Most of the tasks that need to be done in school or at work require the use of a personal computer/laptop. But the thing is, bringing a laptop every day is a uncomfortable as it entails a lot of additional weight on your bag. It’s not just so practical to burden a heavy equipment to your busy work life every day just to complete basic and essential tasks.
Acer wants to address these issues by bringing the Acer Iconia W4, a follow-up from the Iconia W3. The Iconia W4 offers a sleeker look, faster processor and better battery life than its predecessor – a major spec sheet improvement.
Can the Acer Iconia W4 satisfy the needs of people who are always on-the-go? Let’s all figure that out in our full unboxing and review. If you’re in a hurry, check out our video review at the end of this article.
Acer Iconia W4 Specs
- Windows 8.1 operating system
- 8.0-inch IPS LCD Display with 1280 x 800 pixels resolution, 189 ppi
- Quad-core processor, 1333 MHz, Intel Atom Z3740
- Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB built-in storage
- expandable via microSD card
- 5-megapixel autofocus main camera
- 2-megapixel front facing camera
- Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, GPS
- Micro HDMI, TV-Out, Computer sync, OTA sync
- 4960 mAh battery
- Dimensions: 135 x 218 x 10 mm
- Weight: 430 g
What’s in the box?
The box’s whole body design are dotted with symbols that tells you that the device can really cope-up with your active and highly-productive lifestyle.
Opening the box would flaunt the Acer Iconia W4 itself, which is covered entirely with plastic. Underneath it are the documentations and necessary CDs (Setup Guide, Tips-and-Tricks, Microsoft Office Product Identifier, Recovery DVD and the Quick Guide booklet).
Popping-out the right side will reveal the microUSB Cable and the USB OTG cable. The left side only contains the Wall Adaptor.
We’ve also took time to show you the elegant-looking box of the included wireless keyboard with cover. The package on this one is pretty simple. Plastic, transparent cover at the front so you could initially have a glimpse of the keyboard. At the left side is where the rectangular, long box is placed, where the keyboard’s manual and the microUSB Cable for charging are hidden.
Design and Build quality
The Acer Iconia W4 is heavily designed and coated with plastic. But, it doesn’t feel cheap at all. The back portion of the device is designed to make it look like a brushed–metal material that gives a premium look and eliminates fingerprint. And all those other details on the device will make you not think that the device is framed with plastic. One of the possible reasons why Acer thought of constructing this device on this material is to cut the Acer Iconia W4’s weight. Acer promised that it is a ‘no-weight’ device weighing only 430.0 grams. Which, as how we felt on the device during our test, a pretty lightweight for a netbook, but something really hefty for a normal tablet.
At the front of the device, you would see the 8” LED WXGA Active Matrix TFT Colour IPS Display, ambient light sensor, 2MP front-facing webcam, windows key and the camera light indicator which we have mistakenly identified as the LED Notification indicator when we first saw it.
At the top you would find the Power/Lock switch sitting together with the Charging Indicator LED which lights-up when powering on or off the device and when you plug-in the charger.
At the left side is the built-in microphone, volume controls, reset pinhole, micro HDMI port, MicroSD card slot, and the engraved ‘Iconia’ logo. The right side is cleanly empty.
And at the bottom are the two speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the microUSB port.
At the back is the 5MP camera with the Camera Light Indicator. We just wish that insnead of having the light indicator up there, they may just have included an LED Flash. But tablets are not really made to take pictures in the dark so that’s okay.
What we found that’s really missing on this device is the USB Ports for instant USB Flash drive or any other accessory with USB connection. Though the USB OTG freebie from the box can be accommodating, but some people like us really want some swift USB injection. Still, we have to give it out to Acer for including that in the package.
The device’s size and weight are really perfect in the hand and can be carried hassle-free almost anywhere and anytime. The device’s 8” size means you can fit it anywhere in your bag.
Acer Iconia W4’s weight is not on the good side as it feels just like your everyday tablet at first few minutes of use, but after playing it for quite some time, you would feel the device’s weight as it will definitely tire your hands.
The Wireless Keyboard Cover
The inclusive keyboard compliments the device itself. The accessories’ outer and inner shell are dyed in black and gray respectively. The keyboard isn’t probably the most luxurious looking accessory of all, but it is probably one of the most useful.
The wireless Bluetooth keyboard can be connected without a sweat. You just have to manually pair it to the Acer iconia W4 for the first time, then it will be automatically connect every time you open it on all of your succeeding use. The keys are also have been properly placed and distanced to increase accuracy while typing, though, users with larger hands may need some time to get along with it as the keyboard just have the same dimensions with the Iconia W4 itself.
Probably the most handy feature of this accessory is its capability of protecting the device. It works very well as a cover or a carrying pouch. You may instantly slip the device in to the cover like inserting a money to your purse. Easy breezy.
The keyboard cover isn’t probably the best looking of all, but aesthetics have been buckled under to increase functionality as it greatly safeguards the device and maximize usability.
The Acer Iconia W4 is packed with 8” IPS Capacitive display with Active Matrix TFT Colour LCD and has 1280 x 800 resolution. The screen performs with stunningly vibrant colors and crisp details during our tests. Watching high definition movies and action games are really a pleasure on this device.
Outdoor visibility is just plain impressive on this one. You can still see the display’s projections in direct sunlight even the brightness is just clocked-in at just 50 percent.
We are just completely blown away by the device’s screen capability despite its not so expensive price tag.
The Acer Iconia W4 runs 32-bit, Windows 8.1, the much more improved and less cluttered Windows 8 software. Everything feels much more improved and the UI can be browsed flawlessly.
One of the drawbacks of having a Windows 8 as a media tablet is that it lacks available applications compared to the competition like Android and iOS. We surely missed Instagram, for one. But this device was really designed to offer office-like productivity computing. The Acer Iconia W4 comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. This contains all those traditional document software but on a newer, more timely good-looking design. These are Microsoft Excel, Office Language, OneNote, PowerPoint, Send to OneNote and Word which are all in 2013 version.
It’s worth noting the PowerPoint 2013’s new elegant design which can make your presentation for either a final project or a business proposal stand out and entertaining.
As a device which is tailored for productive people, the Acer Iconia W4 must be healthy in terms of multitasking, and all we can say is, this device can really deliver on this sector. Multitasking is a smooth-sailing activity on this guy, swiping at the right side of the screen can instantly bring up your last used application, swipe and holding it can bring up all running applications. Running applications can be closed by swiping is directly downwards. The Iconia W4 also offers Multi Windows capability so you can do two things at once which can really improve productivity.
The only pitfall we saw about the software is it ate up almost 50% of the device’s storage memory. the Php18,990 version of the Acer Iconia W4 has a 32GB memory, which, plus the bulky OS, will only have a 15GB user available storage. Luckily, it does come with a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
The Acer Iconia W4 has a 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3740 processor which delivers a snappy performance for an 8” Tablet. Boot-up time is just impressive, you’re good to go in just less than 20 seconds (Typing of the login password is included).
The homescreen and all the other UI run relatively fast and smooth. Opening an application or software is also impressively fast. The device handled some of the software we have installed well. Different games and other application ran decently, though lags and some minor freezing are present, but those are really not that bothersome. We’ve even installed VideoPad Video Editor, and it ran well.
The Acer Iconia W4 have been beefed-up with a processor that would really be substantial for the needs of a basic student or worker. Word documents, PowerPoint, Video Editing is seamless on this device, but anything more than a middling application may be impossible on the Iconia W4.
The device is powered by 2-cell Li-Polymer battery with 4960mAh which Acer said is capable of 8hrs of video playback. And as what we have tested, the Acer Iconia W4 lived up to its promise. We were able to watch two full-length movies, played tracks of music via Bluetooth speaker, enjoy Facebook and Twitter for an hour or two, all these on a single charge.
The device can last for 7 to 9 hours with heavy use and almost 1 to 2 days with light to moderate use. The Iconia W4 charges for up to 4 to 5 hours which is quite annoying at first but you can’t complain with the battery life as it’s damn good.
The device only has a mediocre camera quality. The Acer Iconia W4 is packed with a 5MP rear camera and a 2MP front-facing camera/webcam. The photos that were taken on its primary camera entails a lot of noise. Though details are visible, but the distortion is really noticeable. Video recording capability also has the same characteristics.
Check out our sample shots below:
The front-facing camera a.k.a webcam can took decent selfies, and also has an acceptable quality when having a video call.
Gaming is a fun experience on this device. All those games in the Microsoft app Market can be played beautifully and flawlessly on the Iconia W4. We’ve tested games like the Asphalt 8: Airborne, Halo: Spartan Assault, Pinball FX2 and World at Arms, all gave us a maximum gameplay experience, plus, the wireless keyboard can also be used as a controller, helping you feel that you are playing on a real PC.
Though, due to the lack of ventilation, over-heating is inevitably present. Action packed games like the Asphalt 8 really heats up the device. Also, there are also limited games available as the Microsoft’s Market ecosystem isn’t as vast as like any other, and numerous PC games aren’t still compatible to Windows 8. Overall, mobile gaming enthusiast would love thee Acer Iconia W4 due to its great graphics and snappy performance.
Watching movies is a pleasure on the Acer Iconia W4. High definition movies are can be played flawlessly and in great quality, plus, movie marathon is also possible due to its lengthy battery life. However, you must use earphones to make it last longer as the loud speaker will significantly drain the battery.
The great weakness of the device is in the speakers, which is really on the downside. Playing music is really a drawback. We’ve compared the speaker performance to a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S3, and the smaller device performed slightly better. But that said, the Iconia W4 offers a superb screen for the price tag, so we don’t have that much reason to complain.
The Acer Iconia W4 is made for people who are on-the-go, people who needs to accomplish fundamental and essential tasks like students and business people. H did we say so? The device sports a lightweight body, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, and an above average battery life, these attributes makes the device the right companion for school or work. You also need to remember that’s it’s running on Windows 8, a complete laptop experience – not like Android and iOS.
The device’s IPS display is also perfect for gaming and watching movies, though the speakers are really on the downside. The device also offers a very capable processor to match your active lifestyle. You can seamlessly edit videos, make presentations and word documents in the tip of your hands.
The best thing about the Acer Iconia W4 is its very affordable Php18,990 price tag. It’s definitely a bargain price for parents who want to give their child a companion for college education, or probably a person who wants to save up for a new tablet/netbook.
The Acer Iconia W4 is a hybrid of being a tablet and a laptop, which only mean it can’t be the best in both worlds. It’s a little bit to heavy and bulky for a tablet, and less processing capable for a full-fledge laptop. But the thing is, it can deliver the basic elements that the two have, which is just perfectly enough for the prospective users.
The Acer Iconia W4 is currently available on Smart Postpaid Plans. You can check it out here.
Video Review – Acer Iconia W4
For a device with a bargain price of Php18,990, the device offers an impressive processor which delivers a fast, snappy performance, IPS display with great viewing angles, soild build quality, Microsoft Office Home and School 2013, 7 to 9 hours battery life. It also includes a USB OTG cable and Wireless Keyboard Cover.
A bit too physically heavy for a tablet, Windows Market still offers few applications compared to the competition, no standard size USB port, cramped user available storage and an inferior speaker performance.