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
RAM 2 GB
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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  • anandreader106 - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    @WorldWithoutMadness I was simply referring to the difference in retail between both tablets. Reply
  • KateH - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    The X7 Cherry Trail Atom uses the same GPU core as Broadwell chips, except with 12EU instead of 20+. Performance should be similar to Sandy Bridge-era Intel HD 3000 graphics- not stellar compared to Nvidia, but plenty good for the kind of games people tend to play on small-screen tablets.

    I agree about x86 vs ARM for Android though. Seems like a strange decision.
    Reply
  • dj_aris - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Atom x7 should come in L4 eDRAM flavor as well. That would be a real killer in games. Reply
  • zodiacfml - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    I thought what you said is nonsense but realized it was brilliant for Intel's cause. They made this kind of mistake before by reserving their latest process nodes for desktop/server CPUs and only decided to include Atoms recently. Since their graphics is often inferior versus other SoCs, you are correct that they should include the L4 cache to Atoms. Reply
  • KateH - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    I'm genuinely curious how the graphics on Cherry Trail actually compares to other current SOCs with similar power envelopes (haven't seen benchmarks myself).

    Atom graphics have come a long way in the past 3 generations, from 2013's Cloverview using an outdated PowerVR core (the same one used in iPhone 4), to Bay Trail having an actual Intel GPU core (even if it was massively cut-down), to Cherry Trail getting the same GPU performance as Intel's 35-95W chips had in 2011- Today's Atom chips should have roughly the same iGPU performance as something like the i7 2700K, and I think that's pretty neat.

    Sorry. Got off the rails there. Yeah, curious to see benchmarks. I've been out of the loop on mobile ARM SOCs for awhile and I'm sure they're getting much-improved GPU cores as well.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Atoms actually aren't built on the same process as Intel's core CPUs; even when they're on the same node. Core uses a high performance process, Atom one tuned for higher power efficiency. What's changed recently is that Intel's been spending a lot of money to compress the development rate for the low power process to get it launching at the same time as the high performance one. The HP process historically lead because it was higher margin; so it made sense to do all of the initial R&D on it and let the LP one follow behind after all the initial tech challenges had been worked out. Reply
  • DanNeely - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    Same GPU core as Broadwell; but at lower power levels/clocks so they probably won't perform as fast. The x7 has 16 cores in its GPU (the x5 is the one with only 12); but they run at 200-600 MHz vs Sandybridge doing 350-800+ even in the 17W variants. Reply
  • Pessimism - Tuesday, September 8, 2015 - link

    Agreed, since Intel's answer to this (libhoudini) seems to be dead and abandoned... Reply
  • Azurael - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    If they were to announce a less gaudy tablet with the same hardware inside, I'd definitely be interested. My 2013 Nexus 7 is still plenty fast enough with some tweaks but starting to disintegrate and needs a new battery. My Venue 11 Pro (which spends much of its life running Android anyway) is too big and heavy for casual use.

    But that is fugly! There's a good reason most tablets are boring black rectangles...
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    This REALLY does need to come with Windows 10! Reply

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