Acer used IFA 2015 to launch an entire product line intended for gamers: Predator, and among other Predator products, an 8-inch, Android and Intel, Full HD tablet, the Predator 8. This is a direct rival to the Nvidia Shield tablet, which is also targeted at gamers, and it seems that Acer has designed a device with a PC gamer aesthetic.
To that end, the tablet features an aluminum body with a particular look that can almost be defined as aggressive, which is usual for a gaming product. It’s also characterized by four speakers located in the four edges of the front surface, covered in red perforations. The tablet has somewhat more elegant dimensions and is lighter than the Nvidia Shield, but is still rather massive for an 8-inch tablet, weighing .77 pounds and measuring .34 inches thick.
This design either makes the Predator 8 especially impressive or off-putting, depending on whether the user appreciates gaming’s aggressive bent. But even considering its relative thickness, it’s ergonomic and has a quality build. One thing is clear, it will turn heads.
Predator 8’s Full HD display is its strongest selling point. Its 283 pixel-per-inch density is perfectly solid for playing games on Android, and it provides a very good experience through its exceptional color saturation and powerful brightness. Of course, such colors are not pleasant for regular tablet usage, and the Predator 8 has an application that reduces them to a reasonable level of saturation.
It was not easy to realistically assess the four speakers at IFA, but they provided a loud sound despite the noisy ambience. A type of force feedback also helped us get a good feel for gaming. It’s called TacSence, but in testing Asphalt 8, which comes with this device, along with about $50 worth of gaming credits, it seemed more like regular vibration without any situational differences. We’ll have to test it further before passing judgement.
In terms of internals, the Acer Predator 8 has an Intel Atom X7 processor, which seems underwhelming compared to the Nvidia Shield’s Tegra K1 processor. With Intel’s eighth-generation HD graphic chip, 2GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of internal storage, the games we tested on the Predator 8 at IFA ran without any problems or disruptions to the gaming experience. However, they were slightly slow to set up.
Software-wise, Acer Predator 8 is equipped with almost pure version of Android OS 5.1, with slight modifications from Acer, which boil down to arranging widgets across the home screen and the design of the notifications drawer. The home screen can be used in both landscape and portrait mode.
If not for the performance, the Acer Predator 8 should lure gamers with its price: $300 for the 32GB version. It will launch in Europe in October, while sales in the US will start on November 6th.