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Acer Iconia A1-830 tablet makes cheap chic

The 7.9-inch Android tablet is slim, sleek, and surprisingly affordable at $179.

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Xiomara Blanco
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1 of 11 Xiomara Blanco/CNET

The 7.9-inch Acer Iconia A1-830 may resemble an Apple iPad Mini, however, it's in a category of its own. It's a budget tablet with simple specs, yet it's fashionable and functional -- a rare sight.

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Slim and sleek

Housing humble specs, the Acer Iconia A1-830 packs a microphone pinhole, Micro-USB port, and headphone jack on its top edge.

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Compact with a side of expandable memory

The Acer tablet is ultra-slim and has an edge over the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and Google Nexus 7, thanks to its expandable microSD card slot.

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Comfortably compact

The A1-830 fits comfortably in one hand, even for folks with small hands (like me).

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Low resolution and wide viewing angles

The 178-degree viewing angles are impressive for the $179 tablet, but its resolution isn't as high or sharp as today's top slates.

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Thin bezels for a thin slate

The thin bezels looks great on the sleek A1-830, however the 4:3 aspect ratio display results in more letterboxing than I prefer.

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Soft back

The tablet's loudest feature is its high-end design -- not the meek dual speakers. The solid, yet smooth, aluminum back  give the tablet a durable feel.

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A Crunch of color

You can buy Acer's Crunch case for the A1-830 tablet to add a layer of protection -- and color -- without adding bulk.

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Acer Crunch case

The case for the A1-830 fits appropriately snug.

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For your viewing pleasure

The cover works well for watching video or typing. It's sold separately, but it's an inexpensive way to protect your tablet without losing cool points.

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Snap on, snap off

The Acer tablet easily snaps onto the case and its smart design makes the ports on the top and right edge easily accessible.

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