The Acer Iconia W4-820-2466 ($379.99, as tested) is an entry-level Windows 8 slate tablet that is small enough to carry around while you attend a day’s worth of classes or business meetings. It’s not quite a laptop replacement until you add extra accessories, but it can give you more utility than a mobile-OS-equipped tablet if you need to use older Windows-based programs like Microsoft Office (which is included). The Iconia W4-820-2466 is a good entry-level Win 8 tablet for students and general business folk alike.
Design and Features
The Iconia W4-820-2466 has roughly the same dimensions as last year’s Acer Iconia W3 (64GB), measuring at 0.42 by 8.75 by 5.3 inches (HWD), but it’s lighter at 14.6 ounces (compared with 17.6 ounces for the Acer W3). This means you can carry the tablet with you everywhere, since it weighs roughly as much as a paperback book. The Iconia W4-820-2466 has a much nicer In-Plane Switching (IPS) display, compared with the Acer W3′s muddy LCD. Reading text on the 1,280-by-800 screen is a pleasant experience, and videos are clear and bright. The 8.1-inch screen has a density of 189 pixels per inch, which is standard for entry-level Windows 8 tablets like the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo Miix 2 8, Toshiba Encore, and our current Editors’ Choice, the Asus VivoTab Note 8.
The microHDMI and microSD card slot are on the right, under the volume rocker switch. The microUSB 2.0 port (for charging the tablet) is on the bottom, next to the headset jack. There’s a Windows Start button on the bezel under the screen, which is admittedly easier to identify than the plain side button on the Asus Note 8. Taps and swipes registered quickly on the five-point capacitive touch screen. The tablet doesn’t have a digitizer, so it’s less capable than the Asus Note 8 for taking notes in longhand and drawing. You’ll get spurious input from your palm if you try to draw on the tablet using a capacitive stylus.
There are lots of extra programs that come with the system. Acer installed eBay, Booking.com (for hotels), Kindle, Wild Tangent Games, Netflix, NewsXpresso, Evernote Touch, Amazon, Next Issue, Music Make Jam, Hulu Plus, Diddlr, Skitch Touch, StumbleUpon, Zinio, Chacha, Spotify, and a few Acer utilities. These are all in addition to the usual Windows 8 apps you usually expect on the Start Screen. Unless you use all of them or are interested in trying each and every service, you’ll probably want to set aside some time to uninstall the apps to reclaim the limited space on the solid-state drive (SSD). Connectivity includes dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The Iconia W4-820-2466 lacks GPS capabilities, as well as 4G/LTE connectivity, which can be a drawback when you want to surf the Web away from a Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Iconia W4-820-2466 comes with a 64GB SSD, which has about 38GB free when we first started the tablet. After the initial setup, you can enter the included key for Microsoft Office Home and Student to install Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These apps are a big plus for a sub-$400 Windows tablet. Other 8-inch Windows tablets from Asus, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba also include the same full version of Office. The Iconia W4-820-2466 comes with a one-year warranty.
Internal components include a Intel Atom Z3740 processor, 2GB of system memory, and integrated Intel HD graphics. Thanks to the quad-core Atom CPU and the SSD, the Iconia W4-820-2466 achieved a very good 2,515-point score on the PCMark 7 test, which measures day-to-day operations. This was functionally equivalent to the Dell 8 Pro (2,303), Toshiba Encore (2,506), and Asus Note 8 (2,564). It’s no wonder, because they all share similar components, differing mainly on each tablet’s SSD capacity.
The performance number that really matters is the battery life, and the Iconia W4-820-2466 scored a good 9 hours 46 minutes on our battery rundown test. The others ranged from 9:10 for the Asus Note 8, to 8:31 for the Dell Venue 8 Pro.
The Acer Iconia W4-820-2466 is a vast improvement over last year’s Acer Iconia W3, mainly due to a much nicer screen. However, Asus VivoTab Note 8 remains our Editors’ Choice for entry-level Windows 8 slate tablets, as it includes more features, such as a pressure-sensitive digitizing stylus with built-in storage, GPS capabilities, an included carrying case, and a price tag that’s $50 lower. The only thing the Iconia W4-820-2466 has over the Asus Note 8 is a large 64GB SSD, though the Asus tablet does have a microSD card slot for adding storage. If you don’t think you’ll ever need to take handwritten notes or draw on your tablet, the W4-820-2466 is a good alternative.
|Wi-Fi (802.11x) Compatibility||2.4GHz/5GHz|
|Screen Resolution||1,280 by 800 pixels|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8.1|
|Dimensions||0.42 by 8.75 by 5.3 inches|
|Screen Type||IPS LCD|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD Graphics|
|Video Camera Resolution||2MP|
|Storage Capacity (as Tested)||64 GB|
|Battery Size||4960 mAh|
|Screen Pixels Per Inch||189 ppi|
|Processor Speed||1.33 GHz|
|Screen Size||8.1 inches|
|CPU||Intel Atom Z3740|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc