Android tablets have generally flattered to deceive when compared to Apple's iPad juggernaut, but the 7in Google Nexus 7 proved it was possible to produce a desirable device at a competitive price. Acer is aiming to do exactly that with the Iconia A1-810, a low-cost, 7.9in Android tablet.
The Iconia A1-810's size immediately makes it a direct competitor to Apple's iPad mini. It has the same sized 7.9in LED-backlit IPS screen with an identical 1024x768 display resolution, so it's easy to make the comparison.
The key feature of the Iconia A1-810 is clearly its $249 asking price. It's significantly cheaper than the equivalent model iPad mini ($369), but is both heavier (410g) and thicker (11.5mm). The thickness shouldn't be a significant issue but an extra 100g of weight may be a dealbreaker for some.
Besides its price, there's nothing else about the Acer Iconia A1-810 that really stands out. It has reasonable specifications including a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot means users can expand the memory if they wish, something you can't do on any iPad. There's also a micro HDMI port that allows users to connect the A1-810 to a high definition TV.
Other features of the Iconia A1-810 include a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera that captures full HD 1080p video at 30fps, and a front facing VGA camera to handle video calls. The A1-810 is a Wi-Fi only tablet and although 3G and 4G models are available in overseas markets, Acer will not sell them in Australia at this stage.
The Iconia A1-810 runs a fairly standard looking 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android operating system. However, one feature that might prove to be useful is Acer's 'Touch WakeApp' feature. Pressing five fingers onto the screen unlocks the screen and opens an app of your choice, and tapping both thumbs on the screen will again unlock it and launch another app of your choice.
Acer claims the Iconia A1-810 has a "minimum seven hour battery life", though it lists up to 8.95 hours for streaming video on YouTube and up to 9.56 hours when watching a video from the 16GB of internal memory. The 4960mAh battery isn't removable.
The Acer A1-810 is available now for $249 through Acer's online store and through selected Australian retailers