A reasonable effort from Acer, the Iconia Tab A100 has good connectivity and some useful business apps, but is ultimately let down by poor battery life
Good connectivity, Android Honeycomb 3.2
Bulky, ugly design, poor battery life
As reviewed: 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal memory, 7in TFT LCD capacitive display with 600x1,024 resolution, micro SD card support up to 32GB, micro USB, micro HDMI, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 2-megapixel front camera, 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 1530 mAh battery
Acer is the latest manufacturer to roll out a 7in tablet, and will face the likes of RIM, HTC and Samsung in a bid to attract buyers to the portable form factor.
Announced earlier this year but only available now, The Iconia Tab A100 is one of the cheaper Android Honeycomb 3.2 devices on the market at around £300. Despite this, it features some high-end specifications, unique applications and connectivity.
Design - Could do with some cosmetic surgery
We found the design to be a weakness of the A100, and it looks like the ugly duckling when compared to the Galaxy Tab, HTC Flyer and BlackBerry PlayBook. We were not really fans of the sloping corners, but the gun-metal grey back cover is a nice touch.
With dimensions of 195x117x13.1mm, the A100 is pretty much identical to the Flyer in terms of size, although it's a good 50g heavier at 470g.
Considering that Samsung will soon ship a 7.7in Galaxy Tab with a weight of 335g and thickness of 7.89mm, Acer has work to do on the form factor.
Having said that, the A100 has good built quality. The chassis feels solid as does the removable cover for the micro SD card slot.
Performance - Dual-core power as standard
The A100 comes with similar specifications to its competitors: a 1GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor with 1GB of RAM. It's noticeably faster than its rivals, but we did notice a bit of lag at times.
The 7in display on the A100 features a resolution of 600 x 1,024 resolution and pitch of 170 pixels per inch, the same as on the Tab, Flyer and PlayBook. The PlayBook is the brightest of the bunch, but there's not much to separate it from the Acer. The touch screen on the Acer is also suitably responsive to finger input and supports multi-touch gestures.
Other features on the entry-level A100 include 8GB of internal storage, while 16GB seems to be the average on comparable devices. However, the A100 does come with micro SD card support, so it can be boosted by an extra 32GB.
A 5-megapixel camera with LED flash is located on the rear, and a 2-megapixel unit is on the front for video calling. Dolby Mobile technology has also been included to help give a little boost to the sound, and there is a standard headphone jack on top of the tablet.