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I often hear a lot of complaints from people I meet here in India about the Surface tablets and the Nokia Lumia 2520 not hitting our shores. We could either believe or argue the reasons offered by Microsoft and Nokia about the same, or look at all other options available in the market right now and make an informed purchase decision.

In a Microsoft event last week, I learned about twenty Windows 8.1 tablets from seven original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are on the shelves at the moment or coming in a couple of weeks or so. In this post, let’s take a look at few of them.

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It's a bit of a catch-22: Acer's not interested in releasing new Windows Phone 8 devices unless the marketshare of Windows Phone rises, but manufacturers like Acer joining in are part of the equation for increasing Windows Phone's marketshare. But, alas, here we are, with Acer saying that they "are having conversations with Microsoft, and if they index Windows Phone to 10 to 15 percent, we are interested."

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Windows 8 is an operating system that was without a doubt designed with touch screens at its center focus point. Many laptops and all-in-one PCs are finally designating multi-touch displays as standard instead of an add-on, but what about the desktop user still using a tower style PC? There are a variety of touchscreen monitors out on the market and today we are going to take a look at what is being said to being one of the best – Acer’s T272HL.

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After the quick launches of new Nokia Lumia devices in recent times, the device revelry continues in this part of the world. The Acer Iconia W4 tablets are available for pre-order on Flipkart, India’s leading online retailer.

Since Microsoft’s flagship Windows device – Surface – never hit the shores here and we still don’t have any clue about the availability of Dell Venue 8 Pro, the Acer Windows 8 tablets are the first ones to arrive in India.

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Grab a cup of coffee and that outdated backpack, we are going to get you ready for the first Semester of classes in this special Back to School 2013 Guide. We have broken the guide down by different student types including “The Geek”, “The Artist”, “The Budgeter”, and “The Entrepreneur”. Check it out below and let us know what you think. Alright, all board – let’s go!

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Today at Build, Microsoft handed out a few thousand Iconia W3s to the attendees. For those of you don’t know, the Iconia W3 is Acer’s first attempt at an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet running with an Intel Atom processor.

Is it good, bad, somewhere in between? We’re not a 100% sure yet but we do like playing around with it a whole lot. Head past the break for our hands on video and some impressions!

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After their Windows Phone 7.5 handset, the Allegro, came onto the scene last year with little fanfare, Acer maintained that they were still committed to Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. But after hearing nothing but crickets chirping from Acer's neck of the woods in 2013, many of us are wondering if they have wavered in that commitment. As it turns out, the answer is "yes, but..."

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Acer’s Aspire S7 has been one of the most beautiful Windows 8 Ultrabooks we have seen to date; today, the company announced an update of the machine with Intel’s latest Haswell CPU.

The S7 was a near perfect machine (see our mini-review) and the latest revision updates the two biggest complaints with the notebook – low RAM and terrible battery life. The new Haswell microarchitecture features a new advanced power-saving system that should give the system a bit of a boost in the mobility department. In addition, Acer has increased the battery from 4,680 mAh to 6,280 mAh (an almost 35% boost). As far as the RAM is concern, it has been doubled from 4GB to 8GB – perfect for anyone needing to get some intense Photoshop work done.

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A while back we had seen the multinational e-commerce site, Amazon.com, leak a product page touting the Acer Iconia W3 Windows 8 tablet; today, those rumors are confirmed.

The Taiwanese hardware manufacturer confirmed that the world’s first mini tablet running Windows 8.1 is real and will be headed to markets later this year. In addition, Acer confirmed the leaked specs on Amazon.com to be correct for the device; the tablet weighs 1.10 pounds, is .45 inches thin, sports a 12800 x 800 8.1 inch LCD display, 32 or 64 GB of memory, and is powered by an Intel Atom Clover Trail CPU.

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When it comes to laptops, Windows 8 machines are giving OEMs a lot to chew on and explore. Of all the companies to most impress me so far, it’s been Acer. Traditionally, Acer has been associated with more mid-range devices but their S7 Ultrabook (see here) and now their R7 transformer are quite remarkable designs, setting a new bar, in my opinion, for the company.

I picked up the R7 yesterday simply because I forgot it’s now available "exclusively" at Best Buy for $999 (not even Microsoft Stores have it, which is where I would have preferred to buy it). I checked out a few hands on reviews and decided to take the plunge (Best Buy does have a 15-day return policy, after all).

While this is far from a proper, full review, I’ll give you my quick impressions of the Acer’s latest and greatest creation after spending the last 24 hours with it.

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Windows 8 tablets are a great option for those wanting portable, compact options for their computing needs.  We've taken a look at the Samsung ATIV Smart PC and now we turn our sights on the Acer Iconia W510 tablet.

The Acer is a smidgen smaller than the Samsung or even the Microsoft Surface series, sporting a 10.1" CrystalBrite LED-backlit TFT LCD instead of a 11.6" screen. While the W510 may be smaller, it doesn't skimp on features.  The Acer Iconia W510 is a really nice option to consider if you're in the market for a compact Windows 8 tablet at a decent price.

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To celebrate Cyber Monday, Microsoft has the Acer Iconia W500 Windows 8 tablet listed online for just $399 - that's $100 off the regular price. What's different about this Windows tablet compared to the Surface RT? It's slightly cheaper and sports a full version of Windows 8 with its x86 processor. This means one can install legacy applications in the desktop app.

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Ukrainian Microsoft evangelist Igor "Walker" Shastitko has published two videos on YouTube - one of the Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro and the other sporting the Acer Iconia Tab (W510). While the review is in a language many of us may not be able to interpret, it's good to see both Windows 8 tablets in action to see how smooth the experience will be should you decide to purchase one for yourself.

We were at AT&T's event last night that featured not only the Nokia Lumia 920 but the Samsung ATIV SmartPC Pro too, so be sure to check out our quick hands-on with the tablet. If our coverage isn't enough, there's always Shastitko with the above video that boasts a lengthy review of the device. As for the Acer Iconia Tab, the tablet also appears to run fairly well with Windows 8 looking superb.

Head on past the break to see the Acer Iconia Tab in action.

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Don't hurt yourself to the rush, Acer

While Samsung, HTC and Nokia are all making headway to release Windows Phone 8 devices, Acer has announced (once again) that they are planning a Windows Phone 8 device.

Acer president Jim Wong announced the company will launch six new smartphones in 2013, five Android phones and one Windows Phone. According to Wong,

"One of the six models will be a Windows Phone 8 device and the rest will run on Android platforms, with high-end models to be built with Qualcomm's dual-core CPUs and entry-level models using chipset solutions from MediaTek."

We've heard from various sources over time that Acer remains committed to both Windows Phone and Android, offering options to consumers with different needs. Not sure if with one out of six new phones being a Windows Phone is offering options.

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Over at Russian forum Acer-Club, a rumor has surfaced that Acer is working on a Windows Phone  8 device with sliding QWERTY keyboard.  Despite a dearth of evidence or details, the phone will reportedly be called the W11 and will be a lower-end offering. The post says that the W11 is slotted for an October 2012 release, with an official announcement coming in September. 

If true, the W11 join the Dell Venue Pro, the LG Quantum (aka, Optimus 7Q and C900) and the HTC Arrive (Sprint's only Windows Phone offering) as one of the few Windows Phone sliders out there.  Acer once manufactured the M900, a Windows Mobile phone with a sliding QWERTY keyboard, so it would fit their M.O and they currently have the Allegro on the market. 

The timing of an October release would also fall in line with the expected release of Windows Phone 8, commonly referred to as Apollo.  And although it's already been said, please be sure to take this as nothing more than a rumor at this point.  We will be sure to keep you posted as we catch word of more details. 

So what do you think?  With the slim and sleek Lumias and iPhones of the world, is there still a strong demand for QWERTY sliders?

Source: Acer-Club; Via: Neowin, WMPU

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