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Acer ICONIA TAB A200 unboxing and hands-on

Acer ICONIA TAB A200 unboxing and hands-on
For its first outing, Acer brought along the ICONIA TAB A500 early last year, which was its very first foray into the world of Honeycomb tablets. Even though it had to fight against other Honeycomb tablets at the time, namely the Motorola XOOM and T-Mobile G-Slate, the nice thing about Acer’s model was that it was priced considerably less – making it an easy purchase for some. This time around, the Acer ICONIA TAB A200 brings to the table some minor iterative improvements, but just like before, its starting price point is by far one of its most alluring features.

Now that we’re full steam ahead with Ice Cream Sandwich, some of us might be let down knowing that the ICONIA TAB A200 is packing Honeycomb out of the box, but interestingly enough, there’s a label right on the packaging saying that it’s “upgradeable to Android Ice Cream Sandwich, when available.” Knowing that, the pain is going to be short lived, right? We’d hope so considering that it’s slated to arrive sometime this month. As for the included goodies, there’s not a whole lot new seeing that we’re given the usual suspect of items – like the wall charger, microUSB cable, and documentation.

After getting situated with the tablet, we have to admit that Acer has done a nice job in improving the design and build quality of the ICONIA TAB A200 over the previous A500 model. First and foremost, it doesn’t feel cheap at all, thanks to the rubbery finish in the rear and its sturdy feel in the hand – albeit, it does carry some noticeable weight with it. All in all, it simply looks and feels considerably complete over Acer’s previous work, which is the correct direction they need to go.

Initially, our eyes are able to soak in the detail and clarity given off by the tablet’s 10.1” WXGA (1280 x 800) LCD display. Looking at it head-on, we’re treated to some pleasant colors, but it washes out at different angles – plus, its brightness output doesn’t seem potent enough to make it visible in a lot of lighting. As for the experience, it’s nothing out of the ordinary seeing it’s running Android 3.2 Honeycomb – though it might appear to be stock, there’s a sprinkling of customization on Acer’s part. Tinkering around more with it, the Acer Ring is accessed by the pressing on the glowing dot located in the menu bar area. It’s actually neat looking and offers quick access to quite a few different things.

In terms of hardware, this tablet packs a 1GHZ dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, front-facing 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth  2.1 with EDR, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, aGPS, and a microSD card slot. Of course, seeing it lacks a rear camera, it’ll make some people think long and hard about picking one up – then again, its pricing is killer at $349.99 for the 16GB model. We’ll be testing it our extensively, so expect our in-depth review soon!

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