Summary

Review Price £139.99

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Key Features: 7-inch 1,280 x 800 screen; Android 4.2

Manufacturer: Acer

Down With the Kids

A 7-inch tablet is perfect if you want something you can take around with you just about everywhere. Low-cost tablets like the roughly £130 Acer Iconia One 7 offer even more accessibility because they're not gadgets you're terrified about breaking.

It may not be a Nexus 7-smasher but the One 7 seems a solid little tablet for the kids.


Acer Iconia One 7: Design

Colour is what really sets the Iconia One 7 apart from much of the competition. It comes in an array of bright shades, 10 in total, that make ordinary black tabs seem as dull as a service manual.

The brighter ones are head-turners, but the build of the Iconia One 7 is otherwise pretty basic. The back is hard plastic, with a grippy embossed texture. It doesn't have the soft finish of several other tablets, including the Nexus 7.

Acer Iconia One 7

It is pretty slim and light, though – 8.95mm and 330g. This isn't a tablet that demands two hands to hold. There's is memory card slot too, something you don't get with a Nexus 7.

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Acer Iconia One 7: Screen and Features

The Acer Iconia One 7 screen is a few notches below the best, though. It's a 7-inch IPS panel of 1,280 x 800 pixels. While not super-sharp, it is an IPS type screen so there's none of the serious contrast shift seen in some of Acer's earlier budget tablets.

Colours are a little weaker than those of the Asus Memo Pad HD 7, which is a shame. They look a little weak, and contrast is less than terrific. Still, let's not forget this is a very cheap tablet.

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Core specs are pretty unassuming too. The Iconia One 7 has a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 processor clocked at 1.6GHz, the same used in some versions of the Asus Fonepad.

It's not a hugely powerful chip, but it will be enough to play high-end 3D games. You may just miss out on a few graphical effects you'd get with a high-end GPU.

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The Iconia One 7's interface is pretty close to vanilla Android, but for some reason it's stuck with Android 4.2 rather than the latest Android 4.4. We're not sure why – its brother the Iconia Tab 7 has Android 4.4.

As well as all the Android essentials you get a bunch of Acer apps and a few 'recommended' third-party ones pre-installed. It goes a little overboard given you only get 8/16GB of internal memory, but you should be able to uninstall at least some of them.

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There are two other important areas of compromise in the Iconia One 7 – the cameras and battery life.

Some ultra-budget tablets choose to have one camera, or none at all. But the One 7 has two. Neither is of particularly great quality, though. The front one is a VGA camera, the back one a low-end 2-megapixel one. You're not going to make any masterpieces with these.

I get the feeling Acer decided to include them because the tablet is aimed at a fairly young audience, one not quite discerning enough to care too much about camera quality.

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Perhaps the more serious issue is battery life. It's not something we've had a chance to test yet but the Iconia One 7 is only expected to last seven hours. The Nexus 7 lasts a couple of hours longer in most conditions, and the iPad mini longer still.

First Impressions

7-inch tablets have a tough time these days. It's hard to recommend many when the Nexus 7 can be bought for under £150 these days. The Acer Iconia One 7 is no Nexus-botherer, but the bright bodies on offer may please the kids.

Next, read our best tablets round-up

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