The Acer Iconia W4 undoubtedly improves upon last year's eight-inch debutant, even surpassing competitors that have been outed in that time.

However, despite being one of the best tablets in its category, it already feels ready for an upgrade, as if it's simply there to fill a void before the next wave of devices hits the shelves.

Which it is, of course. With tablets packing 64-bit Intel processors and 4GB of RAM on the way, you'll have to consider how badly you want an eight-inch Windows 8.1 tablet at this moment in time.

On the flip side, if you do pick one up now, you'll be getting 8-inches of capable Windows goodness for a decent price. Future iterations aren't likely to come in at such an affordable price point.

We Liked

There's a lot to like about the Iconia W4 - from its impressive screen to its plentiful battery life. It may lack the processing power of an Ultrabook, but it'll keep going for just as long - and it's much lighter and more portable.

With its brushed aluminium finish, it looks pretty cool too. It doesn't really feel like a business or consumer device, which is probably what Acer was aiming for, with many corporate types bringing their own devices to work these days.

Pair a Bluetooth keyboard (or one with USB) and you're good to sit down and get your teeth stuck into some serious productivity work thanks to the inclusion of Office. Entertainment features are just as plentiful, whether you're into watching movies, dabbling with Microsoft Store apps or playing some less-demanding Windows games.

We Disliked

Most of our misgivings with the Acer Iconia W4 are the same as those we had with the Iconia W3 - namely underwhelming processing power, a lack of ports and (particularly in the 32GB model) a serious lack of onboard storage space.

There's also room for improvement when it comes to the display. Sure, it's packing adequate realestate, but in a world where high-PPI 'Retina'-type displays are working their way onto more devices than ever before, jagged text and UI elements aren't going to cut it for much longer.

Final verdict

If you pick up the Acer Iconia W4 tomorrow, you're unlikely to be disappointed. It can perform a far wider range of tasks than your average iPad or Android tablet thanks to the inclusion of Windows 8.1 and the ability to install legacy Windows programs.

However, you would be better off with one of the aforementioned platforms if you're looking for a more 'classic' app-driven tablet experience. If that's the case, a sharper screen and beefier processor can be found in Apple's iPad Mini with Retina.

Neither is it suitable as a full-on laptop or PC replacement if you're looking to run demanding programs requiring greater processing and graphical requirements.

But as a nippy, lightweight device for undertaking basic productivity tasks or entertainment, you would be hard pressed to find a more versatile device at this moment in time for the price.