels, 189ppi
Intel Atom Z3740 quad-core processor @ 1.33GHz
up to 32GB microSD card slot
5 megapixel rear camera
2 megapixel front-facing
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
microUSB port 2.0
microHDMI w/ HDCP support
4,960mAh, 8-hour battery life
218 x 135 x 10.8mm
430 g
Windows 8.1

What we liked about it.
* Good display quality
* Good performance
* Long battery life
* Comes with Bluetooth keyboard and case stand
* Affordable
* Comes with MS Office free

What we did not like.
* A bit heavy and chunky for its size
* Erratic keyboard behavior when paired with multiple Bluetooth devices

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

You may also like...

34 Responses

  1. Benj says:

    * Erratic keyboard behavior when paired with multiple Bluetooth devices

    I was about to buy this from acer in sm dasma when the people there told me that you can only pair the device to one bluetooth device at a time. I dont know why but, this may have been the reason why you experienced that.

  2. Freeje says:

    It would be awesome if it has support for a stylus and a 64GB option just like the Asus Vivo Tab Note 8. Then it would have almost everything

  3. buko says:

    kaya kaya nitong mag dual boot with android?

  4. jcruze057 says:

    i notice that this device is equipped with bluetooth 4.0, can it be used as ibeacon?

  5. work at home says:

    Howdy excellent blog! Does running a blog such as this take a great deal of
    work? I have very little knowledge of coding but I had been hoping
    to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, should you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I understand this is off topic nevertheless I just had
    to ask. Many thanks!

  6. They are meticulous on the stitching and material of the clothes that
    they purchase so that it passes their standards. However, specialty stores such as
    Lane Bryant offer fashionable plus size denim
    jeans, skirts and tops. Plus, when you buy wholesale, no one will know where you bought it
    from unless you tell them.

  7. swtor mac says:

    Hi to every single one, it’s genuinely a nice for me to visit this
    web site, it consists of valuable Information.

  8. Damage to the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles will cause this area to become irritated and
    inflamed and, if the impingement isn’t treated correctly, these
    tendons may begin to develop small tears.

    There are actually certain warning signs that may be seen,
    based upon which type of diabetic neuropathy you could have.
    The following is just a small sampling of so-called neuropathy cures:•
    Finally, a solution for peripheral neuropathy-if you suffer from <.

  9. Good day I am so thrilled I found your weblog,
    I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Google
    for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to
    say thanks for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved it and
    also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep
    up the great jo.

  10. Azucena says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the pictures on this blog loading?

    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or
    if it’s the blog. Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  11. buy garcinia says:

    Some precautions should be kept in mind while ussing herbs.
    This advice you hav read here should shoow you how you can do
    so. One of these items is garcinia cambogia fat burning supplement.

  12. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really realize what
    you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Please additionally
    consult with my web site =). We can have a
    link trade contract between us

  13. Ervin says:

    Hi there outstaning website! Does running a blog simlar to this require a large amount of work?
    I have virtually no expertise in programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyhow, if you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.

    I know this iis off topic but I just wanted to ask.
    Many thanks!

  14. http://www. says:

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely right.
    This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks!

  15. hello there and thank you for your information – I have certainly picked up
    something new from right here. I did however expertise a
    few technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the site a
    lot of times previous to I could get it to load properly.
    I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining,
    but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if
    ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I am adding this
    RSS to my email and can look out for a lot more of your respective exciting content.
    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  16. Thank you for the good writeup. It in reality was once a entertainment account it.

    Glance complex to more introduced agreeable
    from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  17. If people would like to teach them about aiir travel, aerodynamics, or machinery, then this is something that will actually glow tyeir attention.
    Now they make nitro cars that are capable
    of 50+ miles per hour, and have real, honest-to-goodness engines
    in them. Starting up the world’s most advanced
    toy is something not to be taken lightly.

  18. Wo?, incredible weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running ? blog for?
    you make running a blog glance easy. The whole glane of ?our ?ebsite ?s magnificent, as smartly as the content material!

  19. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

    Thanks a lot!

  20. The betting bot was talked about and used on different take a look at elsewhere, but since this isn’t obtainable commercially
    or no standard settings are available, it might not be a
    real representation of its results. However, there are a few
    who are not only very quick, but are also able to ‘manage’ the car
    over the length of a race – looking after tyres, not over-stressing the engine and gearbox and so on. So protective levels
    of participation might be a given even in lotteries with small payouts.

  21. Nice answers in return of this issue with solid arguments and describing all concerning that.

  22. Good way of explaining, and good paragraph to obtain information oon the topic off my presentation focus, which i am going to convey in college.

  23. If some one wishes to be updated with most recent technologies afterward he must be go
    to see this website and be up to date all the time.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hello, I would like to subscribe for this website to obtain hottest
    updates, so where can i do it please help out.

  25. Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your
    efforts and I am waiting for your next write ups thanks
    once again.

  26. Wow, that’s what I was seeking for, what a material! existing here
    at this web site, thanks admin of this site.

  27. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your
    blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment
    and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

    Feel free to surf to my blog :: car repair spring hill

  28. each time i used to read smaller articles or reviews that also clear
    their motive, and that is also happening with this article
    which I am reading now.

  29. Lashunda says:

    Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance freom ann established blog.
    Is it difficult to seet up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I caan figure things
    outt pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my own but
    I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any points or suggestions?
    Many thanks

  30. It is important to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep to allow your muscles the
    time to repair and rebuild. Within the IEM World Championship tournaments, league of legends bets were acceptable since the Season V.
    Barbie dress up games is one amongst the trends that hit
    the crowd who loves and adores Barbie.

  31. Hi there friends, fastidious piece of writing and pleasant urging commented at this
    place, I am actually enjoying by these.

  32. Santos says:

    Huhu ninakaw ung ganyan q…di na aq mkakita nq 8inch wintab na 2gig ung ram huhu

  1. May 20, 2014

    […] Switch 10 could complement the existing 8-inch Iconia W4 hybrid tablet-netbook which Acer has been marketing locally for months, both of which have almost […]

  2. August 14, 2014

    Pest Control Tarzana

    Acer Iconia W4 Review – YugaTech | Philippines, Tech News & Reviews

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *