Asus chief Jerry Shen told the Wall Street Journal on Monday “we’re very optimistic about sales for Windows 8 tablets this year”
As confirmed on Friday, Amazon briefly published a listing for an 8.1-in Acer Iconia tablet (“Acer Computer W3-810-1600 8.1-Inch 32 GB Tablet (Silver)”) For $379.99.
The listing from Amazon described the Iconia as an 8.1-in CrystalBrite LCD display with a 1280×800 pixel resolution screen (30% increase over Apple’s iPad Mini). The Iconia features 32GB of storage space, 64 MB of memory and 2GB of RAM.
The tablet will be Wireless-N networking connectivity, a 2MP camera on the front and a 2MP camera rear, and a 2-cell 3,500 mAh battery, promising up to 8 hours of continuous use on a single charge.
Will be powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor, and weighs 1.1 lbs (iPad Mini weighs 0.68 lbs).
The Amazon/Acer leak popped up after Microsoft’s upstream supply chain said that they already shipped components for 1 to 1.5 million Intel-based Surface units since the end of 2012. They also confirmed that the next wave will include form factors ranging from 7 to 9 inches in size. The Acer Iconia isn’t a Surface device, but at least we know that they are shipping Windows 8 tablets under 10-inch.
If the listing of the Acer Iconia is accurate it would be the first sign of a smaller, cheaper Windows 8 powered tablet and will also be the first to benefit from the relaxed rules Microsoft instituted for certified Windows 8 devices. (In March, Microsoft loosened the resolution requirements for certified Windows 8 tablets)
Microsoft’s chief financial officer had already mentioned that they would be shipping smaller and lower priced Windows tablets. “We are working closely with OEMs on a new suite of small touch devices powered by Windows,” Peter Klein Microsoft’s outgoing CFO said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. “These devices will have competitive price points, partly enabled by our latest OEM offerings designed specifically for these smaller devices, and will be available in the coming months.”
So yes, it’s not far from happening. Since the iPad Minis sold so well when it came out, other smaller tablet devices might be following its lead.