Acer Iconia A1 preview reveals budget competitor to the iPad mini

April 30, 2013
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Acer

So you’re looking for a tablet, you say? But you find a Nexus 7 to be too small and a Nexus 10 to be large? Looking for a device in the middle? Except, there aren’t many choices in this segment of the tablet market, with the iPad mini and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 the first tablets that come to mind. However, these devices are still out of the price range of many people.

Enter Acer, the prominent PC vendor has been making a name for itself, releasing cheap, yet still very capable Android tablets to the market. The company will apparently soon release the recently rumored Acer Iconia A1, a 7.9 inch-iPad mini competitor, with a rumored price that’s sure to woo some people.

The Iconia A1 is said to come with a 7.9-inch IPS display, a quad-core chip and costs half of what the iPad mini does. Oh, and did we mention it’s running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean?

index-acer-iconia-a1

According to a first hands-on preview of the device, the Iconia A1 has a few software tricks up its sleeves as well. Acer has fitted the tablet with an application it has dubbed “Acer Life Image,” a mashup of Story Album and Zoe, found on the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, respectively. It allows you create a blog of photo albums and to search through keywords or event names, as well as share photos and the ability to edit your photos.

Another addition, is “Acer Touch WakeApp,” allowing you to wake the device by tapping the screen, or by placing two thumbs on the screen, or by placing five fingers simultaneously on the display.

This one is a similar to a feature found in the Nokia N9 a few years back, but what is different here is the ability to configure these gesture to open a specific application. For example, by placing two thumbs on the screen, you can open a note taking application, while five fingers down opens the camera app.

Here’s the full specifications list, according to Tablet.bg:

  • Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Processor: MediaTek MT8125 (quad-core, 1.20GHz, Cortex-A9)
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Internal storage: 8GB/16GB versions (11.8GB free to the user in the latter)
  • Graphics: PowerVR SGX
  • Display: 7.9-inch 1024 х 768 pixel, capacitive IPS
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Cameras: 5-megapixel auto-focus rear camera, recording 1080p video and a VGA front camera
  • Sensors, other connectivity: GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, 3.5mm jack, MicroSD card slot, Micro USB 2.0
  • Battery: 3250 mAh battery
  • Thickness: 11.10 mm
  • Weight: 460 grams

The Iconia A1 doesn’t seem to be the slimmest tablet at 11.1mm thick, nor is it the lightest, but with a capable processor, a MicroSD slot, both front and back facing cameras, a decent enough screen, it sure looks like a good deal. The price is said to be listed at 169 euros, meaning it should be under $200 in the U.S. Possibly the only thing that gives me pause, is its rather small 3250mAh battery, which may be of a concern.

If you’re looking for a capable 8-inch tablet, with a decent set of specifications and a sweet price, the Acer Iconia A1 should definitely be on your radar, once it becomes official.

Is the Acer Iconia A1, what you’ve been looking for in a tablet? Are other budget tablets like the Nexus 7 the better choice?

Comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/conjurenation Chris Aguilar

    Small battery and lousy screen resolution are a deal breaker here. Especially with an update to the Nexus 7 on the horizon.

  • kascollet

    3250 mAh and 460g… WTF ?

    • Simon Belmont

      Yeah. I can’t see that thing last more than 3-4 hours max with Wi-Fi on and web browsing.

      I do applaud the fact that it has a GPS in it, though. A lot of low-end tablets omit that.

  • Leslie Johnson

    if its not a nexus 7 or kindle fire hd it cannot compete with the iPad mini

  • Simon Belmont

    Ha. 3250 mAh, which is 1000 mAh less than the Nexus 7 (even my B&N Nook Color’s battery is 4000 mAh).

    460 grams is over 1 pound. Pretty crazy for such a small battery and screen size.

  • Magnetic1

    Based on Antutu scores mediatek seems like needing to catch up to the Snapdragons 600/800 and Tegra 4s and the octas. With that said this is suppose to be a budget tablet.