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Acer Iconia Tab A200 review

An Ice Cream Sandwich tablet at a budget price

Whether by chance or design, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is an easy tablet to rate. It's a budget tablet and, as such, there are omissions. But, if you look around at other budget tablets - such as the ZTE Light Tab 2, Disgo 9104 or Archos 70 Internet Tablet - this is better by quite a long shot.

For starters, many budget tablets go for the 7-inch form factor, and for surfing the web or watching movies a 10.1-inch screen is preferable. And it can be touch and go whether or not you'll get access to Google Play on a budget tablet.

So, not only do you get a 10.1-inch high definition screen with the Acer A200, but you also get Android Ice Cream Sandwich and all the apps that Google has to offer.

Of course, there's something to be said for the smaller size for reading ebooks, or taking on the commute, and we doubt you'll be able to use the Acer Iconia Tab A200 for either of these. It's too heavy to hold comfortably for long periods, and the bulky chassis isn't as easy to slip into a case or a bag as the Toshiba AT200 or the BlackBerry PlayBook.

But, as we said, there are omissions. There's no HDMI, no rear-facing camera and only 8GB of onboard storage space - although in the US you can buy a 16GB version for not a lot more money.

If you need bleeding-edge features and all the connectivity you can muster, then you're going to need to go elsewhere - and spend a bit more.

We liked

Even though the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is a chunky tablet, we found the design - especially in red - to be quite appealing. Similarly, the rubberised back is comfortable, easy to grip and doesn't quickly get covered in unattractive smudges.

The weight gives a solid heft to this tablet that some people (particularly those with accident-prone kids or spouses) might find appealing, while others will bemoan the extra effort of holding it.

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system is Google's best effort yet, and with the new iteration we're seeing Android tablets become smoother and easier to navigate.

We like the new cosmetic changes, such as the ability to lump apps together in folders, and the Acer Ring that enables you to quickly launch your favourite applications wherever you are in the system.

The 1GHz Tegra 2 processor might have been surpassed by the Tegra 3, but we still found it suitable for running all our favourite games, and thanks to a bit of microSD-enhanced storage, we were able to load up the Acer Iconia Tab A200 with plenty of media to enjoy.

We disliked

Obviously, the lack of an HDMI port or rear-facing camera is annoying, but there are other irritating aspects to the Acer Iconia Tab A200 as well. For example, getting the plastic cover that conceals the microSD card slot up is a test of patience as well as fingernails.

Similarly, the fact that you can't charge via USB (unless you plug into a PC or laptop) means that you're forced to make room for the charger if you plan on taking the Acer Iconia Tab A200 away for a night or two.

Although media playback was a relative strong point of the Acer Iconia Tab A200, we did find that volume from the two small speakers situated on the back of the tablet was lacking. Similarly, we've seen brighter screens on rival Android devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

Final verdict

The biggest positive we can draw from the Acer Iconia Tab A200 is the price. Given that Apple has dropped the price of the iPad 2, it's going to become harder for Android devices to compete on price, but regardless there are people who don't want an iPad or want to spend over £300/$350 on a tablet.

Although the market for budget tablets is getting increasingly crowded, the Acer Iconia Tab A200 offers a lot for its relatively low price.

We feel that with the Iconia Tab A200, Acer is replicating some of the policies that have made its laptops increasingly popular. That is, an unremarkable chassis with a brief smattering of necessary ports and a concentration on offering decent power at a very attractive price.

Getting a 10.1-inch Tegra 2 tablet with ICS for £280/$330 is a good deal in our book, and there are alternatives from Acer if you want a more premium device.

But if you want a budget media tablet for the house, that everyone in the family can use, then this is one of the better choices available today.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Product FamilyICONIA TAB A
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor Model250
ColourTitanium
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAcer
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 2
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Number of Cells2-cell
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)720 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height12.4 mm
Width260 mm
Depth175 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesA
ManufacturerAcer, Inc
Product ModelA200
Product NameICONIA Tab A200 Tablet Computer
Product LineICONIA TAB
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberS7.H8QWN.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 A200 Tablet Computer
  • AC Adapter