Most of the Android tablets I have tried in the past have been ARM based and this is the first Intel powered device I have used. The Acer Iconia 8 is an 8 inch Android tablet that is powered by an Intel Z3735G Quad-core 1.33 GHz processor, it retails for around £169 so its not a high end tablet but also its not in the cheap budget range. So what is it like?
The first thing you notice is the screen which is a little on the reflective side and the text seemed a little fuzzy to my eyes but it’s bright and should be fine for browsing and pretty good for watching movies. There is MicroUSB for changing, MicroSD card slot for extra storage and MicroHDMI to connect to an external monitor something you don’t see on many Android tablets.
The case is made of plastic with a silver back and white front bezel which I have to say reminds me of a certain well know tablet from Cupertino. It feels light and well made, maybe a step up on some budget Android tablets on the market. The screen resolution is 1920 x 1200 which as I said before is great for video as it’s a wide screen so the whole tablet feels taller than something like the iPad. The bezel feels a bit on the large size but with an 8 inch screen it is a two handed device.
Let’s look at the specs: 1.33GHZ Atom processor, 2GB RAM and 64GB SSD. It has Wifi, Bluetooth and it weights 358g. Acer say you get about 7.5 hours battery life, in practice I found about 6 hours which is probably a little less than many of the ARM based tablets but apps are fast and responsive. The additional of a MicroHDMI port is pretty nice, I plugged in the tablet to my TV and then I could use have any of the Android apps up on the TV which was great for watching movies and catch up TV.
The tablet ships with Android 4.4.4 and while I would rather have Android 5, jelly bean does the job and at least there are no skins on top. I am not a fan of many of the skins that OEMS add to Android and there isn’t too much on this just Acer’s the app launcher.
I should also say there are no hardware buttons bellow the display so there are Android soft back, home and menu buttons.
As I said at the beginning it’s is great for watching videos from services like Netflix, YouTube and BBC iPlayer. The volume isn’t particularly loud but fine when you have it in front of you watching videos.
It does ship with a lot of “extra” apps which include a 90 day trial of Office Suite Pro for Android which are ok but as Microsoft now have Office for Android I would rather use Microsoft’s apps, There are a few apps installed I could do without like many of the Amazon apps and most of other apps pre-installed. Having said that it may be good for someone new to Android to help them get started. One set of apps you may want try are the ab apps which are for streaming pictures and music and documents from your home PC.
You get a couple of camera’s on the tablet there is a 5MP rear camera and 2mp front, the cameras are ok but the pictures do tend to be a bit fuzzy, like there is a soft focus on them but I wouldn’t want to use this is my primary camera anyway. For Skype it would be perfectly fine. Here is a picture I took with the rear camera:
Priced at £170 on Amazon it’s not the cheapest tablet on the market but the specs are better than many of the budget devices, especially the screen which is 1920×1200 again better than many. Overall a decent device if you are looking for an 8 inch Android tablet, the Intel processor performs well but 6 hours battery is a little disappointing compared to AMR tablets but overall a very nice little tablet.
Here is my video review: