Acer W3 Price Cut

Posted on 10 August 2013, Last updated on 06 March 2014 by

The Acer Iconia W3, the 8-inch Clovertrail-based Windows 8 tablet with bundled Microsoft Office is now only $299.99, or $349.99 if you want 64GB of storage. Similar price cuts are being seen internationally.

Acer Iconia W3

The Acer Iconia W3, a smaller screen version of the W510 I took on holiday last week, has one major issue though. It’s such an issue it’s prevented me from writing about and recommending it. The screen. A cheap non-IPS screen is running the experience for many. While I haven’t used the W3 myself, I’ve read many a review that highlights the problem. The screen resolution, at 1200×800, is also somewhat limited.

Is it worth buying, at any price? For $299 you’ve got yourself quite a nice bit of technology and connected to a large screen, a reasonable video player or streamer. It’s fanless too. You could, at a pinch, use this as a holiday PC but if the screen is really that bad, reading is going to be a horrible experience.

It’s a cheap way to test Windows 8 connected standby and could potentially make a very low power web server or data collection tool. You’ll have to stick to Windows 8 though as it’s a closed system.

At $299.99 it might indicate that it’s possible to sell a Windows 8 tablet at such a low price buy my feeling is that Acer are trying to shift stock. 5 years ago we would have jumped at this, but not today.

Your suggestions for this $299 ultra mobile PC are welcome below.

Via XBitLabs

23 Comments For This Post

  1. Tada says:

    I’m waiting on Bay Trail 7″ devices so I can install Arch Linux on it. I don’t mind a 720p non-IPS screen. At least it’ll make it harder for nosey people to read what I’m doing. I’ll probably want some sort of slider split thumb keyboard and mouse on it though. Micro-USB charging would be good too which I read is missing from W3.

  2. andrew says:

    Hi chippy, i have been following this blog since the days of Raon Vega, i bought and used Vega, Everun, Viliv X70, Vaio UXs, Fujitsu u1010, several eees, and many more. In the end, none of them are usable.

    but this, acer w3 is the best thing ever invented for mynpurpose. My search for umpc is answered here. I reallybdont mind the primitive display at all…. especially at 299 it is reallyba steal.. just conpare it with ipad minis or samsung tablets… this is much more capable.

    the only thing i find missing is the presence of active stylus, because win8 stupidly misses the capability of simulating mouse over event. So many websites that have dropdowns on hover is not browsable with this win8 touch. Only stylus input enables that. Like in samsung ativ and ativ pro. If adding stylus is too expensive at least put an optical trackpad or joystick…. just like sony and raon everun did ages ago… to enable full browsing experience.

  3. Andy says:

    I still use my Toshiba Libretto W105. It’s the best UMPC made in my opinion. I had the Acer W3…I liked it but missed the keyboard on the Libretto. I also did some encoding tests with it VS my Libretto W105 and they actually performed very similarly, encoding both avi/divx movies almost the same time but the Libretto beat the Acer by a few minutes. The one thing where the Acer W3 totally beat the Libretto in was battery life.

  4. CFI says:

    I also have a W3 and the Screen is NOT bad. It is pretty bright and is sharp and 1280×800 at 7″ is not “world class” but OK. Especially for the money you can get it it is more then OK!
    I think reviewer just search for a “bashing point” and found it in the screen and as all the other complain too “it must be true”…
    I was already wondering about that when I read my first review, because before that it never came to my mind, that the screen is not good (I had the W3 beforehand)…

  5. Paul says:

    Seems like a great UMPC for the price. The screen isn’t a big deal. I’m still waiting on Bay Trail and what seems to be good Linux support looking at the commits for its graphics drivers and GCC optimizations for Silvermont.

    If I intended on using Windows 8 on it for the entire life of the product then I’d buy it.

    Also, I’d like a thumb mouse over an active stylus like the unreleased version of the Viliv X70.

  6. Alan Lee says:

    I saw the screen. I don’t mind it. Honestly, I’d buy this even though it’s not chargeable via USB, no mouse in the bezel and not so great WiFi if I didn’t know Bay Trail will be using Intel designed graphics. I do plan on installing openSUSE but even on Windows, driver support for the licensed PowerVR graphics isn’t great either.

    I’m sure Clover Trail graphics drivers will stop receiving updates soon if it hasn’t happened already. The whole licensed graphics thing hasn’t been good for Intel consumers on any platform.

  7. JohnD. says:

    Hey Guys, Amazon has the W3 32 Gig for $279 and the 64 Gig for $329.

  8. Doe says:

    Is it true that the W3 seems more laggy compared to other Clover Trail devices? I saw benchmark scores and they were the similar but I often read comments of lag in the UI.

  9. CFI says:

    @Doe: I am running 8.1 Preview on mine and I have no lags, but somethime another anoying problem, that the touch “click” is not executed: I see the “bubble” on the screen, so the touch itself is recognized, but the button underneath is not clicked and I need to touch again, but I think thats the OS and not the device…

  10. Curaga says:

    I don’t mind a bad display for such a device but Acer doesn’t seem to provide driver and BIOS updates for their notebooks. Usually just what came with it initially. I usually install Linux after a while but you can’t do that on Clover Trail devices. Installing Linux doesn’t solve the BIOS not getting updates though.

  11. marovada says:

    This has been the worst computer I’ve ever had. Windows refused to activate even after a full reinstallation of the OS. Office 2013 refused to install. It always froze at 84%. I researched these issues on the net but none of the fixes worked. Finally, yesterday it experienced a kernel fault in windows and now it’s bricked! I’m not kidding. It doesn’t even POST.

  12. CFI says:

    @marovada: That sounds like a Hardware defect – contact the support and hope they give you a new one, because all that should work fine and did for me (and a few thousand others at the //build in June)…

  13. marovada says:

    @CFI I bought it on ebay new and sealed in the box from the US and I’m in Australia so no recourse.

  14. CFI says:

    Isn’t the one year warranty world wide?
    And even if not, I would still ask Acer for a replacement, as normaly you will get one as a gesture of goodwill…

  15. marovada says:

    I’ve contacted someone at Acer and will let you know how I go. Thanks.

  16. Tom says:

    Is the Office license tied to the machine like the OS license or can you transfer it to a new PC when you replace the W3?

  17. CFI says:

    Yes and no: The license is not tied to the machine at the beginning (there is a normal “Product Key sticker” in the box, but as soon as you activate it, it is bound to the machine as any other Office 2013 license (as far as I know only outside the EU)…

  18. Me says:

    I searched a bit and it seems the retail version of Office is transferable:

    Too bad that may not apply to this special license version. Also Office 2010 allows for 2 installs (ie. desktop and notebook) while 2013 only allows 1 ihstall.

  19. Duncan White says:

    W3 is clunky and idiosyncratic … the screen doesnt seem sensitive enough to respond to button clicks, such as closing down using the ‘x’ box … its OK but not great and would be a lot better with a sensible version of windows rather than the charmless Charms of w8 … compared to the OQOe2 its a dead duck, even the archaic Lifebook u810 is much fizzier

    ho hum … another wait for someone to deliver the Real Deal

  20. Chippy says:

    I see what all the fuss is about the screen now.

    I finally got my hands on an Acer W3 and yes, the screen is relatively poor….relatively poor.

    In real-world terms it’s not that bad.

    I’ve seen the poor viewing angles and the mesh effect on the screen. It’s quite awkward in landscape mode at close viewing angles but the colour and brightness seems ok and in portrait mode the angle issues aren’t bad.

    There’s value here.

    It’s not a device I would like to use the Kindle app with, as I do on the bigger-brother Acer W510 but at 1M for videos, no problem. For short-term work I could use it too, in either rotation.

    I didn’t get the chance to use the keyboard but if that’s as good as the W510 (acceptable, not awesome) then there’s only one thing that needs to be improved to make this a truly great UMPC.

    It’s got power, flexibility and battery life that we haven’t seen on a UMPC before. Even when BayTrail comes along, the W3 with a new screen would be attractive.

    Let’s hope Acer will do the screen+CPU update in a few months time.


  21. Martin says:

    Having a good screen is nice but I care more about Linux compatibility. I’ve been hoping for a Linux UMPC for a while now that doesn’t perform very poorly compared to Windows. That does mean I’ll be looking for builtin physical keyboards and mice. Although, I’ll still be looking for those even if I were going to use Windows 8.

  22. D T says:

    @CFI, you said you have the W3, but you said 7″? Ours are 8.1″ though. Are you sure yours is a W3?

    Anyway, , now the price is $250 and $300 at MS Store, for the 32GB and 64GB.

    So Chippy is going to do another price drop blog?

    Will it go under $200?

  23. CFI says:

    @DT: That was a typo – of course it is 8″…

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