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Handheld Devices

Acer's Iconia W4 Windows 8.1 tablet to start at $329.99

Acer's much anticipated Iconia W4 tablet with Windows 8.1 will be available this month starting at US$329.99 with 32GB of storage.

The tablet has Intel's quad-core Atom chip code-named Bay Trail. Acer has priced a 64GB model at $379.99.

The tablet is for productivity, web browsing and video, Acer said. The W4 will succeed the Iconia W3, which was announced last year and was the first Windows 8 tablet with a screen size under 10 inches.

The W4 offers eight hours of battery life when watching movies, and 10 hours when browsing the web, Acer said. It weighs 415 grams and is 10.75 millimeters thick.

The device is slightly heavier and thicker than some Windows 8.1 tablets with 8-inch screens that have already been announced. Dell's $299 Venue 8 Pro, Lenovo's $299 Miix2 and Toshiba's $329.99 Encore are the other announced 8-inch tablets that run on Bay Trail chips.

The Iconia W4 features are similar to other 8-inch tablets. The screen displays images at a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution. The W4 has a two-megapixel front camera and a 5-megapixel back camera. The tablet can be connected to a high-definition TV through an HDMI port.

Microsoft's Office Home and Student 2013 Edition productivity suite is pre-installed. Acer will offer optional keyboard and cover accessories.

Depending on the country, Microsoft is shipping Windows 8.1 to consumers on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. Users of the Iconia W3 tablet will be able to upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 through a free upgrade that will pushed to the tablet.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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