||1.33GHz Base / 1.86GHz Turbo Quad-Core Intel Z3745
|Memory and Graphics
||2GB LPDDR3 RAM
16GB eMMC Internal Storage
Intel HD Graphics (4 EUs, Ivy Bridge-derived)
|Size & Weight
||215mm (H) x 130mm (W) x 8.5mm (D)
360g (0.79 lbs)
||8.0-inch IPS FHD LCD (1920 x 1200)
||Android 4.4.4 (KitKat)
||Azurewave 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
3.5mm Headphone / Microphone Combo Jack
||Yes, Rear-Facing MP rating not given
2.0 Megapixel Front-Facing Camera
||$199.99 - Find It At Amazon.com
The Acer Iconia Tab 8 we're featuring in this article, is built around Bay Trail, which means it uses Intel's latest 22nm Atom CPU combined with Intel's own integrated GPU.
Merrifield Or Bay Trail?
One of the most interesting questions for would-be x86 buyers in the Android tablet space is whether to go with Merrifield or Bay Trail-based device. Here's how the two break down: Merrifield (tested here in our Dell Venue 8 3840) is a dual-core chip without Hyper-Threading, but running with a burst frequency of 2.13GHz. Intel continues to advertise its mobile chips by their maximum burst frequencies, not their base clocks.
The Acer Iconia Tab 8 uses Intel's Z3745 Bay Trail Atom (quad-core, 1.86GHz maximum speed, 1.33GHz base clock) and a graphics engine derived from Ivy Bridge. That GPU is the other significant difference between the two SoCs -- with Bay Trail, Intel is still employing their own graphics solution, while Merrifield pairs a dual-core SoC with a PowerVR
Hardware Look and Feel
Before we talk about benchmarks, we want to discuss the experience of using an all-Intel solution in what has, to date, been an ARM, Qualcomm and PowerVR-dominated segment. At first glance (or feel) there's nothing about the Acer Iconia Tab 8 that advertises it as an x86-based Android product. There's an Intel Inside sticker on the back, but no associated boot-up branding or signature Intel jingle. There's no extra size or weight associated with the system being x86, and the tablet boots up fairly quickly to the Android Home screen. Jump through the typical setup bells and whistles and you're home free in short order.
Acer has sensibly positioned all of the power and access ports either on the top of the tablet (in Portrait mode) or on the left-hand side (in Landscape). Similarly, the volume rocker and on-off button are at the top of the device when you're holding it in Landscape mode. The setup works quite well; the tablet is easy to use when plugged in or with one hand (at least for reading).
The only physical downside to the Iconia 8 is that the device's single speaker has incredibly low volume, even by the standards of mobile devices. Still, from an external perspective, there's no extra weight or odd styling to betray this as an "Android on x86 tablet." Not that we should be suspect of this, per se, but in reality the Iconia Tab 8 is as sleek and visually appealing as any 8-inch Android device we've seen to date.