Portable computers look set to improve this month, as Acer releases a budget tablet destined to take on Apple’s iPad Mini, and a new Chromebook that lets gives your fingers some more fun.

Two newbies look set to grace store shelves with their presence, as Acer brings the fight to portable computing with gadgets under the $500 mark.

We’ll start with the least expensive of the pack, and that’s a new Android tablet arriving very shortly from Acer, with the A1-830, a new 7.9 inch device sporting the same 4:3 aspect ratio of the Apple iPad Mini, and even the same screen size and resolution as the model without a Retina-grade screen.

Under the hood, though, Acer has gone with Intel’s Atom processor to make it fast and decent on the battery side, providing as much as 7.5 hours of life, along with some solid gaming performance for Android entertainment titles.

“Tablets have changed the way the world thinks of computing,” said Acer’s David Sunton, General Manager of Marketing at the company’s Australian arm.

“At Acer, we have found that our customers want a tablet that is small enough to be portable without compromising on performance. The Iconia A1-830 fits the bill as it is ideal for schools as a teaching tool, in businesses to improve efficiency or purely for use in daily life.”

Design-wise, Acer has moved away from the plastic bodies we’re so used to seeing in the Android tablet space, with an aluminium casing surrounding the 7.9 inch IPS display which looks pretty good from all angles.

Acer has also managed to keep things relatively thin, with an 8.15mm thickness, and two speakers on the back, which the company hopes to improve sound when you’re not using headphones.

WiFi, bluetooth, and two cameras are also included, putting it on par with most devices out there today, though built-in mobile connectivity is not provided. A Bluetooth keyboard will also be made available for the tablet, optional, of course, and capable of providing a stand for the tablet using folds like the Asus and Moshi origami cases.

Pricing for the Acer A1-830 comes in at $249, with availability likely within a week.