Acer has introduced a dedicated gaming tablet called the Predator 8. This is a new play from Acer and has some pretty interesting hardware packed in. All of it is squeezed into an 8.7 mm thin package which weighs in a just 350 grams.

We’ve seen quite a few Android devices being powered by Atom lately, but most have still been on the 22 nm Silvermont cores. There have been a couple of 14 nm Airmont devices announced, and Acer has gone right to the top of the stack with the Intel Atom x7 processor. We’ve taken a look at the new Cherry Trail platform on the Surface 3 Review, and found it to be quite potent especially when you look at the physical chip size. But where it is potent is actually in CPU performance, which has traditionally been Intel’s strength. GPU performance, at least on the Surface 3, was not class leading. It would be great to see this in an Android device though so we can compare it apples to apples with the other top end gaming tablets like the NVIDIA Shield.

Acer Predator 8
  Predator 8 Tablet
SoC Intel Atom x7
Storage Up to 64 GB eMMC
Display 8" 1920x1200 IPS LCD with enhanced touch
Speakers 4 Front Facing with Virtual Surround Sound
OS Android 5.1
Price $299.99
Availability 06-Nov

The Android 5.1 tablet features a 16:10 display with a 1920x1200 resolution. This is a zero air gap IPS panel which should reduce reflections and refractions within the display stack, and Acer claims it covers 100% of the NTSC color space, which is actually really close to Adobe RGB. This is a wider gamut than most displays can handle but it is actually a problem on Android since it has no color management. Having a gamut that is larger than sRGB means that colors will be oversaturated.

It also has four front-facing speakers and virtual surround sound, which might be kind of interesting on a gaming tablet. You can get the tablet with up to 64 GB of storage, and it also features microSD support for an additional 128 GB of space.

One interesting addition is what Acer is calling Highly Precise Touchscreen. The tablet features smaller touch sensors which are packaged with a higher density on the display which Acer says leads to greater control and accuracy which they say is useful for gaming. It also supports any device with a 2mm fine tip such as a graphite pencil or the optional Acer Accurate Stylus.

Acer has partnered with Newegg on distribution, and Newegg will have an exclusive two week period to offer this tablet starting on November 6. It will retail for $300.

Source: Acer

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  • KateH - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    8" Tablet with 1200P wide-gamut IPS panel, Atom X7 AND passive stylus support? Can we get a Windows 10 version of this please!
  • BMNify - Thursday, September 3, 2015 - link

    This needs to come with Windows 10.
  • Visual - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    It will need to be upped to 128GB minimum though for Win 10. And a 256GB option might be a good idea. A SD card could help but I'm a bit sceptical about the performance. Hell, even the eMMC might turn out to be inadequate in that regard.

    There's also no mention of RAM in the specs, I'm worried that they make do with something as low as 2GB on android but will need to bump that up for Win 10.

    All in all, I think it's still unrealistic to expect to have any real OS and apps running or any real work done on a 350g device. The potential for 700-800g devices is good though.
  • Valantar - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    The main issue is that the Atom X5 and X7 lack both SATA controllers and up-to-date eMMC controllers - they only support eMMC 4.51. Which, sadly, leaves it with gimped storage. Sure, you could bump it up to a decent size, but performance would still be awful. The only solutions possible with tech available today would be either adding a PCIe SATA controller + m.2/mSATA SSD, which adds cost, power draw and board complexity, or adding a PCIe SSD, which would be expensive enough to kill the product outright. A ~$500 tablet with a ~$200 SSD? Not going to happen.

    In other words, the W10 version of this will sadly not arrive until either
    a) the price of PCIe SSDs drop significantly (when DRAM-less options become available?)
    b) the next generation of Atom x7 adds a more up-to-date storage controller (eMMC 5.x? UFS?)
  • BMNify - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    128GB emmc 4.5.1 will be good enough and an upgrade for most people who are still on 5400rpm HDD, can add fast microSD too, 2GB more ram can be added and the total BOM for these two additions should not exceed $50, Acer can factor-in good profit margin and still price this tablet at $375-400.
  • Valantar - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Given the abysmal flash performance of nearly all eMMC based tablets out there, I beg to differ. Sure, it'll be usable. But it wouldn't be _good_. Which is what a niche product like this desperately needs to be.
  • KateH - Saturday, September 5, 2015 - link

    I must've only used the good ones, 'cause the eMMC I benchmarked on Cloverview and Bay Trail tablets merely had similar sequential R/W performance to middling HDDs- but were 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than spinning rust for the random reads/writes that matter for general performance. Sure, it's way way slower than SATA, but still much faster than the magnetic disks that are *still* included in even some high-end systems.
  • BMNify - Saturday, September 5, 2015 - link

    @Valantar :Just check out the performance of old Intel Baytrail tablets of last year, the emmc 4.5.1 parts used are definitely better than 5400 rpm HDD which still used by majority of population and still shipped in majority of 2015 products.
  • danthekilla - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    I run windows 10 on a 32gb tablet with 1gb of ram and it runs quite well. Its about 3 years old.

    You seem a little ignorant with comments like "It will need to be upped to 128GB minimum though for Win 10" when that is obviously false. Windows 10 takes up very little space, less than 10gb on my tablet.

    Also why the hell would you need 4 gb of ram? 2 is more than adequate for a tablet designed for media consumption.

    Also my 1gb of memory atom tablet from 3 years ago runs photoshop fine in a pinch. Even with a Wacom attached, it is smooth enough for sketching.

    Not every device 'needs' to be a top of the line powerhouse with unnecessary memory and hdd space. I can even compile and run large projects just fine on the tiny 7" tablet.

    Idiots like you annoy me.
  • pSupaNova - Sunday, September 6, 2015 - link

    No he's correct if you put a Desktop OS on it then you better have good storage/RAM options.

    And if you need it just for Media consumption then Android is a much better OS to have on a tablet of this size.

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