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Windows 8.1 is the latest and greatest version of Microsoft’s cornerstone product. It’s notable for refining and building upon the ideas introduced in Windows 8. We’re also really excited because of the optimizations made in Windows 8.1 for tablet devices in the 7 to 8-inch range. Tablets like the Acer W3/W4 or Dell Venue 8 Pro. We’ve played with most of them, but we’re curious which one you own or plan to own.

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Microsoft appears to either be on a roll or the marketing department knows the weekend is near, thus they're attempting to go on an all-out attack. This latest commercial, published on the WindowsVideos YouTube channel, addresses the small tablet competition - namely, the iPad Mini. Taking the Acer Iconia W3 to the ring, the video shows off some of the cool features a tablet sports when running Windows 8.

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Like most people who picked up an Iconia W3 8-inch tablet, running full Windows 8 on an Intel Atom processor, we loved the concept but recoiled at some of the execution.  We’ve joked in the past that Acer has two design teams: A and B with the former being responsible for the S7 and R7 (gorgeous devices) and the B team overseeing the less-than-pretty W510 and W3.

Forgetting the looks of the W3, which seem to be something designed three years ago, functionally the nimble 8-inch tablet had one glaring flaw: its display. In 2013, IPS displays are all the rage and found in most ultrabooks and laptops, giving users high visibility at various angles and great color saturation. High viewing angles are even more relevant for a device that you hold in your hands and flip around.

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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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Earlier today at a press event in NYC, Acer showed off a handful of new PCs they’ll be releasing over the next few weeks. The machines are mainly tablets and laptops ranging in size from 11.6 inches to 15.6 inches. But we know a lot of you are clamoring for a tablet running Windows 8 in the range between 7 and 8-inches. Turns out they’re closer than we thought.

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