Acer makes the “8” in Windows 8 mean more than a version number

Microsoft’s followup to Windows 7 has been out for almost a year, but the tablets it appears on have never dropped below the ten inch mark. Acer wants to change this, though, and is the first to announce an 8 inch tablet with Windows 8.

Sitting just below the Acer Iconia W5 series with its 10.1 inch tablet will be the 8.1 inch W3, featuring similar technology and Windows 8 but built into a smaller space, making it the first compact hand-held tablet designed for Windows.

“With the Iconia W3, Acer is giving those who create, read, work and play in the Windows environment a device they can hold in one hand that does it all,” said Acer’s Michael Birkin.

Inside the tablet is the familiar Intel Atom Z2760 processor, with either 32 or 64GB of storage, a microSD slot for expanding that, and support for 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, front and rear cameras, microHDMI, and a battery capable of pulling up to eight hours of life. The 8.1 inch screen will pack in 1280×800, which is HD friendly and capable of showing 720p videos.

Also of note is that Windows 8 won’t be hobbled in any way, with the x86 capable regular Windows 8 appearing here, not the special ARM-based version running on Microsoft’s Surface RT.

An optional external keyboard dock will be made available for the Iconia W3 which will allow the tablet to sit at an angle against the keys, offering a full-size Bluetooth keyboard for faster typing in most places.

As is typical with Computex announcements, no pricing or availability information has been made available for Australia, though we’re expecting between July and September for Australia.