Acer’s Iconia A1 is an affordable Android tablet that doesn’t skimp on the specs, giving you plenty of power for not much moolah. We tested it out after the Acer launch and here’s what we thought.
Our first impression upon picking up the Iconia A1 was “wow, that’s light”. At around 400g it’s comparable in weight to the iPad Mini and other compact tablets, while the 7.9-inch screen also matches the iPad Mini. The Iconia A1 is a little chunkier than Apple’s miniature tab, but you shouldn’t have any trouble slipping it inside a bag.
The black border contrasts nicely with the all-white rear, with a glossy sheen throughout. We found that the left edge creaked a little when squeezed, but as this was a well-abused demo unit and not the 100% finished article, we’ll reserve judgement on build quality until we check out the final review unit.
On the edge you get a MicroSD memory card slot for boosting the 8GB or 16GB of storage space, as well as a Mini HDMI port for hooking up to a TV – two great additions considering the 169 Euro price-point. That’s how much the Wi-Fi model costs, or you can upgrade to the 3G model for 219 Euros.
A quad-core processor provides fantastic performance, similar to the Nexus 7 tablet by Asus. We tried a handful of games including Temple Run 2, and not only did they play well, they also looked bright, sharp and colourful on the 1024 x 768 IPS display. It's just as easy on the eye as similar screens on other affordable tablets, such as the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7 by Asus.
We had a quick play around with the Iconia A1's two cameras also, a capable front-facing lens that can be used for video chats and snapping profile pics, and also a rear-facing five megapixel camera. In the well-lit demo studio, our photos seemed to come out well, if a little dark at times. We're still not fans of taking photos on tablets, but at least these seven-inchers make it less arm-aching to snap your surroundings.
For the sub-£200 asking price, Acer’s Iconia A1 looks to be a bargain for tablet hunters and a formidable competitor for the likes of Asus, Amazon and Google.