Review of the Acer Iconia A1 Tablet
I’m an Apple fan. Not a die hard, queuing up overnight for new products, fan boy. But I have bought into the whole Apple quality and usability thing. iPad, check, iPhone, check, MacBookPro, check. Apple TV, err, not yet.
I was intrigued then when I had the opportunity to test out Acer’s new Iconia A1 tablet. Built on Google’s Android platform it offered me a look at another perspective and the opportunity to assess if my move and gradual evolution from PC to Apple is a good idea.
My first impressions of the Iconia were good, very good in fact.
It’s more iPad mini in size than a standard tablet, which makes it very comfortable in the hand. The default setting is for keystrokes to provide a short vibration making typing a pleasure – unlike the iPad, which frankly is unusable for typing anything longer than an email or short blog post.
Setting up the Iconia was quick.
On entering my gmail details I was up and running with my email synced in no time at all. Listening to Acer’s product marketing manager I was pleased to hear there are multiple logins for the Iconia too and I quickly setup profiles for my wife and for my son. I have a constant fear my toddler will send an email to a client when I grab that extra hour in bed while he entertains himself with cbeebies on my iPad.
I was really enjoying the experience.
Facebook and Linkedin apps installed and working well, albeit with slight differences to the iOS version. I had customised the dashboard and had widgets and apps setup for ease of access. The menu is easy to use and you can find pretty much anything you would need in Google Play. So far so good.
And then it dawned on me that I was actually playing with a PC.
Not literally obviously, but do you remember the “I’m a mac, I’m a PC adverts” of yesteryear? That’s the best way I can contrast the experience of using the Iconia – and to probably most Android tablets – to the iPad.
It doesn’t look as nice as my iPad and it doesn’t operate as smoothly. However the feature set is impressive: 7.9-inch display with a 1024X768 resolution, micro SD memory expansion,1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek processor along with 1GB of RAM, 5 megapixel camera, HD video recording and it goes on. These all make the A1 very functional and easy to use.
But what I really want is a product I know will work well, look slick and integrate with my other devices easily and every time. For that I will happily pay a premium.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t buy an Iconia. In actual fact I would.
Although not for me, for my youngest son when he’s old enough. With a starting price of around £150 it’s not the end of the world if it gets dropped, or a glass of Robinsons spilled over it.
It does everything my children would need and a lot more too – iPlayer for cbeebies, YouTube for catching up on Mickey Mouse, web browsing, memory slot to store movies for playback on those long car journeys to Cornwall, camera, and a lot of games and apps from Google Play too.
For the budget conscious or those looking to get their children hooked up to the web, this will make a very good buy. Would I buy it as a device to help me keep up with my blogging? Probably not. I much prefer a keypad for typing.
I like Acer’s incredibly ambitious vision of trying to get a tablet into the hands of every single person on the planet, perhaps that’s just the marketer in me..?
Well done Acer, good product at a great price.
I was given an Iconia A1 by Acer in order to test and review the device.