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One of the first of its kind, the Acer Predator 8 is essentially one of the world firsts in terms of tablets built for gaming. Sporting a unique shape, build and gaming centric capabilities, we take a look at Acer’s gaming tablet.

Design and build

As far as the design and build goes, the Predator 8 isn’t your bog standard tablet. Coming in at about 8 inches in size, the tablet has a rather unique shape; with four front facing speakers (called the Predator Quadio) with one situated at each corner of the tablet.

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The tablet is surprisingly light considering how chunky it looks and how solid it feels; weighing in at a paltry 350g with the battery in.

The sides are also shaped in a way that you have a decent place to grip without your hands getting in the way of said speakers if you want to play games in horizontal mode.

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The rear of the device is home to a brushed metal plate with the Predator logo on it, and is the only bit of the tablet that is made of solid metal. The rest of the Predator 8 is made of a combination of plastic and rubber that only simulates that metal finish but still looks good regardless. Due to its unique shape you probably won’t find many 3rd party cases for it unfortunately, but a few do exist.

Also, we feel we need to mention that this is the first (compact) gaming tablet that has a form of haptic feedback called the Predator TacSense.

So depending on the games you are playing it might vibrate to your actions, even the startup screen has the tablet buzzing to the logo. We do notice that the tactile feedback doesn’t apply to all games though, only those which have been tweaked to have the feature in the first place.

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Camera

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The cameras unfortunately aren’t much to scream about. Here you will only be getting a 2 megapixel front and 5 megapixel rear camera combo so don’t expect too much from it.

PredatorTab0014Its still handy to have around in a pinch, but we rarely used it when we had phones with much higher powered snappers. Maybe its still good for the odd video call? we’re not sure.

Also, due to its positioning we were constantly smudging up the lens with our fingers.

Specs and performance

Under the hood you will find an Intel Atom x7-Z8700 Quad-Core processor that runs at a good 2.4GHz mated to 2GB RAM. It also gets 32GB of onboard storage that’s expandable to 128GB via a microSD slot. As for the display, you are getting an 8 inch Full HD display IPS with a 1920 x 1200 resolution. Powering all this is a large 4,550mAh battery being run by Android 5.1.

The screen isn’t bad either, as its pretty bright and vibrant if not a bit on the glossy side.

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Also, bear in mind that this is a tablet so you won’t be getting much in the way of 3G/4G connectivity, but you still have the usual WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS connectivity.

The audio is surprisingly loud but not as strong as we expected it to be, what with four front facing speakers. So far we find that its quite good for music and movies, especially since its facing forwards so you get more audio unhindered by the speaker placement.

In terms of performance, we took it for a spin a few times on Asphalt 8 sand we have to say it doesn’t lag at all. It also has some pretty gorgeous graphics for something on a tablet so we’re pretty impressed. The feedback is awesome too, it will vibrate when you graze against something, like when you are using a Playstation controller.

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But it does heat up a little bit after a few matches so we recommend taking a break inbetween. It really doesn’t seem to be built for long term play, but most devices will heat up if you’ve been on it for too long.

Battery life

As far as Acer is concerned, they claim that the tablet’s battery can run for a good 7.5 hours on video playback. We put it through the paces with some web browsing, games and video streaming and found that it had dropped to about 60% after around three hours.

So far we’ve been alternating between using it and idling for the last 12 hours and it still is at about 38% battery life. It probably would run out a lot faster if you were constantly gaming or watching videos but we say the battery life isn’t bad.

Verdict

Everything considered it is a bit expensive for a tablet (given its RM 1,499 pricetag) and there aren’t all that many games on mobile which will make full use of the tablet’s capabilities. Its still great as a tablet in general but it won’t take the place of a dedicated portable console like the PSVita or Nintendo 3DS.

The tablet isn’t without perks though, as it comes with 320,000 credits for you to spend on your game, which totals to about $50 (about RM 220), so you can splurge on some new cars from the get-go.

But if you wanted a seriously cool looking tablet that actually has four speakers, then its worth considering if you have extra cash to splash.

For more shots on the Acer Predator 8, check out the gallery below!

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Performance
Bang for Buck
Battery Life
Cool Factor
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Occasional writer, gamer, artypants and owner of about seven+ years of craft related battle scars, she lives only half anchored in reality while still trying to figure out how anti-gravity anime hair works.