The Iconia W3: Acer unveils world's first 8.1-inch tablet

Updated: 2013-06-04
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Acer has unveiled a new range of products at a conference in China, including the 'industry's first 8.1-inch tablet' called the Iconia W3. 
The Taiwanese company also provided details of a new 5.7-inch smartphone called the Liquid S1, and an upgrade to its Aspire S7 ultrabook. 
At the launch, the group's president Jim Wang said the company had 'reinvented' itself over the past two years, following a decline in sales. 
 Iconia W3
The Iconia W3 (pictured) runs on Microsoft's Windows 8 Professional software, while Acer's new Liquid S1 phablet will run on Google's Android. The Iconia W3 has an 1.8Ghz dual-core Intel Atom processor and a 1280-by-768 resolution, multi-touch LCD display 

Acer's new Liquid S1 smartphone. It has a 5.7inch screen and has been dubbed a phablet - a device that's a cross between a smartphone and a tablet
The 5.7-inch Liquid S1 smartphone has been dubbed a phablet because of its size. 
Phablets are devices that are smaller than traditional tablets but larger than traditional phones. 
It has a 1280-by-720 HD display and runs on the latest version of Google's operating system, Android Jelly Bean 4.2. 
The Liquid S1 has a 1.5GHz processor as well as dual SIM card slots that let owners switch between using it for personal and business reasons. 
It has an 8MP rear-facing 1080p camera, with a 2MP camera that can shoot 720p, on the front. 
Acer's latest phablet comes with Acer Cloud Docs and Acer Remote Files built-in, which lets users save and then access documents wirelessly on the web, as well as software what the company calls Float. 
Float helps users multi-task by letting them run widgets on top of apps. 
Acer also claims the Liquid S1 has 'a day's worth of battery power'. 
The Liquid S1 is expected to go on sale in the UK towards the end of the year and will cost around £300 for a matte black or white, 8GB model. 
The Iconia W3 tablet runs on the full version of Windows 8 Professional and Wang said it was the 'industry's first 8.1inch' device.
It comes with Microsoft Office Home or Student built-in. 
Wang said the device is perfect for both home and work environments because it can be attached to a keyboard. 

Acer's Chairman James Wang unveiled a new range of products at the Computex exhibition in Taipei, China on Monday. They included the Liquid S1 smartphone, the S7 ultrabook as well as a new 8-inch Windows tablet called the Iconia W3 
He touted the device for 'performing like a desktop' while allowing users to fold up the keyboard and carry the device in one hand. 
The Iconia W3 is powered by Intel's Atom Z2760 dual-core processor and will be available in 32GB and 64GB versions when it goes on sale later this month. 
It has a 1280-by-768 resolution multi-touch LCD display as well as built-in WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, and weighs 540g.
Acer is expected to start selling the smaller Iconia W3 from around £280 with the optional extra of the keyboard expected to cost around £60. 
The Iconia W3 is the company's first Windows 8 tablet. 
The company has had initial success with two other Android-based tablets that sell for £98, for the 7-inch version, and £110 for the 7.9-inch version. 
Elswehere, Acer unveiled an upgrade to its Aspire S7 ultrabook. 
The updated S7 will run on Intel's new Haswell processor that Intel claims boost graphics and performance by up to 58 per cent. 
 Iconia W3
Acer's 8-inch Iconia W3 tablet runs Windows 8 and features a full version of Microsoft Office Home. It is due to go on sale in Asia and Europe later this month in two models - 32GB and 64GB. The devices are expected to cost around £280 and £320 respectively 
 Iconia W3
An Acer employee showcases the Taiwanese firm's new Iconia W3 tablet at the opening of IT exhibition Computex in China. The 8.1-inch Windows-8 tablet combines both home and office functions and Acer claims its battery will last around eight hours on a single charge
The original S7 was launched towards the end of 2011. 
The new version has a 2,560-by-1,440 resolution, 13.3-inch multi-touch display. 
Acer also claimed that the Aspire S7's keyboard has been redesigned to make typing 33 per cent faster. 
The latest Aspire S7 weighs 1.3kg and is expected to go on sale in July for around £1,250. 
Members of the press who attended Acer's conference in Taipei also got hands-on time with the widely-praised Aspire R7. 
 Iconia W3
Acer said its Iconia W3 tablet is the first device to have an 8.1-inch tablet. Because it runs a full version of Microsoft Office, including Word, the tablet can be attached to a keyboard to make typing easier. The keyboard does not come with the device and is expected to cost an additional £60 when the device range launches later this month
The R7 is a laptop-tablet hybrid which has a pad attached to a hinge that holds a touchscreen monitor that users can pull closer or flip over the keyboard, transforming it into a tablet. 
The Computex exhibition officially launches on Tuesday at the Taipei International Conference Centre in China. 
Other companies showcasing new technologies at the IT conference include Asus and Microsoft, which claims that 65 Windows-8 based tablets and PCs will be exhibited. 

Acer's Aspire R7 notebook was shown off at the Computex exhibition in Taipei. The company announced the 15.6inch device in March but press at the Taipei International Conference centre where given hands-on time with the device on Monday
In the first quarter of 2013, the number of tablets sold increased by 142 percent to 49 million units over the same period last year, according to International Data Corp. 
The market is dominated by Apple and vendors selling Google's Android devices. Latecomer Microsoft has less than a 4 percent share. 
Meanwhile, global desktop and laptop shipments slipped 12.7 percent year-on-year to 78 million units in the first quarter 2013, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
Analyst Vincent Chen of Taipei's Yuanta Securities says that Acer's recent innovations may help reverse the company's decline, but that much more work remains to be done before it is out of the woods. 
Among the other products Acer is showcasing at Computex is a new generation of its widely praised Transformer tablet. 
The Transformer series feature a detachable keyboard with a two-sided display panel that can be used for work on one side and film transmission or other entertainment on the other.
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