There are interesting reports going around that Acer is working on an 8-inch Windows 8 tablet called the Iconia W3.

So far, we’ve seen nothing smaller than 10-inch but reports are that Acer will be amongst the first to churn out an 8-inch model.

However, French site MiniMachines.net that somehow managed to nab first pictures of the unit is claiming Acer has now asked the site to remove the pictures of the Iconia W3, although at time of publishing they were still available on liliputing, SlashGear and a number of other sites. It may well be the horse has bolted for Acer on this one.

The Iconia W3 is rumoured to appear sometime in third-quarter 2013 – certainly the pics doing the rounds look like finished product – and be powered by Intel’s CloverTrail-class Atom processor and 2GB of RAM.

From the pics so far available, the tablet comes with an iPad-like cover but also a full-size keyboard dock, making it a useable computer on the go.

Sales of Windows 8 have been sluggish with market analysts IDC going so far as to Microsoft’s latest operating system has contributed significantly to the global PC market slowdown, which hit 14% in the first-quarter of 2013.

“At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays. “While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market.”

At this stage, there are no details on storage, ports, or screen resolution but we suspect at that screen size, the Iconia W3 will have either 1280×800 or 1280×720-pixels as a reasonably safe bet, particularly if its to be powered by Intel’s dual-core Atom processor.

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