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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Product Review - Acer Iconia A1 Android Tablet

Disclosure: I was given an Acer Iconia A1 Tablet to write this review

The nice people at Acer gave me one of their A1 tablets to try out, and I thought it might be good to use while doing some restaurant reviews.   The 16GB version retails from around £130, making it quite a bit more affordable than the iPad mini 2 which starts at £320. It's compact and nifty, with an 8 inch display, and weighs only 410g, making it easy to carry around or hold in one hand when reading.

I liked the intuitive system that guides the user through the set up. It has a front camera for selfies and video chat, and 5 megapixel rear camera, as well as a rear-mounted speaker for audio applications.  I found the sound rather tinny, and I'm sure movies would sound better with a pair of headphones.

It comes with AcerCloud, which lets you save content to the cloud rather than clogging up the memory, and it is possible to add a wide selection of apps from Google Play Store. It has Wifi connectivity, and 3G is available at extra cost. I found the battery life reasonably good at 8 hours, which would be enough to keep me occupied for most of the foodie travel flights I take, and the screen is clear enough to make it a good option for catching up on a novel or two via the Kindle app.

Overall, this seems a good budget Android tablet. The main drawback for me however is the camera quality.  It has reasonable resolution in daylight, but in the kind of low light settings I regularly meet when reviewing restaurants, it is no better than other comparable tablets on the market. I found the images grainy and lacking in focus taken under low light so I am still reliant on my SLR Canon on these occasions.

Still, with Xmas coming up, if you fancy a tablet that looks impressive but doesn't break the bank, and is easy to use for wifi-based web surfing or reading a Kindle book, this is definitely a good option.

The Acer Iconia A1 Tablet can be purchase at Tesco Online for £159 here.

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