Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review - Hubpages
Acer Tablet PC
Few months back, Acer finally jumped in to the tablet world by officially launching its 10-inch slate called Acer Iconia Tab A500, which proved to be quite a disappointment, if I may add. The tablet was for $ 450 and was perfect for consumers who did not understand or knew how to use technologies (specifically tablets and slates). So it’s easy to say that I am not jumping over bridges to get my hands on their new tablet, Acer Iconia Tab A100, which is out in market right now. But for the sake of curiosity, I picked up their latest tablet to review and find out what is different about this one. A100 is the first 7 inch tablet released by the company, and it comes in two versions. The8 GB version costs around $ 330 and the 16 GB version costs (approx) $ 350; the tablet runs on Android 3.2 and the hardware contains the all new Tegra 2 SoC, a typical combination of two cameras (one is five megapixel and other is two megapixel) and also includes micro-USB slot and micro-HDMI ports. So far, nothing revolutionary.
The tablet weighs around o.92 pounds and is heavier than tabs like Samsung Galaxy tab but closer in weight to tabs like Blackberry Playbook, which weighs at 0.90 pounds. When holding the tablet for the first time you will notice that is a shade lighter than other tablets that you may have used. This, is due to the fact that it has almost completely flat surfaces, but soon, what you will realize is that the A-100 is not exactly slim, I picked up the blackberry playbook along with this tablet and almost immediately the weight difference was evident. When I measured the tablet in the portrait style, I found out that it was 4.6 inches tall, added to this its narrow edges make it very easy to carry in your hand and type easily with both your thumbs. The width of the tablet is relatively larger when you hold it in the landscape form, if you have small hands you’ll feel a bit of strain when holding on to the device. Aesthetically, it looks more like an old and outdated laptop, and that is putting it mildly. The back of the tablet has a navy blue color, with white ribbon like objects, which stretch from one end to another. I, personally really like the design of the Acer logo at the back, but I can’t help feeling that it would have looked a lot more elegant if it was situated somewhere else on the tablet. The first thing one is probably going to notice is the camera at the back, the camera is very impressive, it has good picture quality with a great finish. The LED flash is situated right next to the 5-mega pixel camera. Something else, which I noticed, is that the squared of edges and the clean lines at the back of the A 100 is not exactly something you can easily hold onto. I am not saying that it will be very easy for you to drop the device and cost you a huge loss, but it is definitely something that the makers should have looked at in more detail.
Situated in the front of the device is a secondary 2-megapixel camera as well as a home button, which unlike in other devices you have to tap to unlock rather than push a button. At the top of the device, there is a 3.5m headphone jack, to add to this there also are two small speakers bellow the home button with a micro-HDMI port, a docking connector and a micro-USB socket fixed in between. I did hope that the manufactures as Acer would label the volume button but that was not to be the case, but you will soon get used to it and it will not be a problem at all. Finally, I would like to say that I was impressed with the fact that the company decided to make the external storage so easy to access, which is quite unlike other tablets that are available in the market.
The software of the tablet is run by Android 3.2, and it is in fact the smallest tablet to have the operating system of Android, at only 7 inches. To be more specific, the operating system is run by Vanilla Android. This revelation will indeed be enjoyed by anyone who knows their way around honeycomb technology, as Acer has not attempted to simplify the software for the majority of people who will have little idea about the operating system. Tablets like Lenovo’s IdeaPad K1, did attempt to make the software usage user-friendly but Acer apparently had other ideas.As far as apps are concerned, Acer did not add any for its users expect the usual suspects, Facebook and twitter (Social jogger and etc) and as far as games go, Acer has included Docs-to-Go and Solitaire in the tablet as pre-programmed. For internet connectivity, Acer has included in its tab, ‘clear.fi’, which Acer’s own software which is ‘for sharing media with over devices over a shared Wi-Fi network.’
Moving on to the display of the tablet, the quality unfortunately is not very commendable. The display screen seems to give out double shade when viewing from different angles and tends to produce different results when viewing it while in the hands and viewing it when set down somewhere, like a table. This is a bad sign for any tablet and the question of its durability and prolong life comes in to a serious question. As I viewed video clips on YouTube on the tablet, the quality seemed good enough, colors were clear and picture quality was agreeable. But playing the same clip, I sat down the tablet on the table and could see distorted colors and my eyes were very uncomfortable when I was trying to view the clip. This was very disappointing; Acer could have done better with the display and the quality of the screen. Coming towards few of the good things in the tablet, the sound quality was a pleasant surprise. It was clear and audible and was of a very decent quality. Indeed the experience of listening to music is sure to be a plus. The volume button though was a problem again, even on its maximum the volume seemed a little low. The battery life of the tablet is the most disappointing; it contains a very small 1,530mAh battery and clearly cannot carry a good day’s work. Compared to many other tablets, this by far has the lowest battery life, lasting only up to five hours (approximately) when used on Wi-Fi.
Moving on to discuss the cameras of the tablet in detail; As mentioned above, Acer Iconia Tab A100 has two cameras, front facing two megapixels and a rear facing five megapixels camera. The tablet surely comes with its problems but if the sound quality is one of its advantages, than surely is the quality of its cameras. Acer has certainly set itself apart from the crowd of its competition by including a five mega pixel camera. Something almost none of the tablets available in the market have offered yet. The picture quality of the five megapixel camera is fantastic, after taking few of the snap shots, I could clearly see result. The colors were clear and the image was popping out of the still photograph, a good quality indeed. The two mega pixel camera was not as good as the rear facing one. The picture quality was fairly ok but the final image came out to be a bit blurry in comparison to the rear facing camera experience. All in all, the cameras of the tablet get thumbs up from me. The video making experience of the tablet was satisfactory as well, from the rear facing camera (five megapixels) the end result was better. Though the video recorded seemed to register the faster moving objects in the video at a slower speed, I can conclude that the video was again of good quality nothing spectacular.
In conclusion, Acer Iconia tab A100 interestingly has chosen to focus its marketing campaign towards ‘moms’ (their words not mine), but with its features and many flaws, I guarantee the tablet will fail to impress even our non-judgmental mothers. Do not look at this tablet as a mother’s day gift, she is going to hate you, you have been warned. Acer has not done a good job with this tablet, considering the level of competition that exists in the market like iPad, Samsung galaxy tabs, Blackberry Playbook and Motorola Xoom (etc).The Android operating system is definitely an up and comer but it demands some serious adjustments, maybe another tablet in a year or so (or never) could improve Acer’s chances, for now though, even with Vanilla Android as its operating system, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 is not worth any penny of any currency.