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Acer Iconia Tab A100 review

The 7-inch Android 3.2 tablet that's better than the HTC Flyer

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Small and compact
  • Good e-reader
  • Latest Android OS
  • Re-sizes smartphone apps

Against

  • Average screen
  • Poor battery
  • Boring design

Life is all about choices and trade-offs. With the Acer Iconia Tab A100, the main compromise is in size. This 417g tablet, the first to run the Android 3.2 operating system, is too big to be a smartphone and too small – at a 7-inch screen size – to watch movies on. It fills a small niche for those who want an ebook reader that also runs apps.

For some, the form factor might be just about right. While the HTC Flyer is now showing signs of age, both tablets fit into the same mould: both offer a compact 7-inch screen, the Tegra 2 processor running at 1GHz and 1GB RAM. The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is actually 3g lighter, but you won't notice.

However, there are a few differences between the two pocket-sized tabs. We say pocket-sized with a smirk – you really need pretty large pockets for that to work.

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 runs Android 3.2 out of the box, whereas most HTC Flyers have to be updated to 3.2.

Acer iconia tab a100 review

This version of the operating system, named Honeycomb, supports screen scaling to run apps made for smartphones. However, on the 7-inch screen the resizing for smartphone apps isn't that noticeable.

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 also provides a few interesting apps. One is called Planner and it presents a handy all-in-one view of recent news, your email, calendar and notes.

Like the Acer Iconia Tab A500, the A100 uses an app categorisation system for grouping apps into bins for social networking, ebooks, games and so on. Sure, it's nothing more than an extra home screen system, and doesn't look that great, but at least we're not talking about plain vanilla Android here.

Acer iconia tab a100 review

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 also provides a 5MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing chat camera. The HTC Flyer's chat camera is only 1.3MP.

Most critically, the HTC Flyer uses a single-core CPU while the Acer Iconia Tab A100 stays current with recent 10-inch tabs by offering the Tegra 2 dual-core chip.

In truth, most of the other differences compared to the HTC Flyer are cosmetic, or related to usability and the screen technology used on the two tablets. However, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 gets the nod over the HTC Flyer if only for including a new version of Android.

And there's a smart fold-open case for the Acer Iconia Tab A100 where you can set it almost vertical on a desk.

Acer iconia tab a100 review

We should mention the BlackBerry PlayBook, even though many tablet users have forgotten it exists. There are still no strong apps on it to speak about, but the PlayBook also has a 7-inch screen. We can't recommend it unless you really need the business security features or already use a BlackBerry smartphone. Both the HTC Flyer and the Acer Iconia Tab A100 are better buys because of the boatload of Android apps available.

Oh, and there's still the first-gen 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab, which shares some similarity in size but uses the older Android 2.2 Froyo operating system. It enables you to rent movies, but otherwise its apps are all designed for smartphones.

The Acer Iconia Tab A100 8GB model we tested costs only $330 in the US, and £299.99 in the UK. The HTC Flyer is priced at £480. That makes the A100 the better buy. But the reality is that 10-inch tabs aren't that much more expensive, not that much heavier – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is only 148g heavier than the A100 – and better suited to watching movies and playing games.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity8 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
HDMIYes
Product FamilyICONIA TAB A
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor Model250
ColourBlue
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 2
Screen Size17.8 cm (7")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)410 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height13.1 mm
Width117 mm
Depth195 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesA
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelA100
Product NameICONIA TAB A100 VanGogh Tablet Computer
Product LineICONIA TAB
Manufacturer Part NumberS7.H6RWN.001
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.acer.co.uk
Marketing Information

Lightweight and smaller than a magazine, the ICONIA TAB A Series is very easy to carry. It runs on the tablet-tailored Android operating system, and sports a capacitive multi-touch display with smart divisions that open up new possibilities for interaction. Enjoy a whole new touch experience!

Strikingly powerful

Inside the smooth and handsome chassis is a powerful mobile processor, putting striking power and graphics in your hands, while ample RAM enables fast multitasking. The multi-touch screen and fluid interface make using this tablet a breeze. And use it your way: hold the ICONIA TAB A Series in any direction and it'll auto-rotate to your perspective. What's more, the long-lasting battery will give you several hours of HD video playback and enjoyment.

Package Contents
  • ICONIA TAB A100 VanGogh Tablet Computer
  • Lithium Polymer Battery
  • AC Adapter