The release of the Acer W3 8 inch tablet created a race to bring a new and much better mini windows tablet to the masses. The first 8 inch tablet was good, but was lacking in a few areas, mainly the screen. Acer saw this and of course after only 3 months designed a new and improved version of its original. However, you have to give credit to Acer, they did bring out the first Windows 8 tablet, and regardless of what you think about the screen, the tablet itself was pretty good. If you were lucky, and watched for sales, you could even have gotten the Acer W3 for only $239 from Staples or other retail outlets. With the upgrade to Windows 8.1, and the competition for a better 8 inch tablet, the race has definitely begun. We will look at the 4 top 8 inch tablets, Toshiba’s Encore, Dell Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo Miix 2, and the Acer W4. I have put them side by side and depending on your preferences, there are definite winners in this race.
The Acer W4
First up, the Acer W4. Let’s get this out of the way. This is not the same tablet as the W3. It is sleek, beautiful, and definitely has a much better screen. The touch is incredible, due to the Zero Air Gap technology. This which eliminates the gap between the LCD panel and touch module, guaranteeing a sharper viewing experience. It comes with Windows 8.1, the Atom Z3770 Quad core, Bay Trail Atom processor. It is faster, more sensitive, and a huge improvement from the W3. It has a 5 megapixel back camera, and a 2 megapixel front camera. It has a Micros SD slot, a Micro USB slot, and a Micro HDMI slot as well. Battery life is said to be up to 10 hours depending on usage and settings. It is .42 inches thick, 5.18 inches wide, and 8.48 inches long, and weighs 14.56 oz. It is a bit thick in my opinion, but still thin compared to the Microsoft Surface Pro. It has a keyboard dock, stylus, and a case. It also comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. You can get the 32Gb model for $329, and the 64Gb model for $379. More expensive than the other 8 inch tablets out there, which may be a problem considering the prices of some of the other 8 inch tablets out there. That being said, it is a far better improvement than the W3.
Dell Venue 8 Pro
This 8 inch Windows tablet, is slim, sleek, and comes at a very reasonable price. The Dell 8 inch tablet is Dell’s first mini tablet and the 2nd of the 8 inch windows tablet war. It is a pretty good tablet, but in my opinion, long and skinny. It is designed that way, to be up right rather than landscape. The 5 megapixel back camera is good, but the 1.5 megapixel front camera is less desirable. They had to save money somewhere, and I guess this was one of the ways. It does come with active digitizer pen, that more than makes up for the lack of camera. There does NOT seem to have an HDMI port, which the other tablets seem to have. It comes with the same as the others, Windows 8.1, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013, 2 Gb Ram, Micro SD port, Mini USB port, and boasts the battery to life up to 10 hours. The screen is very good, with 170 degree viewing. As far as its measurements go, it is pretty good, thickness .35 inches, much thinner than the Toshiba Encore and the Acer W4. Width 5.12 inches, length, 8.5 inches, and weight 13.92 ounces. The price for the Venue 8 Pro is less than the Acer W4, the 32 Gb model is $299, the 64 Gb model is $349. It does have a Dell Bluetooth keyboard, and you can also get a case for it as well. For the money, it is a great deal.
Toshiba Encore 8
This tablet from Toshiba, in my opinion is the best of the 8 inch tablets that are out there now. The Toshiba windows tablet has the same hardware as the Acer and the Dell, but comes with a few differences. It has the same Atom Z3770 Bay Trail quad processor, 2 Gb Ram, Micro SD port, Mini USB port, Windows 8.1, and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013. The differences are few, but substantial. First, it has Micro HDMI port, which differs from the Dell Venue. It also has tethering and computer sync, plug it in and you can sync with your computer, similar to your smartphone. Another difference is the Toshiba Encore has an 8 megapixel camera on the back, and a 2 megapixel camera in the front. Along with the camera, there is the size. For me, it has it’s plus and minus when it comes to size. The thickness is .43 inches, which is thicker than all three of the other 8 inch tablets. But, the width is 5.35 inches, which is wider than the others. For me, it is a plus, mainly because I feel the others are too long, so for me, the look of the tablet is much better, but the thickness still is a problem. The weight is also more, it comes in at a 15.87 ounces, which is also heaviest of them all. The price is another difference, the 32 Gb model starts at $379, and the 64 Gb is $445. Definitely more money, but in my opinion, worth the price. It is a solid 8 inch Windows tablet, and the look and feel are top notch.
Lenovo Miix 2
Lenovo came up with its own version of the 8 inch tablet, it is called the Miix 2. If I had a choice for second in the 8 inch tablet war, this would be it. I prefer the Toshiba, but for the price and other differences, it is a close second. Originally I was going to choose this tablet, the reason will be shown in a moment. The Miix 2 has the Atom Z3770 Bay Trail quad core processor, 2 Gb Ram, a Micro HDMI slot, Mini USB slot, Micro SD Card slot, the battery can last up to 7 hours, and has computer sync as well. You can get a cover, case, and Bluetooth keyboard as well. On the front the Miix 2 has a 2 megapixel camera, while on the back is a 5 megapixel camera, which is the same as the Acer W4. The difference for me comes in the size and weight. The Miix 2 thickness is .32 inches, the width is 5.18 inches, and the length is 8.48 inches. The weight is 12.32 ounces! It is by far the thinnest and lightest tablet of them all. The screen is incredible, and the all around look of the tablet is very professional. You can get a stylus and case, unsure about a Bluetooth keyboard. The price for the 32 Gb model is $299, and the 64 Gb is $349. The price is the same as the Dell Venue 8 Pro. Compared to the Dell, it is a much better tablet.
So, there you have the comparisons of all 4 of the new 8 inch tablets. The Toshiba Encore is a better windows tablet for me. The war is on, we shall see what comes out in the next 6 months. I am sure there will be even more choices to choose from. For now, you have fabulous choices of 8 inch tablets to choose from.
Here is the comparison sheet in PDF to Download.