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By 25 July 2013 | Categories: news

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After the recent introduction of the cost-price Iconia B1 tablet, Acer has launched another Android tablet in South Africa. The Iconia A1 is a 7.9” device aimed at the mid-market and comes with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean).

At 11.1 mm it is not the thinnest tablet available (for that try the Sony Xperia Tablet Z at 6.9 mm) but also not the thickest. With an all plastic design it doesn’t quite have a premium feel to it, but it’s not flimsy either. 

Viewing angles on the screen is good thanks to IPS technology, but Acer keeps the pixel density at a rather low 163 due to its 768 x 1024 resolution. Still, it's the same as the popular iPad Mini.

What you find inside

Onboard is a quad-core processor running at 1.2 GHz per core, while making use of 1 GB of RAM. Users have a choice between 8 GB or 16 GB of onboard storage, with the added benefit of a microSD card slot to up the amount of storage by as much as 32 GB.

Joining the microSD card port on the sides are a micro USB port and a mini HDMI port. The Taiwanese company claims seven hours of battery life with the non-removable Li-Ion 4960 mAh battery.

The A1 is rounded off by a 5 MP camera with 1080p video capabilities, a VGA front-facing camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 n. Acer will only be bringing in Wi-Fi + 3G units. 

Acer adds Touch WakeApp to the mix, an interesting way to access your favourite apps directly from sleep mode. If you put five fingers on the screen, or two thumbs, the A1 ‘wakes up’ to take you either to the home screen, or to one of your apps. This can be configured in the Settings menu. It works well although it takes one or two seconds for the A1 to come alive.

To the point

8” tablets are hot right now, and our opinion is that the more options the better. The 7.9” Acer Iconia A1 adds a reasonably priced device to the mini tablet space dominated by the iPad Mini, the Nexus 7 (review) and the Galaxy Note 8 (review).

Acer South Africa noted that there will only be Wi-Fi + 3G versions to choose from when the A1 becomes available locally in mid-August. 

The Acer Iconia A1 is set to retail for R3 500 for the 8 GB version, and R4 000 for the 16 GB unit. Both will be Wi-Fi and 3G enabled. 

Hit the video below for our interiew with John Rustage, Acer SA's Consumer Business Development Manager, talking about the new A1 at the launch in Sandton. 

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