According to a recent report out of Taiwan, PC giant Acer has started mass production of its Predator 8 gaming tablet. The 8-inch device will launch in the 3rd or 4th quarter of this year, say the sources of DigiTimes.
The Acer Predator 8 gaming tablet was one of a number of Predator products announced at its next@acer event in New York in April. The tablet was first seen in the flesh, enclosed in a glass case, at Computex where we were told it would launch in September – DigiTimes sources seem to agree with this schedule.
We only have a smattering of details of the Acer Predator 8. Perhaps most importantly, the processing power is said to be provided the Intel Atom Z8700 (Cherry Trail) quad-core processor. This 14nm processor has significant energy efficiency advantages compared to its Bay Trail predecessor. Importantly for gamers, the onboard Intel Gen8 architecture graphics can perform about twice as fast as the HD Graphics in Bay Trail SoCs. Interestingly the Intel Atom Z8700 is the processor Microsoft uses in its Surface 3 hybrid tablet. To provide high-impact sound the Predator 8 has four front facing speakers, as you can see on its corners in the picture above. Unfortunately we don't have any details about other key specs, like the screen or battery life.
Acer's Predator 8 won't run Windows, the OS installed is said to be Android. It isn't expected to rack up huge sales numbers either, according to DigiTimes, but will be made to enhance and fill out the company's Predator range. As an Android gaming tablet Acer will face direct competition from the Nvidia SHIELD with its exclusive games, PC/GRID streaming and accessories. Demonstrating that tech markets usually present a moving target - Nvidia will probably launch an updated SHIELD tablet, based around the Tegra X1 processor, before 2015 is over.