MIDDLING PERFORMANCE LOW RESOLUTION AND POOR SOUND QUALITY MEAN THIS BUDGET TABLET IS WAY OFF THE PACE
Apart from a choice of colours, it’s hard to imagine a more generic budget tablet than the Acer Iconia One 8. It’s a chunky, solid little slate at 9.5mm thick and 360g, with a textured plastic back. Connections are limited to the classic micro-USB, headphones and microSD slot trio, while the power button and volume rocker are awkward to find at the right-hand side on the rear.
The Acer’s specification is certainly nothing to write home about, either.
A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera? A 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera? Quad-core Intel Atom processor? 1GB of RAM? They’re all here. Performance is as middle of the road as you might expect, with enough power to launch and switch between apps quickly, but not enough to run demanding apps with any degree of fluidity. And, while the Intel processor and limited 1,280 x 800 screen resolution mean that there’s some 3D power, there’s noticeable jerking when you run games such as Dead Trigger 2 or Asphalt 8.
The relatively low resolution and 8in panel leave the screen looking pixellated, but it’s fairly bright at 334cd/m2, and colours are reasonably natural by budget tablet standards. Other eight-inchers will give you far punchier hues and a crisper presentation – this isn’t a great tablet for reading digital magazines – but movies and games look good, and it’s perfectly fine for basic email and browsing.
Sound, however, is bordering on terrible: weak, thick and congested, it’s almost impossible to enjoy.
It’s hard to work up any real enthusiasm for the Iconia One 8. It’s not particularly fast, sleek nor even cheap, and is up against competitors with higher-resolution screens and better designs at lower price points. The tablet’s most exciting feature is a super-sensitive touchscreen you can draw on with an ordinary pencil, but, given the low resolution of the screen, this seems a waste.
The Acer’s sheer ordinariness extends to its battery. Left to run HD video on a full charge, the Acer conked out 7hrs 20mins later. This isn’t a bad budget tablet, but it’s some way off the pace.