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