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

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

Features

The Acer Iconia One 7 ships with Android 4.2 and is upgradable to Android 4.4. There isn't much modification to the interface and I enjoyed the almost pure Android experience.

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HD video is sharp, but colors look dull. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

The pre-loaded apps on the Iconia One 7 err more on the side of bloatware. Frequent travelers might appreciate the pre-loaded hotel booking app, and Google Play-averse individuals might find what they're looking for in the included app store alternative (an app that sells apps), but I found the bloatware to be extraneous. Also, you cannot uninstall them only disable them, which sounds like a cheesy line in a post-Internet sci-fi movie.

Performance

For a budget tablet, the Iconia One 7 performs just fine. It can do all the basic tasks without a hitch, but doing anything other than simple activities is a test of patience.

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The screen isn't very bright, but it is very reflective. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

Large games take minutes to load and even longer to download. During game play, graphics were sometimes choppy and lag was frequent. Simple mobile games fared better, but graphics suffered from pixelation.

The 1,280x800-pixel resolution screen is average for a budget tablet -- any lower and it wouldn't be worth a second glance. HD video looks fine, but I found images to lack a vibrant pop. The narrow range of colors is evident when watching rich, animated videos, but less so with live-action films and shows.

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Light, but girthy. Xiomara Blanco/CNET

The display has good viewing angles, however the screen is very glare-prone and makes visibility difficult in bright environments, even with the tablet's brightness cranked all the way up.

Conclusion

If you're on a shoestring budget, it's hard to argue against the Acer Iconia One 7's bargain basement starting price. At $129, it's $100 less than the top 7-inch tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, and if you just want a slate for basic tasks like checking email, browsing the Web, and rewatching "Breaking Bad," it's a steal. However, anyone who wants to do more on their slate should keep saving for an upgrade. It will be worth the wait and the extra cash.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11b
  • Type Android
  • Weight 11.3 oz
  • Storage 16 GB Embedded MultiMediaCard