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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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.

Photo by: Xiomara Blanco/CNET

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