Acer's Iconia Tab 8: Decent Specs, Nice Price, Coming in Late Summer-Early Fall
It doesn’t feel like we talk a whole lot about 8-inch tablets, save for the iPad mini (which, at 7.9 inches, is close enough) and the occasional 8-inch slate that Samsung slings in hopes of sticking it to a wall. It appears that Acer wants to be part of the conversation, though, and that the company wants to use the recently announced Iconia Tab 8 to interrupt all that Apple talk.
Now, Acer isn’t new to the tablet game. The company has been putting out Iconia tablets for several years now, but most have been unremarkable at best. Based on pure specifications alone, the Iconia Tab 8 feels like Acer’s first real attempt at a KitKat-powered Android tablet that is meant to compete with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Amazon, instead of just settling for the “you get what you pay for” budget territory.
It’s display isn’t quite up to snuff with the iPad mini’s Retina display (running at 2048 x 1536), but the Iconia Tab 8’s 1920 x 1200 resolution is nothing to sneeze at. According to Computerworld, which spent some time with the device, the screen brightness could stand to be turned up a bit, but the trade-off is that an anti-fingerprint coating on the display means you’ll see a dramatic drop in smudging.
And power? Yeah, the Iconia Tab has some. It’s running on a quad-core Intel “Bay Trail” Atom processor. A downside, though, is that the battery life takes a hit — Computerworld measured 7.5 hours, compared to the fairly high 10 that the iPad line is able to boast.
Storage and on-board RAM are fairly standard — 16 GB to store your songs, movies and apps, and 2 GB of RAM for running applications. The upside to the Iconia over a tablet like the iPad mini, however, is that the amount of storage can be expanded through microSD cards. With the iPad mini, you’ll have to pay an additional $100 for each 16 GB of storage space you want to add.
Price is where the Iconia Tab 8 really hopes to win, and I’d say Acer priced the tablet appropriately for the market. While Apple’s iPad mini with Retina is priced at $399 for the entry-level 16 GB Wi-Fi, Acer’s new tab is set to come in at around $270.
You can expect to see the Acer Iconia Tab 8 sometime later in the third quarter, or possibly early in the fourth quarter of this year.
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