Acer Iconia One 7 review

A well known contender re-enters the double-digit tablet market

Acer Iconia One 7 review

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The budget corner of the Android tablet market is swelling significantly, and the arrival of more well-known brands like Acer at the party should push up quality and value overall.

While better screens, faster processors and greater storage capacity are all starting to trickle their way into tablets like the Acer Iconia One 7, you should still peg back your expectations when comparing tablets such as this to pricier models like the Apple iPad Mini 3 or the surprising Dell Venue 8 7000.

The asking price of £99 ($146 USD, AU$190) makes the Iconia One 7 very tempting for occasional users or those looking for a tablet for kids, but the number of disappointments – from the build quality, to the terrible camera and huge amount of pre-installed apps – rather tainted my experience.

We liked

The Acer Iconia One 7 is a speedy little device when running day-to-day apps and flicking between windows and menus. Intel's Atom processor clearly has enough grunt to munch through all but the most demanding games.

The operating system hasn't been unjustifiably messed with, and while Acer has gone hugely over the top with pre-installed apps, at least there's plenty to get you started. Fortunately if you do start to run out of space, there's an easily accessible microSD card slot on hand.

The screen is bright, with reasonable colour reproduction, and the addition of Intel's 'Smart Video' mode makes the most of lower quality video.

We disliked

The build quality is a real let-down. The Iconia One 7 flexes and creaks, and I was shocked to see how easily I could pull the back off the tablet. All I could think of was that if left alone with a young child, putting a large lithium battery within reach presents a real hazard to curious fingers.

The camera is absolutely abysmal. I almost wish Acer hadn't bothered with the rear camera at all in favour of a HD front-facing camera that would make video-calling and the ever-popular selfie more viable. As it stands, the One 7 simply cannot be recommended on its photographic merits.

The stereo speakers are tinny and not particularly loud, and while the screen isn't awful, only 800 vertical pixels feels a bit stingy when compared to some tablets that cost only a little more.

Final verdict

If you're in the market for a budget tablet you can share with children, I'm sorry to say it, but Acer has missed the mark with the Iconia One 7. Yes, the processor is speedy, but almost everything else I can think to say about the tablet is no better than average.

The Tesco Hudl 2 may have an equally poor camera, but with a better and bigger screen, it's still the tablet of choice at this end of the market.

While Acer has a reputation for providing cheap and cheerful electronics, they usually feel like they'll last significantly longer than the One 7 seems likely to.

I can only really recommend it for those looking something cheap to tide them over until they can afford a better tablet, or for those on a very strict budget – and even then, there are still better options around.