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Acer Iconia One 7 hands-on review

We check out Acer's dirt cheap Google Nexus 7 competitor
Fri May 02 2014, 15:52

NEW YORK: ACER ANNOUNCED the Iconia One 7 on Wednesday, a colourful 7in tablet that is the firm's latest entry in the budget Android tablet market.

With a starting price of €139, the Iconia One 7 is unlikely to lure buyers away from the iPad Mini, but Acer said it's not going after the big name firms, and is instead looking to dominate the affordable tablet market.

Design
With the tablet arriving crafted almost entirely from plastic, the Acer Iconia One 7 is unlikely to win any design awards. However, with the tablet set to go on sale in 10 colours when Acer launches it next month, it might win over those who want a unique budget tablet.

Acer Iconia One 7 tablet in blue

We got our hands on the blue model, which like the others, features a quirky, textured rear casing. The rubberised plastic does feel a bit cheap in the hand, but its texture makes the Iconia One 7 comfortable to hold and suggests it likely can withstand a few knocks and tumbles.

The tablet is nice and light, too. At 8.95mm thick and 330g it's not the skinniest or lightest on the market, but it's comfortable to use.

Screen
The Acer Iconia One 7 features a 7in 1280x800 IPS display, which is a reasonable screen for a tablet this size. Of course, with it lacking a full HD resolution, it's not the sharpest display we've used, but we didn't notice too much fuzziness or lack of colour. However, we did find viewing angles somewhat lacking, and it seemed to struggle somewhat under the harsh lights of the New York showroom floor.

Performance and software
Under the bonnet, the Acer Iconia One 7 touts a dual-core Intel Atom chip. While it's not a high-end processor, we noticed no lag while using the tablet, although it is noticeably slower than more expensive models.

acer-iconia-one-7

Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the tablet is the fact that it arrives running Google's ageing Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean mobile operating system out of the box, although Acer assured us that users will be able to update to Android 4.4 Kitkat following the Iconia One 7's release next month. This means that some might opt for the Iconia Tab 7, which arrives running the latest version of Android, despite costing just €10 more.

This means that the tablet, despite launching just this week, does feel somewhat dated, lacking some of the latest Google features. Acer's custom user interface feels a little lacking too. While it's not over-complicated like Samsung's Touchwiz user interface, we found it added little to the Google experience, with Acer loading the tablet full of apps that likely won't get a second look.

Beyond that, the Acer Iconia One 7 will be available in both 16GB and 32GB models at launch, and it comes with basic 2MP and 0.3MP cameras, which aren't likely to get anybody too excited.

First impressions
With it's colourful design, it's hard not to like the Iconia One 7. However, with its low-end specifications, such as its non-HD screen and ageing Android release, we think it's going to struggle to compete. Although it will launch as one of the cheapest tablets available, we'd probably advise spending a little more and getting a Google Nexus 7, instead.

Check back soon for our full Acer Iconia One 7 review. µ

 

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