Acer Iconia Tab A100 review


Let’s face it, Acer isn’t really the name you’ll go for if you’re the type who thinks of brands as status symbols. But the company has built up a name for itself as a purveyor of decent quality, if not necessarily ground-breaking tech. So it is with the 7-inch Iconia Tab A100, which may not be quite as slick looking or highly specced as some of its rivals, but it offers some very good features for a healthy price tag.

A little on the chunky side at 13mm deep and 410g, it will fit into a suit pocket easily enough, but you’ll feel the weight. Its all-plastic casing has some classy looking styling on the back and the sides include a microUSB syncing port, a power port, a mini HDMI port for transferring HD images direct to your TV, a rotation lock switch and a 3.5mm headphone jack, along with stereo speakers, though unfortunately they’re both on the same side.

The 7-inch capacitive touchscreen offers a resolution of 1024×600 pixels — not bad, but you’ll find it a bit wanting on detail, and small print can look a bit blurry. It’s nicely sensitive though, responding well to brushes and presses.

Software and performance
It’s running Android 3.2 Honeycomb, the latest version of Google‘s tablet OS, which adds a few bug fixes to the original but more interestingly, optimises the OS for smaller tablets like this one, and now includes support for microSD cards so you can increase the total storage available to you for storing music, movies and photos. There’s 8GB of memory on-board already, but you can add up to 32GB more via microSD card slot, which is conveniently hidden under a plastic cover on one of the device’s sides.

The 1GHz single-core processor backed by 1GB of RAM may not be the fastest pairing of specs on paper, but it did a bang up job of opening apps quickly and kept them running smoothly, without any obvious signs of lag or sluggishness.

Camera and battery
The 5-megapixel camera includes an LED flash and autofocus, plus there’s a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video calls. Picture quality is okay, but nothing to get too excited about and despite that HDMI port the device features for HD video output, the video recorder won’t record in HD quality — just standard definition. You know, like in the old days.

The 1,530mAh battery seems a little underpowered — if you’re planning on getting more than a day’s use out of it you’d be as well to take along a charger.

The Acer Iconia A100 isn’t a world-beater in terms of specs, but it offers a good range of features, decent performance and the latest version of Android Honeycomb for a very reasonable price. The obvious other model to consider is perhaps the 7-inch HTC Flyer.

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Author Retired

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