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Acer reveals CES 2014 smartphone and tablet launches

A sneak peek at Acer’s new wallet-friendly Liquid Z5 smartphone and shiny new Windows tablet ahead of CES 2014

We’re fully anticipating that CES 2014 will be as manic as ever, which is why we appreciate Acer easing the pain a little by revealing its new smartphone and tablet line-up ahead of time. Say hello to the Acer Liquid Z5, its latest budget five-inch mobile, and the affordable Iconia W4, a Windows 8 tablet rocking an 8.1-inch screen.

Acer reveals Liquid Z5 and Iconia W4 before CES 2014

The Acer Liquid Z5 boasts a spacious 5-inch screen, quite unusual for a budget-friendly mobile, but don’t expect that large screen to bulk up the phone, as the 8.8mm-thick frame weighs just 147g. Acer is also bigging up its ‘best-in class’ 5-megapixel camera. The camera apparently uses a wider pixel sensor than your typical value phone, for better low-light performance, as well as a special IR filter. We’ll be sure to give it a thorough going-over when we get our mitts on one.

A 1.3GHz dual-core processor will hopefully keep performance smooth, even when using Acer’s nifty new ‘AcerFloat’ multitasking tool, which allows you to run apps side-by-side for convenience. Of course, the Motorola Moto G is still the most powerful budget smartphone around with its quad-core CPU. The Liquid Z5 is also behind when it comes to storage (4GB) and OS (Android 4.2.2), with the Moto G expecting an Android KitKat upgrade this month.

Acer reveals Liquid Z5 and Iconia W4 before CES 2014

Still, the Liquid Z5 comes with some cool little features such as a kiddie and oldies-friendly mode and a single-handed mode for ease of use, and at just 169 Euros it will hopefully offer good value for your cash. It’s due to hit UK store mid-January.

If tablets are more your bag, check out the Acer Iconia W4. This Windows 8.1 device is set to take on the Toshiba Encore and Asus Transformer Book by offering the full Windows experience on a tablet, with Office Home and Student 2013 bundled at no extra cost.

Acer reveals Liquid Z5 and Iconia W4 before CES 2014

At just 415g it should certainly be comfortable to get busy on, and that 8.1-inch IPS screen (1280 x 800-pixel resolution) offers a Zero Gap prodding experience, so the desktop should appear to lie flush with the display surface. Other specs include a 1.8GHz Atom processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing lens for those all-important selfies. You can choose between 32GB and 64GB models, both expandable via a microSD memory card slot.

Expect the Acer Iconia W4 to land in the UK at the end of the month, for 299 Euros.

-Chris Barraclough

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