Nov 5, 2014
Admit it: what comes to mind when you think of Intel?
Laptops? Desktops? Computer parts?
Well, whatever it is, it seems as though Intel itself doesn’t mind if its name invokes thoughts of Android. More and more Android devices are running with its vaunted chips on the inside.
We had an opportunity to check out two Intel-powered Android wi-fi tablets, one from ASUS, and one from Acer. The Acer Iconia Tab 8 is a serious looking mid-range tab that smaller at packs 2GB RAM (plus expandable memory), 7.9 inches of screen in an 8.5 x 5.1 x 0.3 inch frame. It also has 2 MP front-facing snapper. Software wise, it comes with Android 4.4, and also has a suite of Acer-specific applications.
The ASUS MEMO Pad 7 is physically smaller, at 7.5 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches (which encases a 7 inch screen). 1GB Memory, 2MP front-facing camera, 5MP in the back, expandable memory, Android 4.4.
Both are fantastic tablets, with plenty to love. Both were a joy to test, smooth and snappy. There are other things that are common to both, outside the affordability: Intel’s Atom Z3745 processor.
The Z3745 brings the best of Intel to newer Android devices in an ultra-affordable package. It consists of a quad-core CPU that maxes out at 1.86 MHz, and an Intel graphic GPU that hits 778 MHz.
In real life, the chip works well. In testing with these tabs, I couldn’t find noticeable lag. I did notice some warmth when taxed by hard-hitting games, but all in all, both tabs worked well.
And this is where it looks like Intel is hitting its groove with regards to Android. The affordability of the chip helps keep device prices down, and this allow device manufacturers to price their devices competitive… in theory at least. In the case of the Iconia Tab 8 (at $199) and the MEMO Pad 7 (at $129), the theory arguably holds true.