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Acer Iconia A1-830 review

An Android tablet at a bargain price. Is it too good to be true?

The inclusion of Android 4.2 is another massive weaknesses, and means the Iconia is two years out-of-date as soon as it's removed from the box.

The lack of Android 4.3 and 4.4's revisions means a host of missing features. There's no sign of the OpenGL ES 3 support, restricted user profiles, reworked camera UI and file system write performance included along with numerous security and performance improvements.

Android KitKat includes low-specification performance improvements, a host of UI changes, wireless printing, the revised storage access framework and screen recording. They're missing too.

Acer loads several third-party apps onto the Iconia, and it also includes some of its own software. None of it makes up for omission of the latest Android versions: there's a basic cloud storage app, a scrapbook tool and a photo gallery.

Build quality

The Iconia is a good-looking device. The metallic rear shines, and the glossy bezel around the 8in screen is bright white. It's held together by a neat bezelled edge, and the white colouring curves to the back panel at the top of the unit. There's an Acer logo at the bottom, power and volume buttons on the right-hand edge, and the top houses a headphone jack and microUSB port. There's an SD card slot, too.

Build quality is great considering the budget 140 price. There was barely any give around the front panel, and the rear panel was strong. We noticed a little desktop distortion when we pressed down hard on the rear, but it wasn't the sort of force we'd ever exert on a device like this.

There's no denying the Acer's looks have been inspired by the iPad Mini, which also has a metallic back and white bezel. The Nexus 7 and Dell Venue are dark and attractive - and they both stand out.

The Iconia doesn't match its fruit-themed rival in other departments: Acer's device is 8.2mm thick and weighs 380g, while the iPad comes in at 7.5mm and 331g. The Iconia is also heavier than the 290g Nexus 7, although it's lighter and slimmer than the Dell and Panasonic slates.

Overall

The Iconia improves on older Acer tablets with better build quality, and it's got enough power under the hood to handle day-to-day Android usage. The screen isn't good, though, and the lack of the latest Android software means this device misses out on a long list of features.

The 140 price is tempting, though, and the Iconia is good enough to use on a daily basis - something we couldn't say about most budget Android tablets. The Nexus 7 is much better and just 40 more, and Windows-based devices such as the Venue and ToughPad are better suited for the business environment.

Verdict

The Iconia can't match up to the Nexus 7. The screen, power levels, battery life and software will all disappoint.

Screen: 8in LED (1,024 x 768) 
OS: Android 4.2 
Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 
Memory: 1GB LPDDR2 
Storage: 16GB 
Connectivity: 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 
Other: microSD card slot, headphone jack, microUSB 
Camera: 5mp rear, 2mp front 
Battery: 4,000mAh 
Size: 138 x 203 x 8.2mm (WxDxH) 
Weight: 380g

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