Acer launches 7.9-inch Iconia A1 Android tablet starting at $169

Acer launches 7.9-inch Iconia A1 Android tablet starting at $169

Summary: The mini-tablet market gets yet another entry.

TOPICS: Tablets, Android

In addition to introducing a pair of noteworthy laptops, Acer has unveiled the new Iconia A1 tablet, a 7.9-inch Android slate that will compete against the ever-expaning range of smaller tablets.

Acer Iconia A1 photo forward
(Image: Acer)

Curiously, the company's press release failed to mention the word "Android", though it noted that the A1 "delivers the Google experience". (Our sister site CNET pointed out that it runs Android Jelly Bean 4.2.) It's powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor and comes with either 8GB or 16GB of capacity (with a microSD card slot if you need additional storage).

The display is LED backlit, featuring IPS technology and 1,024x768 resolution. You also get front- and rear-facing cameras, with the rear-facing one able to record 1080p video at 30fps.

The A1 is priced to compete against the likes of the Kindle Fire, as the 8GB version will start at $169 and the 16GB flavor at $199.99 when it hits in June. But it also has to compete against the Apple iPad mini, Google Nexus 7, Samsung Note 8.0, and a plethora of other 7- and 8-inch tablets.

And maybe it's going to be competing against another, more intriguing small tablet from Acer — potentially the first mini-model that runs Windows 8. Whether it can stand out amid all of that competition remains to be seen, though pricing aside, there's nothing about the A1's specs that suggests it definitely will.

Topics: Tablets, Android

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  • We are getting spoiled

    A tablet like this for under $200 and you aren't sure it will be a hit? Not so long as a year ago it would have been a miracle at any price. These wonders now come so fast we discount them even before they arrive.
    • So true

      We do take it for granted. While I'm not floored by the specs on this tablet, if you consider all the functionality you get in a tablet with gyroscopes, GPS, it is pretty amazing.

      Now NASA is planning to launch $ 3500 satellites controlled by Android smartphones !
      Paging Loverock-Davidson!
  • The floor

    And the price floor on decent, name brand Android tablets gets pushed even further down. Now we're well below the $200.00 mark.

    The question remains, however: will we, at some point see mass adoption of Android tablets? iPads still continue to dominate the market. I'm writing this from the Houston airport. I've just come in from Mexico where I was visiting family. My aunt, my mother and my step-brother all had iPads. Before I left, at the Mexican airport, a trio of young ladies was conducting surveys of departing passengers. They were recording their entries on iPads. Here at the Houston airport there's a Brookstone featuring dozens of iPad cases and keyboards and all manner of accessories, but nothing for any Android tablets. Looking around I've probably seen 10 iPads for every Android tablet I've seen, and that's probably being generous. It's not that Android tablets are completely absent. I've seen a couple of Nooks (the guy to my right appears to be on one) and I think I saw a guy using a 7" Samsung tablet earlier today. And... oh yeah... I'm writing this on a Nexus 7 with a bluetooth keyboard. But the truth is: it continues to be Apple's world and we're all living in it.
    • An Apple world

      And yet in the first quarter Android tablets outsold iPads 5:3. It seems that tired trope "only an iPad market" is gone for now. If the phone market is a trend, it is gone forever.

      In February I bought my grandson a 1GHz 7" Android tablet with 4GB storage and 512 MB RAM for $100. In April he broke it and I replaced it with a quad-core 1.5GHz 7" Android tablet with 8GB storage, sdhc, 1GB RAM, HDMI fullHD for the same price. The pace of progress in these things is amazing. From the unceasing announcements it appears not to be slowing at all either.

      The $100 price point is doing amazing things throughout the world.
      • What markets?

        Android tablets outselling the iPad? First I'd heard of that. I wonder if those Android tablet figures are buttressed by non-U.S. markets. Wouldn't surprise me to see price conscious consumers in other countries driving those figures. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. Any Android tablet sales are good sales, IMHO. Anyway, not long after writing the above (5 hour layover, yuck!) I stumbled across a guy charging up a Nexus 7. Put a smile on my face.
        • Umm

          This year you'll see Android Tablets overtake the iPad in sales but, I think Blackberry is correct... I don't think tablets are viable long term computing solutions.
          • And RIM are doing so well.

            Tablets are going to be around for a long time yet, it's just that RIM aren't a long term viable computing solution.
            Alan Smithie
        • It's been happening for a while

          But there isn't a single Android sku/brand that's outselling the iPad. It's like the iPad is Tony Montana and the Android tablets are an army. "Say hello to my little friend... It'll take a whole bleeping army to take me out!".

          Really, it's taking the whole market just to compete against iOS in terms of sales. I'm not really an Apple fan but it's impressive.
          • Same lame excuses

            What possible bearing does sku/brand have on the matter? People are buying Android, not iOS, and that's all that matters. And iOS is losing as Android proliferates.

            Your argument, srkelley5, is the same lame one the Dead Guy used to make for MAC OS. He never understood that the battle was between Windows and the MAC OS, not who made the box. His lack of understanding about that point gave Windows an 85% market share for over 30 years.

            The Dead Guy used to make every excuse imaginable for the relative failure of his OS in the marketplace (never more than 5-8% market share). He only got some of the boutique electronics market, never the computer productivity market.

            The same thing happened with iPhones and now with the iPad. The Dead Guy's fans are hooting about the superiority of these over-priced products, but as each day goes by the iOS market share is shrinking and the Android market share is growing.
  • Sorry to beat a dead horse...

    But can I side load Flash player on it? So many of the web sites that I use to watch video and interact with require Flash or the Divx players, that I'm willing to stick with ICS tablets for now. I hear the song sung that HTML is the wave of the future but I dont see it happening IRL... Give me a tablet with quad core and 2gb RAM and I'll pay $500. I don't even care if it has a 1080 display or rear camera. I couldn't care less about "project bugger" or the creepy Google Now tracking system. NFC hasn't impacted any of my retail outlets other than the Starbucks and that outlet often has long lines created by the NFC "wallet" feature misbehaving or the cashier having to instruct the patron, (who generally gives up and pays cash or swipes a "card", unless I am behind them and I offer to pay just to get on my way.)
    • BlackBerry Playbook is still a good value

      Even as old as it is, it supports Flash and can be had for under $200 and still performs quite well.
      John Hanks
  • Google's goal of commoditization marches on

    Tablets are being commoditized - HP and Acer releasing sub-$199 now, in a year, $169 will be the price point.

    Good. High profit margins are for the leisurely oligarchs of the IT first world. They're not good for the world as a whole.
  • Good news for the rest of us

    I getting really tired tablets that cost more than a laptop but do far less. Getting into the Dave Ramsey mode of personal finance, forking over over anything over $200 for a tablet is paying the stupid tax.

    personally the $100 for a and 8 GB tablet with capability to sync with Apple or Windows PC is want I want to see
  • As long as it uses the Google Play Store

    Any Android Phone or tablet (or MP3 player for that matter) is worth buying. The really good ones have really come down in price.
    Richard Estes
  • Great specs at this price point

    With these prices it will not be long before I decide to buy a couple for my kids do they stop asking to play on my Nexus 7. Which by the way has really taken over my computing life. I still use my laptop for major writing, but my iPhone is getting relegated to being primarily a phone and an iPod for when I am working out.
  • Errrr.....

    Which will come first:
    - The thing breaks
    - Support from Acer for it dies
    I know of too many people who bought junk from acer only to find out it broke fast [when should of] or Acer killed support for it quite fast. Lastly the quality of support. I remember contacting them by email and was told installing Vista SP2 over Vista SP1 is a DIFFERENT operating systyem and will be unsupported if installed. :-)
  • Only 8 GB?

    This is ridiculous. Why are manufacturers still putting tiny storage in their tablets and smartphones? And we can't even store apps on SD cards.
    Anthony Tarantino
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