So I was tempted when I saw a refurbished Acer Iconia 7-inch tablet for $151. Its specs are outmoded but respectable–dual core 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB of storage, and a microSD slot. And Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is available for it.
But there’s something better around the corner. I say few-compromises, because I haven’t seen a no-compromises 7-inch tablet yet. The 7-inch sector is all about value.
Acer’s follow-on, the Iconia Tab A110, is available for UK pre-order now. It doesn’t have the Nexus 7’s screen resolution, but otherwise does a decent job of keeping pace with the Nexus 7, and has that precious microSD slot and the ability to connect to a television via HDMI. Both run Android 4.1 Jellybean and have 4-core CPUs.
If you’re keeping score, here’s the tradeoff between the two:
The Nexus 7 boasts a higher screen resolution of 1280×800 and a heftier 4325mAh battery.
The A110 has a 1024×600 screen and a 3420mAh battery, but adds HDMI output, microSD card slot, and front and rear cameras.
At this price point, there are always compromises. I don’t care about the cameras, but desperately want the microSD card slot, and while I haven’t really thought of it before, I can think of reasons I would want to connect it to a television. Then I could use it to stream video to the TV, in addition to it being a replacement for a portable DVD player for my boys. That’s worth trading some screen resolution to get.