Acer Iconia Tab 7 (A1-713): Value over wow factor

11th August 2014
Acer Iconia  Tab 7 (A1-713):  Value over wow factor

August 11 2014: Trust Acer to  cut away the frills and  nonessentials to   deliver a  phablet that  provides  good bang for the buck.  The Iconia A1 713  has forsaken big name processors  and  gone for  the solid  value offered by fellow Taiwanese MediaTek's  1.3 GHz quad core chip. 
The  front  facing camera  for Skype-type calls  is just 0.3 megapixel while the  rear   camera is 2 MP --  adequate for  most of us.  Similarly  1GB of  DDR3   memory and 16 GB of on-board storage  are   functional rather than spectacular specs -- and probably help to  keep the overall weight down to  just 305 gms and the thickness to  less than a cm.  You can always add  another 32 GB in the microSD slot.
You learn to appreciate this when you can easily  clap  the 7 inch screen  to your ear  with one hand  -- since this is a calling tablet with a slot for a 3G SIM.    WiFi pickup can vary drastically depending on the antenna -- but  here it is real fast . The display at 1024 by 600  pixels is a bit of a letdown since    customers expect to have a better  video watching experience when they invest in a phablet rather than on a phone. And if you are buying direct from Acer, it might be a good idea to ask for the OS to be  upgraded from  the default Jelly Bean  4.2  to Kitkat 4.4.
A nice touch is Acer's  thought  for older users:  One of the four user interface options  is a Senior Mode with larger typefaces and  easier  shortcuts  -- which    the over 70s  will appreciate! For Rs 12,999  you won't get  many global brands  matching these specs. Like Jane Austen's heroine, this one goes for sense over sensibility, value over  wow factors! -- Anand Parthasarathy