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Featured Review: Acer Iconia One 7

July 5, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Acer hasn’t been known for making amazing tablets. They have been mostly going after the Nexus 7. So we usually see 7-inch tablets with sort of mid-range specs, and the Iconia One 7 is no different, actually. It’s powered by Intel and even has Android 4.2 on board. Yeah, like I said it’s not a high-end tablet. But as we go through this review, remember that Acer is selling this for $129. So we shouldn’t be comparing it to other tablets that are in the $200 or even $300 range. For all intents and purposes this is a mid-range tablet at a $129 price tag. As far as specs go we’re looking at:

  • Display: 7-inch 1280×800 resolution LCD
  • Processor: Intel Atom Z2560 Dual-core Clocked @ 1.6GHz
  • GPU: PowerVR SGX544
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Expandable Storage: MicroSD card slot up to 64GB
  • Camera: 5MP on the back, VGA on the front
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • Battery: 3700mAh

Hardware

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I am actually quite impressed with the hardware here on the Acer Iconia One 7. It looks and feels pretty high-end. The back does have a bit of a pattern like the Galaxy S5, but it doesn’t look too bad. It’s not soft touch though, so it might be a bit slippery for some. However, it does have some major bezel action on the front. On the back we have the 5MP camera, and speaker along the bottom, on the right side is the volume rocker and power button along with the microSD card slot. On the top is the headphone jack and micro USB port. Nothing on the bottom or left side. It is pretty light and small, but then again it is a 7-inch tablet.

Performance

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Performance wise, it’s not all that great. I’ve noticed quite a bit of lag with this Intel Atom Z2560 CPU here. Which isn’t surprising to me as I’ve seen this with other devices using Intel Chips. For instance, you notice quite the lag when hitting the app drawer button to jump into the app drawer, which in my opinion it shouldn’t exist. The lag that is. Playing games wasn’t all that great either, unfortunately.

Display

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It’s a 1280×800 resolution 7-inch display. So it’s not going to look the best, but for it being a 720p display it actually does look really good. It’s definitely a step up from the 1024×768 displays they were using prior to the Iconia One 7. Viewing angles are actually really good though, much better than the majority of Sony’s devices.

Software

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Acer usually keeps their tablets mostly stock, which they’ve done that again here with the Iconia One 7. In fact the only difference from Stock Android I can find here is that the battery icon is different. It’s kinda greyish instead of holo blue – remember this is Jelly Bean here not KitKat. So we’re looking at essentially stock Android 4.2.2 here. There really isn’t much to talk about on the software side with this tablet.

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As far as bloat ware goes, we’re looking at AccuWeather, Acer Portal, Acer Store, Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Amazon Local, Amazon MP3, Amazon Appstore, Audible, Booking,com, Docs, eBay, Evernote, Games, Hulu+, iStorytime, OfficeSuite Pro, Photo, Remote Files, Skype, Top HD Games, TuneIn Radio, and Zinio. So there’s quite the amount of bloatware here, but compared to other high-end devices, that’s not bad. But compared to stock Android, it kinda is. You are left with about 10GB of free space on the Acer Iconia One 7 when you boot it up.

Camera

We’ve got a 5MP shooter on the back. Which is adequate for a tablet. I wouldn’t expect a ton from this one, but it’s better than nothing I guess.

The Good

  • Price: For $129, it’s pretty tough to beat, sadly.
  • Display: Again for $129, it’s hard to find a display on a tablet that’s 720p. Most of them are 1024×768 or lower.
  • Build Quality: This really shocked me actually, and in a good way.

The Bad

  • Performance: Intel needs to get their stuff together. Their mobile processors still aren’t that good, at least not in tablets and Android in particular.
  • Speakers: Rear facing speakers? C’mon Acer, where’s our front facing speakers?

The TL;DR

For the price, the Acer Iconia One 7 is a hard tablet to beat. Mostly in the $129 range you’re looking at 2-year-old tablets or cheap Chinese tablets off of eBay. It’s great to see Acer sticking with stock Android, but on tablets, I think it needs a bit more than just stock Android. Maybe through in some sort of multi-window feature, which many OEMs have already thrown into their tablets. But just plain stock Android isn’t all that great on tablets, not like it is on smartphones. it would also be nice to not have a nearly two year old version of Android on here as well.

I will say that Acer has been getting better with their tablets and it’s showing. So hopefully they will continue to improve, and dump Intel – at least until they can get their stuff together – I’d much rather see a Snapdragon 400 processor inside here. Like what Lenovo did with the Yoga 10 HD+.