This may well be a turning point for Windows 8: affordable 8 inch full Windows tablets. Not RT but regular Windows 8, so you can use your Windows 7 programs in addition to Metro apps. The Acer Iconia W3 is the first 8 inch tablet to hit the market, and the price starts at $379, undercutting the $399 Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 but coming in higher than the iPad mini. That $379 gets you an 8.1" tablet with a 1280 x 800 touch screen, 1.5GHz dual core Intel Atom Z2760 CPU, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 gigs of flash storage. That's really not enough storage for Windows if you intend to install many programs, so I'd suggest the $429 model with 64 gigs of storage.
Like an Android tablet, the Iconia W3 has micro everything: microSD card slot, a micro HDMI port and micro USB host port (micro to standard USB dongle adapter only included with some models). There's a 3.5mm combo audio jack, charging port that works with the included wall wart charger, dual 2MP cameras and an ample 6800 mAh battery.
The Acer W3 has the same footprint as competing Apple and Android 8" tablets, but it's a bit thicker at 0.40" and heavier at 1.1 lbs. (the Note 8.0 weighs .75 lbs.). Since it's Atom, there's no need for a cooling fan and it offers runtimes that are competitive with Android tablets. Nice. The downside is the Atom isn't a brilliant CPU. It can handle MS Office just fine, and in fact MS Office Home and Student Edition 2013 is bundled at no charge. You could do light photo editing using Photoshop and web, email and social networking are fine. But with 2 gigs of RAM, you'll want to keep programs down to 3 at a time, lest the tablet lag. Software installation and Windows Update installations are markedly slower than Intel Core laptops and Ultrabooks.
Acer sells an optional $70 Bluetooth keyboard that acts as a stand and carrying case for the tablet. No, it's not a folio case like that included with the Acer Aspire P3, it's a roomy plastic keyboard with a slot for the tablet on each side. Up top, there's a slot to hold the tablet upright when typing and the underside has a latch so you can carry the tablet with its display safely nestled against the keyboard's underside. It's an unusual design and it works well.