Acer Iconia One 7 review: A cheap and meek 7-inch slate

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2.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

4.5 stars 1 user review

The Good The Acer Iconia One 7 starts at $130 and has a micro-SD card expansion slot.

The Bad The thick design is outdated, its plastic build feels filmsy, and the screen's range of color is underwhelming.

The Bottom Line If you're on tightest of budgets, the Acer Iconia One 7 will meet your needs for very casual use, but don't expect more than that.

5.7 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Performance 6.0

Simple and forgettable is the story of Acer's Iconia One 7. In fact, it's almost as if Acer took it out of a time capsule from 2012.

Indeed, the unremarkable plastic design, simple specs and subpar screen evoke an earlier era of 7-inch tablets, but Acer somewhat salvages the One 7 with an on-trend budget starting price of $129 (available in the UK for £110; Australian availability has not yet been announced). That why even with its shortcomings, those on a tight budget should take note. If your needs are basic, like checking email and Web browsing, it's a steal.

Acer also offers the budget-friendly Iconia A1-830, which brandishes a sleeker look and can be found online for around the same price as the Iconia One 7; but if you desire a tablet for activities like gaming and watching HD video, you'll have to pony up $100 more for a slate with better performance and build.

Design

The plastic body of the Acer Iconia One 7 feels flimsy. It has a fragile quality to its build, the same way a wooden pencil or crayon can break in your hand if you hold it the wrong way. The plus side is that it's lightweight, and sitting at 7 inches, it's very compact and portable.

The top edge has a microphone pinhole, Micro-USB port, and headphone jack. The power button, volume rocker, and microSD card slot are on the right edge; speakers are at the bottom of the back.

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The microSD card slot is the Iconia One 7's saving grace. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Acer offers the Iconia One 7 in a few different colors, depending on your region. My review unit was black, causing the wavy, weaved texture on the back to remind me of smooth, balding tires. It feels comfortable, in your hands, but I didn't like the slippery feel of the finish. Aesthetically, I found the semi-psychedelic weave pattern very pleasing.

Thick bezels frame the screen like a gaudy plastic picture frame and help date the design of the tablet, along with its thick girth. The Iconia One 7 stands in the shadows of the sleeker Acer Iconia A1-830, which can be found online for about the same price.

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The speakers on the bottom are easily blocked when holding in landscape mode. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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