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Acer Iconia

Best sub-$150 Android tablets available today (July 2014 edition)

A whole lot can change in the shifty tech décor in the space of nine months. Heck, even one month sometimes makes a world of difference. Take last month. Lenovo rolled out a slew of A-series budget-conscious slates, HP and Toshiba one-upped each other with the dirt-cheap 7 Plus and Excite Go, and Asus refreshed the increasingly successful MeMo Pad family.

Android shopping bag

Just like that, we got half a dozen of brand new contenders at the low-cost, lightweight crown, and in case our little listicle from back October 2013 wasn’t dated enough, all these exciting releases prompted an immediate update.

Since only one of the fresh title candidates fits the old budget though, we’ve decided to supplement it with 50 bucks. After all, you need to keep up with technological progress, and often, that means ponying up a bit of extra dough. Not a lot. Clearly, $150 is no small fortune.

Android money

Besides, our latest top picks for the best affordable Android tablets around still include a $100, $110 and $120 slab, so if $150 is too steep for your monthly spending plan, you’ve got options. Without further ado, here they all are:

7. Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

I can just about hear Amazon admirers boiling with rage at Fire HD’s “offensive” number seven ranking, but you should actually take it as a compliment. A most flattering compliment, given the 7 incher’s advanced age. Mind you, four of its six rivals are barely a month old.

Kindle-Fire-HD-7

Meanwhile, the Fire HD is nearly ready to blow out its birthday candles for the second time. So yeah, it’s amazing it made the charts, but not at all surprising looking at some of its specs: 1,280 x 800 pix res IPS LCD screen, 1 GB RAM, 10-hour battery life (in “mixed” use). Too bad about its decrepit TI OMAP chip, microSD absence and clunky OS.

6. HP 7 Plus

Our sole sub-$100 contender offers exactly the kind of humble features we’ve come to expect from sub-$100 tablets. But hey, it’s one lousy Benjamin, so don’t even think of complaining about the laggy quad-core 1 GHz Allwinner CPU, crappy 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution display, painful 2 MP camera or minuscule 2,800 mAh battery.

hp-7-plus

If you really want something to bitch about, I guess the pre-loaded aging copy of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean best fits the description. On the bright side, HP discounted the low-ender to $84.99 for a second there, so similar deals are likely in the cards for the near future.

5. Lenovo IdeaTab A8-50

I could’ve just as well picked one of A8’s little A7 siblings, especially since they have the affordability edge, but ultimately, the richer screen real estate propelled the A8 in our top seven list. Also, the generous 16 GB storage space.

Lenovo A8

The 8-inch panel ain’t bad resolution-wise either, at 1,280 x 800, and the cameras are pretty impressive all things considered: 5 and 2 megapixels. So then why on Earth couldn’t Lenovo set up the A8 with KitKat out the box? Anyone?

4. Acer Iconia A1-830

Exactly as large and cheap as Lenovo’s bad boy, but boasting a crappier 1,024 x 768 display, the A1-830 prevails in the processing power battle, thanks to a dual-core 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Z2560 SoC, as well as in the battery life bout (up to 7.5 hours of continuous juice).

Acer-Iconia-A1-830

It’s also overall sleeker and more elegant than the A8-50, which sadly can’t hide the fact it too runs Jelly Bean. “Upgradeable to Android 4.4 KitKat when available”, Acer says. Yo Acer, KK has been available for roughly eight months now.

3. Toshiba Excite Go

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Best Buy sells the Excite Go for $99.99?!? That has to be a mistake. The MSRP is $110, and it’s way too early for discounts. Oh, well, maybe it’s a limited-time deal. In which case you better hurry up and order it.

Toshiba-Excite-Go

Then again, even at $110, this is a must-buy. It’s one of the very few in its class powered by Android 4.4 KitKat, it tips the scales at 354 grams and packs quad-core oomph, courtesy of an Intel Atom Z3735G. Yes, the 7-inch display is cringe worthy, sporting 1,024 x 600 pixels resolution, and yes, there’s only a disappointing VGA front-facing cam and no rear snapper.

But erm, KitKat for 100 clams? I’ll eat my hat if you find an OEM as high-profile as Toshiba that offers something similar.

2. Asus MeMo Pad 7 ME176CX

The newest MeMo Pad is by far the zippiest and most frugal, carrying an outstanding quad-core 64-bit (!) Intel Atom Z3745 “Bay Trail” processor beneath its hood. The chip delivers around eight hours of autonomy, and, with the exception of cameras, everything else about the MeMo Pad 7 is state-of-the-art… for mid-range standards.

Asus MeMo Pad 7

The 7-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS panel is as good as it gets, Android 4.4 KitKat is as smooth as it gets, and 1 GB RAM takes care of the multitasking business. Tech hoarders have 16 GB of internal storage to use, plus up to 64 gigs external, and not only is the tab elegant, it’s also stylish, rocking four distinct chromatic options: white, black, red and yellow.

1. Dell Venue 7

Believe it or not, we’re not done yet. Because as awesome as the ME176CX is, the Venue 7 is actually awesomer. How’s that even possible? Simple: 2 GB RAM. Sure, the Intel Atom Z2560 inside Dell’s 7 incher is considerably less punchy than MeMo Pad’s Bay Trail. And the software isn’t quite up to date: 4.3 Jelly Bean.

Dell Venue 7

Plus, the Venue 7 is somehow just as thin as the MeMo Pad 7, yet 20 or so grams heavier. But at the end of the day, the extra gig of RAM makes all the compromises worth it. For crying out loud, Dell used to charge a whopping $230 for the 7-inch Venue. Needless to say therefore that $144 is an extraordinary bargain.

What say you, bargain hunters? Agree with our list entirely? Only partially? Which parts would you alter? Sound off below. We’re all ears.

Acer Iconia Tab A1 Previewed Ahead of Release, Looks Like A Very Strong iPad Mini Challenger

Acer’s first 2013 stab at challenging the likes of Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini might have been a little underwhelming, but the Taiwan-based company is anything but a one-trick pony. The Iconia Tab A1 has looked much better on paper than the B1 ever since it first starred in a “leak”, and now, courtesy of Bulgarian website Tablet.bg, we have the chance to see it in the flesh as well.

Acer Iconia Tab A1

And although it’s still at least one month away from its commercial release, I have to say I’m already pretty impressed by the thing and excited to see it on store shelves. Sure, it has its flaws, but if rumors about a $170 starting price point turn out to be true, it’s going to be very hard to say no to the A1.

Before getting down to the tab’s Bulgarian preview, let’s take one more look at its spec sheet, as revealed by Tablet.bg:

  • 7.9-inch IPS panel with 1,024 x 768 pixels resolution
  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz MediaTek MT8125 CPU
  • PowerVR SGX GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8/16 GB of internal storage space
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera with auto focus
  • VGA front webcam
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
  • GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, microSD card slot, micro USB 2.0
  • 3,250 mAh battery
  • 11 mm thickness
  • 460 grams weight

Not too shabby, eh? Again, if and only if the Iconia Tab A1 will cost below $200. Otherwise, I for one am definitely going to find fault with the measly battery (the 7-inch Nexus 7 has a 4,325 mAh ticker), the not so great 1,024 x 768 pix res panel, or the inexplicably bulky figure (the iPad Mini weighs a full 150 grams less than this thing and measures just 7.2 mm in thickness).

But let’s see what the guy at Tablet.bg handling the gadget has had to say about the experience, shall we? First off, the design is essentially praised for being “clean and simple”, unlike the cheap-looking Iconia B1.

The new 7.9-incher is said to be easy to hold, ergonomic and fairly elegant, though I’m still a little fazed about its chunkiness.

Moving on to the display, this is also praised, especially for using the high-quality IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology. The pixel density is the same 162 ppi as on the iPad Mini, but considerably behind the 216 of the Nexus 7, whereas the viewing angles are simply described as “impressive”.

Unfortunately, the tab’s previewers have been unable to benchmark the A1 and test its processor’s speed or battery life, but at least on the former we expect the thing to perform decently, albeit obviously not exactly on-par with the iPad Mini and N7.

Finally, from a software standpoint the A1 looks surprisingly “high-class”, thanks to the latest and greatest version of Android – 4.2 Jelly Bean – and a few special tweaks like the adding of something called Acer Life Image and Touch WakeApp.

Bottom line, look forward for mid-June or early July, when “sources” claim the Acer Iconia Tab A1 will be launched and be prepared to welcome one of the strongest Android-based iPad Mini contenders to date. And a short message for Apple – be afraid, be very, very afraid!

Via [Tablet.bg]

Acer Iconia A110 Coming To The United Kingdom

There isn’t a whole lot that competes with the Google Nexus 7 tablet that was created by ASUS for it’s price point. It’s going to face its first real competitor soon though. Did you think that the Nook Tablet or Kindle Fire was a competitor? Pfft, not anymore! The Acer Iconia Tab A110 is getting ready to launch in the United Kingdom at the end of September. It’s the first device to actually have a chance at coming close to the Nexus 7 in terms of price per feature ratios. With the Acer Iconia Tab A110 launching, the United Kingdom is the perfect battlefield for it. I can imagine it all being like a rematch between Zeus and Hades with the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet acting as the poor civilians (okay, that might of been a bit overreacted).

The A110 was unveiled during Computex in June, and boy does this thing pack a punch. It boasts of a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor, a 7 inch touchscreen, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of built-in storage. It’s around 11.4 mm thin and is going to cost you £179. That’s only £20 more than the Nexus 7, but Acer will have one huge advantage that the Nexus 7 doesn’t. That my friends, is the coveted microSD slot with up to 32GB’s of extra storage. Maybe I wasn’t overreacting earlier, eh?

This is going to allow you to purchase an 8GB microSD card and overall get a cheaper 7 inch tablet with 16GB’s of storage than what you’d pay by getting a 16GB Nexus 7 which is priced at a whopping £199 (it’s really not that bad in America!). Really, you could get around 40GB’s of extra space on Acer’s new tablet compared to the Nexus 7’s maximum of 16GBs.

The Acer Iconia Tab A110 will be released with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (which is becoming the standard) with an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean coming soon after. That is if Acer lives up to it’s promises for once. That said, the always up-to-date software is still the selling for the Nexus 7 that Acer’s new tablet can’t compare with. I tend to think that’s a lot because the Nexus 7 is straight from Google while Acer’s isn’t. In that sense, you’ll have to decide whether software updates or that luxurious microSD slot.

I’d almost rather go with the microSD slot because of how much extra storage you get. Not only that but if you don’t mind rooting and flashing a ROM on your tablet, it’ll be just as easy to get software updates thanks to the XDA Community. I personally think that the storage is a much better choice, but that is just a personal preference I have.

Whatever you choose to do, how well do you think that Acer A110 will compete with Google’s Nexus 7 created by ASUS? I personally wouldn’t mind checking it out, I think it’d be an awesome toy. Obviously it’s the same screen size as the Google Nexus, and isn’t your standard 10 inch, but for such a cheap price, what can you expect?

Let us know your opinion in the comments

 

Silver Version of Acer Iconia Tab A700 Already Shipping in US

About 2 weeks ago, Acer Iconia Tab A700 was made available for pre-order (we talked about it here).  It is now rumored that the silver models are already shipping ready for the US market.  This quad-core Android tab, which we exhaustively reviewed here has some amazing features and is one of the most anticipated by fans worldwide.  The other good thing is that Acer offers the best quality-price ratio we have seen on the market yet, if you want a high quality device at an unbeatable price you should probably check out its specs and preorder one.

The A700 may not be the most visually appealing tablet released so far but it ranks as one of the best you can find.  With a 1.3 GHz quad core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB RAM, 32 GB inbuilt storage capacity and the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, this is a tablet that will be a stiff competition to market leaders such as the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Asus Transformer.

It appears that it is standard for tablets today to have two cameras – a more powerful rear camera for taking pictures and HD videos and a front camera for video calls.  The Iconia too has too cameras but they are not as impressive as those of The Galaxy tab or the Asus Transformer.  The rear camera is 5 MP and the front camera is 1MP.

When it comes to battery performance, the Iconia is pretty impressive.  Initial reports indicate that the battery may run the tablet for as long as 10 hours on a single charge, regular use, but independent testers are yet to confirm this.  It’s display is a 10.1 inch impressive 1920 by 1200 pixels and is as of now the best for Android tablets.

Although they are being shipped at the moment to stores, fans and enthusiasts can pick up the Iconia from the official US store.  Note that the available version is the silver Iconia with only WiFi and no 3G.  The black versions with 3G and 4G LTE are expected to begin shipping soon and may be just as costly as the Asus Transformer and the Samsung Galaxy.  You can read the full review of the tablet here.
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Acer Iconia 501 With 3G/4G Available Now In UK

Back in March AT&T announced that it would bring the Acer Iconia 501 tablet with 3G/4G capability to it’s network this summer. Hopefully we will see it before September 22, 2011.  In the meantime though, UK third party retailer Clove has started to sell the cellular equipped Acer Iconia tablet.

The Acer Iconia is one of the more popular Honeycomb Android tablets. One of the big advantage the Acer brings to the table is it’s onboard USB host slot that allows you to connect USB peripheral devices and even hard drives to the tablet. The Toshiba Thrive also have a host USB port as well.  The other more popular Android tablets, the Motorola Xoom and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 don’t feature a USB host port. Although Samsung has an adapter you can purchase that will allow you to connect USB devices.

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