Most entry-level Android tablets make too many compromises to recommend to anyone except those on the strictest of budgets, but it looks like Acer, with the new Iconia One 7, has a cheap Android tablet that we may actually be able to endorse.
The Iconia One 7 is powered by Intel's 1.6 GHz dual-core Atom Z2560 SoC. It isn't the most powerful chip on the block, but should be more than sufficient for the tasks envisioned for this tablet (that is, mostly content consumption). The 16:10 7-inch screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800, which isn't particularly high, but this resolution on a 7-inch screen is still a fairly crisp 215 PPI. Also, Acer has learned from past mistakes with its budget tablets and has equipped the One 7 with an IPS panel.
The Iconia One 7 has 1 GB of RAM and comes with either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage; thankfully, it also comes with a microSD slot for additional storage. While Acer didn't give us the exact capacity of the battery, they do say that it will last up to 7 hours, which is acceptable for a tablet at its price point. Of course, to get any piece of technology down to a very low price, corners do have to be cut -- the cameras on the One 7 are very low-resolution -- 2 MP on the back, and 0.3 MP on the front. Then again, I always say that having a camera on a tablet is a waste of time (do we really want to be encouraging people to take pictures with them?), so perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.
At the event today, we got a chance to spend a little time with the One 7, and did come away impressed, at least as impressed as one can be with a budget device like this. Although it is an all plastic device, it still seems fairly well-made and has a nice texture on the back that both looks nice and helps you grip the tablet. One of the other selling features of the One 7 is that it comes in a wide variety of colors. We're not kidding when we say almost every color under the sun – black, white, red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple and pink!
One big disappointment is that the One 7 still runs Android 4.2, which was released all the way back in October 2012! Hopefully, Acer will upgrade the One 7 to KitKat in a timely fashion.
The Acer Iconia One 7 will be available in North America at the end of June starting at $130, and in Europe at the end of May, starting at €139.