Think of the Acer Iconia A1-830 as a low-cost iPad mini for Android fans. Like Apple’s small tablet, this device sports a 7.9-inch display and an aluminum backside that gives it a premium look for just $179. Acer also promises 7.5 hours of battery life, but don’t expect premium specs at this price.
The A1-830 runs Android Jelly Bean (4.2.2) using a 1.6-GHz Z2560 Clover Trail processor (as opposed to the newer Bay Trail chip) and 1GB of RAM. Still, Acer says to expect fluid performance.
We like that the 7.9-inch screen uses IPS technology, which should allow for wide viewing angles, but the 1024 x 768-pixel resolution is on the low side compared to the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX (both 1920 x 1200). However, the Iconia A1-830 has the same resolution as the original iPad mini.
Weighing .84 pounds and measuring .32 inches thick, the A1-830 isn’t quite as slim and trim as the cheaper iPad mini (.68 pounds, .28 inches) but it is fairly sleek looking for the price. The narrow bezels should make the tablet easy to hold in one hand.
Other features of the Iconia A1-830 include dual speakers, microSD Card expansion and front (720p) and rear (1080p) cameras. Acer will make two accessories available, a Crunch Keyboard (a Bluetooth keyboard that doubles as a stand and case) and a Crunch Cover made of microfiber.
We’ll be going hands-on with the Iconia A1 at CES 2014, so stay tuned for our impressions.