Acer is known for being a major player in the affordable electronics, so it comes with no surprise that the company has announced the Iconia Tab A110, the successor to last year’s Iconia A100, a pretty affordable tablet at that time. Today’s model is an upgrade in any possible way, except the screen, which still features a low resolution 1024 x 600 px panel, something I wish Acer had replaced, but I guess there’s a price to pay for affordability.

    The new model spots a quad core Tegra 3 platform, pretty much the most powerful quad core chip of the moment, helped by 1 GB RAM and running the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean 4.1.

    Design wise we have a plastic body here, as expected, with no special texture whatsoever, slightly rounded edges and no back camera. Let’s see now a short list with the most important characteristics of the new affordable 7 inch tablet.

    ACER Iconia TAB A110 Main specs

    • 7″ 1024×600 display
    • 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor
    • 1GB RAM
    • 8GB internal storage, microSD card slot
    • Front-facing camera
    • microUSB, microHDMI
    • 0.86lbs, 7.68″ x 4.61″ x 0.52″
    • 7.5 hour battery life
    • Android 4.1

    As you can see it looks like the new Acer Iconia Tab A110 is matching closely the Google Nexus 7 in terms of specs, but solves one of the major problems of the Google tablet: it features a microSD card slot so you can easily and cheaply upgrade the supplied 8 GB of internal storage, which is no longer enough by 2012 standards. There’s even a microUSB slot for charging and peripheral connection, along with a microHDMI out port, so you don’t need an adapter, just the proper cable. There’s sadly no back facing camera, but that’s not a downer, if you ask me.

    What strikes me is that the press pictures from the beginning of this article show both the landscape UI we’re used to from Honeycomb, ICS and Belly Bean large diagonal tablets and also the one from the Nexus 7, which favors portrait use. It might be just a mistake, or better yet, an option added by Acer, which should allow you to switch between the two at your liking.

    Anyway, the new affordable Acer Iconia A110 is set to debut at the end of this month for $229, which is 30 bucks higher than the 8 GB Nexus 7 and slightly cheaper than the bigger 16 GB model. We’re talking in both cases about WiFi only versions, so if 3G/4G connectivity is what you’re looking for you’ll be disappointed. Personally I think this is a good option right now, but I would wait a little bit to see what others are preparing for the end of this year. Surprises could still come out of the hat.