Acer Iconia A1-810 Android tablet

The Acer Iconia A1-810 is a low-cost, 7.9in Android tablet that offers good value for money

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Acer Iconia A1-810
  • Acer Iconia A1-810
  • Acer Iconia A1-810
  • Acer Iconia A1-810
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.50 / 5 (of 1 Review)

Pros

  • Reasonable performance
  • Good value for money
  • microSD card slot

Cons

  • Below average screen
  • Thick design
  • No 3G or 4G model in Australia

Bottom Line

The Acer Iconia A1-810 is a low-cost, 7.9in Android tablet that shares many similarities to the Apple iPad mini. There's a few compromises including a below average screen and a thick design, but the Iconia A1 performs reasonably well overall and provides good value for money.

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Google's Nexus 7 proved it was possible to produce a desirable Android tablet at a competitive price. Acer is aiming to do exactly that with the Iconia A1-810, a low-cost, 7.9in Android tablet that shares many similarities to the Apple iPad mini. There's a few compromises including a below average screen and a thick design, but the Iconia A1 performs reasonably well overall and provides good value for money.

A compact but thick tablet

The Iconia A1-810 is thicker and heavier than the iPad mini.

The Acer Iconia A1-810 will immediately be classified as a direct competitor to Apple's iPad mini because it has the same sized 7.9in screen. However, Acer's design is less appealing. The Iconia A1-810 is both thicker and heavier than the iPad mini and it's also larger in size, too. The difference comes down to the bezel surrounding the display which is significantly wider than the mini.

This thicker bezel makes for a wider and taller tablet overall and means the Iconia A1-810 isn't as comfortable to hold and use single-handedly as many competitors. The extra weight (410g) also contributes negatively here, so the A1 isn't always comfortable to hold.

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The matte finish on the back isn't slippery and is easy to grip.

There are plenty of positive aspects of the Iconia A1-810's design, however. A right-mounted microSD card slot means users can expand the internal memory if they wish, something you can't do on any iPad. There's also a micro HDMI port on the same side that allows users to connect the A1-810 to a high definition TV. The ability to do so without the need for an extra adapter is always a plus.

Build quality is reasonable. The A1-810 is constructed almost entirely from plastic but the white, matte finish on the back isn't slippery to hold and is therefore easy to grip. The slightly curved edges are also a plus and don't dig into your palms. The top-mounted power/lock button and the volume rocker on the right side are also well positioned and provide good tactility. A standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port for charging are located at the bottom, oddly positioned towards the right side.

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The Acer Iconia A1-810's screen is an LED-backlit IPS panel with a resolution of 1024x768, the same as the iPad mini. Although the display does a reasonable job for most tasks, the quality of the screen is less than stellar. Colours appear dull, viewing angles are mediocre, and the screen is almost unusable in direct sunlight.

These issues are magnified by the fact that there's also no ambient light sensor, so there's no automatic brightness option available. Even when set to the maximum brightness level, the Iconia A1-810's display isn't as bright as most alternatives we've reviewed.

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A largely vanilla Android experience

The look and feel is very similar to using a Nexus 7.

One of the best features of the Acer Iconia A1-810 is the fact that it runs a fairly standard looking 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android operating system. Acer has made a few slight changes to the interface but the look and feel is very similar to using a Nexus 7.

There's five home screens for widgets and app shortcuts, the standard app drawer and the traditional Android notifications pull down. Swiping down from the top right of the screen opens Android's handy toggles which include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, Airplane mode, brightness, screen timeout and auto rotate, along with a direct shortcut to the settings menu.

The look and feel of the Iconia A1-810's software is very similar to the Google Nexus 7.
The look and feel of the Iconia A1-810's software is very similar to the Google Nexus 7.

The five-finger gesture is a little awkward but we made regular use of the two-thumb gesture.

One function that you won't find on the stock version of Android is Acer's 'Touch WakeApp' feature. Pressing five fingers onto the screen when it is off 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. The five-finger gesture is a little awkward but we made regular use of the two-thumb gesture. It can be set to open to the home screen or any app, though it will only work in portrait orientation and it does take a second or two to register which can be annoying.

The Acer Iconia A1-810 comes with some extra apps over what Google provides by default. These include Astro File Manager, the AcerCloud storage app, Zinio and Acer's Life Image, a photo journal app. WildTangent Games is also worth a look if you plan to regularly play games. However, other pre-loaded apps such as 7digital, Accuweather and McAfee Security add little to the overall package and should be quickly uninstalled.

Acer's 'Touch WakeApp' feature is a handy inclusion.
Acer's 'Touch WakeApp' feature is a handy inclusion.

Performance on the Iconia A1-810 is acceptable but not outstanding. The 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM is good enough for most basic tasks, but some graphically intense games, like Shadowgun and Dead Trigger, do struggle occasionally with frame rate lag and loading times. These games are definitely playable, provided you don't expect super fast performance.

Poor cameras, decent battery life

Both cameras are ordinary, particularly the rear snapper.

The Acer Iconia A1-810 has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera that captures full HD 1080p video at 30fps, and a front facing VGA camera that handles video calls. Both cameras are ordinary, particularly the rear snapper. It captures photos that suffer from high levels of image noise, poor colour reproduction and a general lack of fine detail. It's also a fixed focus lens, so macro shots aren't possible.

The Acer is a Wi-Fi only tablet and although 3G and 4G models are available in overseas markets, Acer will not sell them in Australia. The model sold in Australia has 16GB of internal memory.

A photo we captured with the Iconia A1-810. (click to enlarge)
A photo we captured with the Iconia A1-810. (click to enlarge)

The built-in speaker produces very poor quality sound.

The Iconia A1-810's built-in speaker may be well positioned but it produces very poor quality sound. The speaker sits on the back of the tablet, so the sound is muffled when the device is sitting on a desk or table. Even when not covered, the volume is low at its highest setting, sound distorts at high levels and there's a clear lack of bass.

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. We found the 4960mAh battery performed a little less than advertised. We managed around seven and a half hours of regular use, which is almost two hours less than we achieved on the iPad mini.

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The Acer A1-810 is available now for $249 through Acer's online store and through selected Australian retailers.

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Jon Hamilton

1

I'd opt for the new Novo 8 Discovery tablet that launched earlier this month for $159 at a site called T ab l e t S p r i n t-- the Novo 8 Discovery compares to the 8-inch mini iPad and offers fast Quad core performance and Bluetooth connection...the 8" size is almost as compact as a 7" tablet but offers 65% more screen space to play with, which makes quite a difference in user experience. It also offers MicroSD storage, 16GB Memory, HDMI, a front webcam & 2 Megapixel rear camera, a 5000 mAh battery with 8+ hours average use, and Google Play preinstalled with access to over 400,000 Apps and the Amazon App & book store is easy to install-- overall, a fairly impressive deal -- T ab l e t S p r i n t also features $25 in free Bonus Apps that include an MS Office suite and several premium 3D Games, including the popular Shadowgun -- this site also offers a few other new Android tablets with the latest features at very competitive prices with some offering Retina screen displays and 3G HSPA+ connection.

aldo

2

it's very good for me: sd card, otg, video out, bluetooth, gps.

Steven

3

I bought one and love it ,, its a good performer and runs smoothly,.

Greg

4

Great Tablet, much better in real use and far far cheaper than the "i"product.
Makes the Novo discovery spruiked early look like a brick.

Phil Houghton

5

I bought mine Sept 2013. I love it. The size is perfect. Runs smoothly. Takes pretty good pictures. Video chat programs work well with it. I've played a lot of games on it and it plays well. If I did have a problem I'd relate it to the App and not the tablet anyway. The speaker is weak. You can barely (I can't anyway) hear the sound unless your surroundings are church like. So you will definetly need earphones with mic.

My other problem is. The charging port is inferier quality. After 5 1/2 months of use it became loose and was unable to charge unit. I took it in to Acer as it's under warranty. They told me it will take seven days to repair. What they are going to do is change the board. So basically I'll have a new tablet. But that means I'll lose everything on the tablet. Not a big deal as I had everything backed up. My only concern is the length of time for service. it tells me that either they are under staffed or that they have a lot of repairs. I'm guessing the latter.

If they fix the charging port issue and speaker issue it will surpass any model out there.

rashmi gangele

6

Hi,
Can you please help me how can I get MS Office in my acer iconia android tablet?
Pls message me rashmi_gangele@yahoo.com.
Thanks and Regards
Rashmi

Edwin9263

7

download andropen office free software to read excel n words

estefany

8

Yo recién compre una y mi app de playa store no funciona ni siquiera abre ni descarga nada solo aparece una nota error play store se detuvo, alguien puede ayudarme por favor?

Kerry Ginnane

9

My speakers stopped working after one year and one week.I cant find receipt for it i was wondering if it had one or two years warranty

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BRENDA

4.5

1

Pros
I have had the Acer Iconia A1-810 for a month in the U>S>. Tkhe screen looks great. Tablet is fast and easy to use. HDMI out port. hook it up to your tv and watch vidio, movies,photo slide show on t.v. battery does last 8 hrs with wi-fi and high screen brightness.
Cons
hard to find cases ect.
• • •

like the Acer apps. all the tech peope are comparing the screen and weight to ipad mimi. no big deal. there is a 2-3 oz. weight difference and the human eye can;'t tell the difference in the screen. ask your eye doctor.
ALSO A $100. PRICE DIFFERENCE. AND I LOVE ANDROID .

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