Acer Predator 8 review

Acer is going big on gaming at this year's IFA tech show in Berlin with its Predator range including PCs and laptops. It announced a Predator smartphone but this isn't available to play with so here's our Acer Predator 8 gaming tablet hands-on review. See also the best tablets of 2016.

We actually saw the Predator 8 for the first time earlier this year when Acer first unveiled it in New York. Back then it was a prototype so we could only look at its physical appearance. Fast forward to IFA 2015 and the Predator 8 GT-810 is full operational so here's what we make of it. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.

See alsoLenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10 hands on review.

Acer Predator 8 review: Release date and price

The new Predator 8 gaming tablet will arrive in the UK mid-October which is good considering we've been waiting a few months since first laying eyes on it.

What's more surprising is that the tablet starts at just £249 price-wise which is more budget than we expected. It's by no means a budget tablet but it's not got a premium price tag either.

Acer Predator 8 review

Acer Predator 8 review: Design and build

To fit in with the rest of Acer's Predator gaming range, the Predator 8 tablet has quite a lairy design. It's probably the most angular tablet we've ever seen and whether you like this look or not is really up to you.

There's aspects we like including the aluminium rear cover and the choice of a dark shade of red. However, the way the speakers stick out on all for corners make it a little difficult to hold – we don't think ergonomics was high on Acer's list for this one.

Acer has kept the dimensions down to a relatively thin 8.7mm and 350g so it's not like a gaming laptop where it's inevitably heavy and bulky. In fact, the Predator 8 is perfectly portable little tablet which will fit in a bag easily, although you won't really be able to get it into a pocket.

Acer Predator 8 review

There will be various accessories available for the Predator 8 including including covers, carrying cases, a stylus, travel adapter, SlimPort adapter dongle and gaming headset.

Acer Predator 8 review: Hardware and specs

As the name suggests, the Predator 8 uses an 8in screen which offers a Full HD (1920x1200) resolution. The display is good quality but at the same time it's hard to get what we could describe as excited about. It uses Zero Air Gap and IPS technology so viewing angles are good. Acer also touts its Predator ColourBlast tech from monitors on the tablet which supports 100 percent of NTSC colour gamut.

Acer Predator 8 review

Instead of going with Qualcomm, Acer has stuck with Intel which is partners with for most of its devices being a Windows partner. The Predator 8 uses the new Intel Atom x7-z8700 processor with Intel HD Graphics and we found performance to be very smooth indeed but we'll reserve full judgement for later on when we get a final sample.

To accompany the x7 is 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of internal storage. There's also a handy Micro-SD card slot for adding up to 128GB more and the Predator 8 also features 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi for, in theory, better speeds.

Apart from the slightly outrageous design, there are some hardware features especially for gaming including those four front facing speakers which we've already mentioned. We'd like to give you a verdict on them but the noisy show floor at IFA made it too difficult to judge the quality.

What we could test out is the Predator TacSense which is essentially force feedback which you'll be used to experiencing in most modern steering wheels and gaming controllers. We tried it out with Asphalt 8 and found it improved the experience a great deal – making the usual vibrations in normal tablets seem even more paltry.

Acer Predator 8 review

Acer Predator 8 review: Software

Although Acer makes a lot of Windows products, the Predator 8 tablet comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop so the gaming we're talking about here is still the mobile kind so buying one isn't going to mean you can play World of Warcraft or similarly full blown games on the train.

The firm has teamed up with Gameloft on the Predator 8 so it will come pre-loaded with Asphalt 8 and you'll also get 320,000 game credits worth around $50 to spend, too.

We like the addition of the Predator MediaMaster which allows you to switch between four presets – standard, album, movie and game - which change the sound and screen settings. You can also adjust each one (above) to your personal taste including the screen temperature and saturation.

Acer Predator 8: Specs

  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 8in Full HD screen (1920x1200)
  • Intel Atom x7 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Up to 64GB internal storage
  • Micro-SD up to 128GB
  • 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi
  • 8.7mm
  • 350g
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • 8in Full HD screen (1920x1200)
  • Intel Atom x7 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Up to 64GB internal storage
  • Micro-SD up to 128GB
  • 2x2 MIMO Wi-Fi
  • 8.7mm
  • 350g

OUR VERDICT

The Acer Predator 8 is an interesting device since we've not really seen a gaming tablet like it. It's also a lot cheaper than rivals such as a Nvidia Shield. We're not sure about having four speakers due to the noisy show floor but we do really like the force feedback on offer. Just remember that it's still mobile gaming since the device runs Android. Stay tuned for a full review.

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