Acer knows budget Android tablets. It’s been steadily releasing them since the early days of Honeycomb, including last year’s Iconia One 7. Unfortunately, we thought the display of that model was poor, and that the performance was mediocre.
Can the Iconia One 8 surpass that, even though it features many of the same specs, including the same 1280 x 800 resolution as the One 7, though on a larger 8-inch display? Both also have 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB storage capacity, expandable via microSD.
Fortunately, the One 8 will have a more advanced, quad-core Intel Atom Z3735G processor (1.83GHz) than the One 7’s the dual-core, 1.6GHz chip. It should easily handle Android 5.0 Lollipop, as well as any modern apps.
Iconia One 8 Hands On
In fact, our hands-on time with a prototype bore this out: performance for this tablet running Google’s latest OS was quite good.
Fortunately, we also can’t classify the display as poor at a glance, so maybe Acer has upped its game here. The One 8 features a “Zero Air Gap” that likely reduces glare, and that always good for making a display pop a bit more.
Another thing we liked was the Precision Plus technology, that the company claims makes for a more accurate touchscreen. As side-effect, it also works with a pencil.
It’s likely that Precision Plus is simply a super-sensitive display that registers the pencil tip, or any metal tip like a knife or pen, similar to the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows. During our hands-on time with the device, we confirmed the pencil does in fact work very well as an impromptu stylus, but weren’t able to test any other metal-tipped objects.
The fact that Acer touts the Gorilla Glass 4 displays on the other devices it launched alongside the One 8, and not the One 8 itself, suggests this budget Android tablet won’t have a tough-as-nails display, leaving us worried about any potential scratches from using random objects as a stylus.
That said, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen does not have a Gorilla Glass 4 display either, and it handled our use and abuse very well during testing.
Perhaps the best part of the One 8 will be the price when it ships in May: $149. We can overlook an awful lot for that little.
Iconia Tab 10 Hands On
Speaking of those Gorilla Glass tablets, Acer also took the wraps off the Iconia Tab 10. This Android 5.0 tablet will be a bit higher end, with a 10-inch, 1920 x 1200, Gorilla Glass 4 display and 2 GB of RAM. Otherwise, it will share the same specs as the One 8, complete with Precision Plus.
Outside of the sensitive display, the Tab 10 will be like any other Acer tablet. That is, it’s a no-frills device that functions well enough for its modest price.
In fact, function is exactly what Acer is going for here. Acer is positioning the Tab 10 for education, which explains the Gorilla Glass (for standing up to student use and abuse), anti-fingerprint coating, and NFC (for tap-and-go setup). It will also join other tablets and Chromebooks as part of the Google for Education ecosystem.
It will be a more expensive than the One 8, running $299 when it launches in May.