Acer has just unveiled a new 7.9" Android tablet, confirming the rumors that have been circulating the past few days.
If the Iconia A1's performance lives up to the specs then this is a seriously capable tablet. It's running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU. It ships with 1GB RAM, 8GB/16GB Flash storage, a microSD card slot, and a PowerVR SGX graphics chip.
Unlike the Nexus 7, the new Iconia A1 has both front and rear cameras (5MP and VGA resolution). This tablet is also equipped with Wifi/Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer, and a gyroscope.
But the news isn't all good.
Acer had to cut corners somewhere and they chose to use a cheaper screen. The Iconia A1 has a 7.9" IPS panel in the screen but it's an older and lower resolution screen. The screen resolution is only 1024x768. While that is thesame screen resolution as on the current iPad Mini, it is absolutely anemic compared to the screen on the Nook HD, KFHD, or the Nexus 7.
The screen resolution might only matter to a specs geek but I know it will turn some away. I for one can't tell you why it would matter. I have an 8" tablet sitting on my desk at the moment that has a similar screen resolution. It's quite usable, and it is one of the tradeoffs that comes with a lower price tag.
The Iconia A1 has a 3.25Ah battery which is expected to offer 7 hours of battery life on a single charge. The weight is listed at 460 grams. There's no info yet on the ship date but according to the press release the MSRP is $199, with some press reports saying that this tablet will be sold for $169.
The lower resolution screen and the weaker battery make the Iconia A1 merely an alternative to the year old Nexus 7 and not actually superior. That might be a good reason to pass on this tablet. There will be better options on the market in the next 2 to 3 months. The next Nexus 7, for example, should be more powerful than the current model and is rumored to cost $200.
- Operating System: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
- Processor: MediaTek MT8125 (4-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 ? 768 pixel, capacitive IPS
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11a/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