Acer Iconia A1 Launched, iPad mini in its Crosshairs

Acer launched the Iconia A1, its 7.9-inch Android-based tablet that made its first appearance last month. It may feature the same screen-size as the iPad mini, but its bezel design makes it look more like a scaled down iPad (9.7-inch). Thick piano-black or pearl-white bezels frame the 7.9-inch screen, nestled in a frost-aluminum unibody.

The Iconia A1 is as close as it gets to aping the iPad. The tablet runs the latest Android 4.2.2 "Jelly Bean" operating system, with a few of Acer's own home-screen widgets. Its 9.7-inch screen features the same 4:3 aspect-ratio and 1024 x 768-pixel resolution as that of the iPad mini. In the imaging department, you get a 5-megapixel primary camera, with a VGA front-shooter.

Under the hood is a Mediatek MT8125 quad-core SoC, featuring four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 1.20 GHz; 1 GB of RAM, and storage options that include 8 GB and 16 GB, both of which are further expandable up to 32 GB by micro-SDHC; and a 3,250 mAh battery. Connectivity options include 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/Glonass, micro-USB 2.0, and HDMI. Measuring 208.7 x 145.7 x 10.5 mm, it weighs about 460 g.

The Iconia A1 starts at $199 for the 8 GB variant, and will start selling some time in June.