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Acer's $229 Iconia Tab A110 Tries to Steal iPad mini Thunder

Low cost and easy portability. It's proven to be a winning combination for Android tablets, and now Acer has announced the Iconia Tab A110 to challenge the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. Available Oct. 30th--right before the rumored Nov. 2nd availability date for the iPad mini--this $229 7-inch Jelly Bean slate costs $30 more the the Fire and Nexus, but it has features Amazon and Google don't include.

First, the Iconia Tab A110 features a microSD Card slot for expanding the 8GB of storage. You can plug in a card up to 32GB, giving you a lot more room for movies, music, games and more. The Nexus 7 starts at 8GB and the Kindle Fire 16GB, and neither has a card slot. Acer also includes a microHDMI port for connecting its device to a TV or monitor, letting you enjoy those flicks you've downloaded on the big screen.

Otherwise, the $229 Acer Iconia Tab A110 looks an awfully lot like the well-regarded Google Nexus 7, albeit with a lower 1024 x 600 display resolution. The tablet runs on Nvidia's beefy quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM, and Acer says its battery is good for up to 7.5 hours of continuous use.

In addition to the microSD card slot and micro HDMI port, the Iconia Tab A110 packs Bluetooth 3.0 for wireless device support and a micro-USB port. Just about the only thing missing is a 3G/4G radio -- the A110 is Wi-Fi only.

[MORE: 8 Things You Need to Know About the iPad Mini]

All of these ports help the Acer device stand out from the Nexus 7, while Iconia Tab A110's feature set separates it apart from the Kindle Fire HD, which sports a dual-core processor and a proprietary, Amazon-focused interface. However, both the Nexus and Fire sport higher-res HD displays (1280 x 800), and the Fire comes with more built-in memory (16GB).

Shoppers will have plenty lot of low-cost tablet options this holiday season, including the rumored iPad mini and Best Buy's own tablet. Stay tuned for our full review of the Acer Iconia Tab A110 to see how it stacks up in a suddenly crowded field.