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Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface and Functionality:

Even though we might yawn at the fact that the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 is powered by none other than the usual 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, which is aided by 512MB of RAM, we’re enamored by its spot-on responsiveness. Generally, other tablets show some signs of struggle when glitzy live wallpapers are used, but instead, the ICONIA TAB A100 is nearly flawless with its operation – much like what it does with other basic tasks. Moreover, it doesn’t strain or stutter when navigating in portrait, which has been one eyesore for earlier Honeycomb slates. Overall, this thing is uncannily fast, and by fast, we mean super-duper responsive, which is surprising considering it uses the same CPU as others.

Interestingly, part of the reason why this tablet is considerably faster than previous ones, it probably has something to do with the fact that it features Android 3.2 Honeycomb. Just like on the Sony Tablet S that we reviewed recently, the update appears to have solved most of the platform’s sluggishness – and boy does it run quick. Like the ICONIA TAB A500, this one sports a stock Honeycomb experience as well, which is complemented by some of Acer’s very own widgets. Furthermore, it also offers the same alternative interface that better organizes apps as it breaks them down to categories like eReading, Game Zone, Multimedia, and Social. Although it’s nice looking and all, it doesn’t particularly add anything beneficial besides the fact that you can group apps according to category.

The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

The Acer ICONIA TAB A100 features Android 3.2 Honeycomb


Limited in space versus its larger counterparts, typing on its keyboard is tough at first due to the cramped confines – but after some practice, we’re able to get a feel for it. In addition, its peppy responsiveness never misses a beat, as it’s able to keep up with us. Finally, we find ourselves typing comfortably in portrait since the experience is very similar to those smartphones packing ginormous displays.

On-screen keyboards - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
On-screen keyboards - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
On-screen keyboards - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
On-screen keyboards - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

On-screen keyboards


Seeing that it’s the stock Honeycomb experience we’re presented with, all of its core organizer apps retain their presentation and functionality. Being a tablet platform and all, most of the core apps utilize the familiar two-panel layout that we’re so accustomed to seeing – like what’s found with the Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail apps. Naturally, we find all the usual Google branded apps preloaded with the tablet, but in addition, we also find things like clear.fi, Media Remote, Media Server, MusicA, nemoPlayer, SocialJogger, TegraZone, and Ustream.

Calendar - Organizer apps - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Organizer apps - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Gmail app - Organizer apps - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Organizer apps - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Calendar

 

Gmail app

 

Organizer apps


clear.fi - Preloaded apps on the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Media Server - Preloaded apps on the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
MusicA - Preloaded apps on the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
SocialJogger - Preloaded apps on the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

clear.fi

Media Server

MusicA

SocialJogger

Preloaded apps on the Acer ICONIA TAB A100



Camera and Multimedia:

Neither fantastic or abysmal looking, its 5-megapixel auto-focus camera is able to cook up some average looking photos. When it’s sunny outside, it’s able to capture some accurate looking colors with its images, but we’re not thrilled by its flat details – though, it excels with macro shots. However, things are dulled down tremendously with photos taken in low lighting because they’re grainy looking and filled with plenty of noise. Granted that its LED flash is able to brighten things up a little, it tends to cast a dull tone with its color production.

Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera interface - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Camera interface


Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Camera samples taken with the Acer ICONIA TAB A100


Strong - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Medium - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Low light - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

3ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
5ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
7ft - Darkness with flashIndoor samples - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

3ft

5ft

7ft

Darkness with flash
Indoor samples


Shooting some tolerable still shots, there’s nothing pretty about its 720p video recording – well, except for its smooth 30 frames per second capture rate. Rather, things are shifted downwards since details are muddy looking, there is plenty of artifacting when panning very quickly, and its exposure can sometimes distort colors. Luckily, audio recording is clear for the most part without the hint of it sounding irritating to the ear.

Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Sample Video:




Exhibiting some instantaneous responses with other operations, we’re puzzled by the tablet’s inability to play 1080p videos consistently. Specifically, it struggles at times to play our test video that’s encoded in DivX 1920 x 1080 resolution. However, it’s able to play 720p videos with no problem at all.

Video playback - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
Video playback - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

Video playback


Choice is nice, and that’s exactly what we’re given with the tablet’s music players, which features the stock Honeycomb one and the nemoPlayer. To tell you the truth, we’d stick with the stock one simply for the reason that its presentation is more refined looking – but besides that, they offer the same exact functionality. Blessed with stereo support, thanks to its two speakers, volume output is right there in the comfortable middle position without any evidence of crackling or strain.

The stock Honeycomb music player - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The stock Honeycomb music player - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The stock Honeycomb music player - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

The stock Honeycomb music player


For those fortunate enough to have DLNA compatible devices, you’ll be able take advantage of the tablet’s DLNA functionality to stream multimedia content. Conversely, there’s always the quick and effortless route of falling back on using its microHDMI out port, which provides us with a mirrored experience.

Going below the norm, the Acer ICONIA TAB A100 packs only a measly 8GB of internal storage – however, it can be supplemented with microSD cards up to 32GB in capacity.


Internet and Connectivity:

Not surprisingly, the web browsing experience is more than agreeable to our tastes since it exhibits all the lovable qualities that make it a fine experience. Not only is it able to render our site quickly and properly, but it doesn’t flinch in the presence of Flash content – plus, its navigational controls are smooth and responsive. So yeah, we’re undeniably tantalized by its performance.

The web browsing experience is more than agreeable - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The web browsing experience is more than agreeable - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The web browsing experience is more than agreeable - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review
The web browsing experience is more than agreeable - Acer ICONIA TAB A100 Review

The web browsing experience is more than agreeable


As it stands right now, the ICONIA TAB A100 is only available in Wi-Fi form, but we’ll more than likely see cellular enabled versions since it already has a placeholder for what appears to be a SIM card slot. Connecting to a wireless hotspot, it’s able to retain a solid connection while using it in an adjacent closed-off room. Meanwhile, it also packs other connectivity items like aGPS and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.

4 Comments
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posted on 07 Oct 2011, 10:35

1. bSLiZzLe (unregistered)


i own it, love it & it works great. Has 1GB of RAM, not 512mb(quoted by ACER)

posted on 07 Oct 2011, 15:45

2. dara (unregistered)


wtf, mr. reviewer?

first you noticing the device being super duper fast and smooth, (first android tablet receiving such praises regarding speed actually!)..and then you conclude that other android competitors have "better performance overall"
?!?!

posted on 08 Oct 2011, 09:04

5. rex0422 (Posts: 30; Member since: 12 Aug 2011)


This particular review is not as good as before.

Specifically, it is too vague in some parts, which should be more detailed. For example, what do you mean by "it is super fast" and then followed by "better performance from other tablets"? It is quite vague.

Also, you are not really specific when it comes to photo-taking. Can you be more specific than "dull"? For example, from my point of view, I would say more about its colors and details, rather than "dull".

Last, there is a mistake- not 512MB of RAM, it is 1GB.

posted on 15 Oct 2011, 10:42

9. Nia (unregistered)


I m an Acer fan, got Liquid Ferrari & Iconia Tab window version but in love wit this 7" tab..too bad not sale in my place yet.

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Acer ICONIA TAB A100

Acer ICONIA TAB A100

OS: Android 4.0.3 3.2 3.0
view full specs
Display7.0 inches, 1024 x 600 pixels (170 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual core, 1000 MHz
1024 MB RAM
Size7.68 x 4.61 x 0.52 inches
(195 x 117 x 13.1 mm )
16.58 oz  (470 g)

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