Acer Iconia A1 review

Budget Android tablet looks solid but unexceptional

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With the number of Android-based seven- or eight-inch tablets rising steadily, the Iconia A1 is starting to look a little lost in the tide, despite looking on paper to be a decent family tablet.

In that scenario, maybe its dual cameras and panoramic mode will help the Acer Iconia A1 appeal to anyone looking for an all-round good value tablet for kids.

We liked

Despite its drab design, the Acer Iconia A1 is a very solidly made tablet that we'd be happy to throw around a house for a few years at least. The Touch WakeUp app proves useful in removing a layer of often pointless security, while we love the microSD card slot and HDMI out ports - both of which being features that iPad mini 2 owners miss out on.

Few tablets of this price have dual cameras, while we're also fans of Acer's move towards using a micro USB connector to recharge the tablet, rather than using its own proprietary chargers. Mostly, however, we like the Acer Iconia A1's battery life, its speedy browsing and a touchscreen that's just good enough for the job - and all at a price of just £160.

We disliked

With Apple improving the iPad mini display, as well as Google and Amazon also pushing hard in this area, the Acer simply can't keep up.

Looking to beat its rivals on price above all else, Acer hasn't allowed itself to get to carried away with hardware generally. The use of grey plastic around its rim isn't fooling us, though it's the white plastic reverse that compares especially badly to an iPad mini - it's more comparable to the cheaper Hudl.

An auto brightness sensor is needed, too. And though we liked Touch WakeUp, we do wish it was possible to customise which app is fired up from here - perhaps Gmail, books or a browser would be more useful to most people.

Final verdict

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This isn't the ultimate tablet for any specific purpose, but for those after something highly portable, well made and with a long battery life, the Acer Iconia A1 could just be it.

The Acer Iconia A1's screen is fine for browsing and gaming. Its 4:3 aspect ratio makes it better for browsing and general productivity than, say, the smaller Google Nexus 7 or Tesco Hudl, though the quality of its screen can't rival the ones on either of those, or (especially not) on the far pricer Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0. It is, however, superior to the good value Archos 80 Titanium.

A few months ago this was an acceptable tablet, and it's still a good-quality alternative to the iPad mini 2 if you're wedded to the 4:3 screen ratio - but otherwise there are many better options for less money, and even more for only a few pounds more.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerMediaTek
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Maximum Battery Run Time9.50 Hour
Finger Print ReaderNo
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyICONIA A1-810
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelMT8125T
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Screen Size20.1 cm (7.9")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1024 x 768
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)410 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height11.1 mm
Width145.7 mm
Depth208.7 mm
Screen ModeXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesA1-810
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelA1-810-81251G01nw
Product NameICONIA A1-810-81251G01nw Tablet
Product LineICONIA
Aspect Ratio4:3
Manufacturer Part NumberNT.L1CEE.003
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Everything within reach

The Iconia A Series delivers ultra mobility with no-compromise performance for your daily adventures. These tablets run fast and smooth, pairing the tablet-tailored Android™ operating system with potent processors. Plus, you can choose your kind of tablet experience: essential work and fun, extended battery life, or premium.

Package Contents
  • ICONIA A1-810-81251G01nw Tablet
  • AC Adapter