The tablet's use of Windows 8 also syncs with comments made by Acer last week, when its president, Jim Wong, said Microsoft's operating system "has some chances" even as he downplayed Windows RT.
Its 32GB of storage space, however, may be a problem with Windows 8, since the operating system, bundled software and recovery partition will likely occupy most of that space. Microsoft's own Surface Pro, for example, which comes with 64GB of storage in its entry-level model, has an estimated 30GB available for user content.
It's unclear what Microsoft and Acer would discard to free up room for user content on the 8.1-inch Iconia, although the simplest solution would be to omit the operating system recovery partition.
The Iconia's single USB port, however, could be used to store music, photographs and documents on a flash drive. Amazon's specifications list did not note a MicroSD card slot.
Even with smaller tablets like the Iconia running Windows 8, Microsoft has its work cut out for it this year, analysts have said, noting that the company is caught between the bargain basement prices of Android tablets -- which accounted for 57 percent of first-quarter shipments by IDC's estimate -- and the premium pricing of Apple's iPads, which grabbed a 40 percent share.
Microsoft has made some headway, however, with Windows tablet shipments accounting for between 3 percent (by IDC's projection) and 7 percent (according to U.K.-based Strategic Analytics) for the first quarter. A year before, Microsoft had essentially zero share of the tablet market.
Acer is not betting exclusively on Windows 8: On Friday, the Taiwanese OEM introduced the Iconia A1, a 7.9-inch Android tablet with a list price of $169.
This article, Amazon leaks evidence of first smaller, cheaper Windows 8 tablet, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is email@example.com.
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