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Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review

By on February 28, 2012
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For those who like small things.

Good: Comfortable to hold, very portable, ICS 4.0 update coming soon
Bad: Low battery life, small viewing angles
Price: AED 1,199
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Screen and Camera

The screen is one area where the Acer Iconia Tab A100 is left wanting. Instead of using an IPS panel, Acer has used a traditional TN panel instead. This basically results in smaller viewing angles and colors that don’t have much depth to them.

Thankfully the 7-inch screen has 1024×600 pixels, giving it a 170 ppi pixel density, 21ppi more than the larger A500’s 10.1-inch screen. This is especially good as reading text on the small screen requires it to be held closer to the face compared to bigger tablets, the higher pixel density definitely helps in giving everything a sharper look.

Given its width of 11.7 cm, the Iconia Tab A100 is quite easy to hold in portrait mode as you can easily type using both thumbs. Switching orientation from landscape to portrait mode is a tad bit laggy, but not a real issue during daily usage.

The camera on the A100 is the exact same as the one found on the A500, so it’s nothing to write home about. The rear 5MP camera on the rear is capable of shooting 720p videos at a smooth 30fps. Auto-focus and built-in Image Stabilization also help take photos easily.

Battery Life

This is the one place where the Iconia Tab A100’s small size really hurt: the battery is really small. The measly 1530mAh battery pales in comparison to the A500’s 3260mAh Li-Po battery. Thankfully the battery life isn’t cut in half, but at barely 4.5 hours of usage over WiFi, it’s not exactly great either.

Ultimately the Acer Iconia Tab A100’s recent launch in this market has actually hurt it somewhat. With the not-so-recent price drops on BlackBerry Playbooks, a 16GB version can be had for under AED 800 ($220), making the $330 8GB Iconia Tab A100 a bit too expensive. Not only that, but the Playbook’s impressive 5300mAh battery gives it more than double the battery life of the A100. Had the BlackBerry Playbook not flopped, which ironically led to a significant price drop and consequently incredible sales, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 would have been the cheapest and most feature rich 7-inch tablet on the market.

As it stands, though, it’s difficult to recommend the Iconia Tab A100 with the Playbook offering much more for much less.

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About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

Comments
  • Pete

    I had both… and while I loved playbooks battery life and quality build / awesome cameras, it lacked apps, even after 2.0 update… no netflix, no skype… so I went with a100, at $250 at Microcenter. I’m happy with it… battery life is lacking of course, but I can sneak in all day use out of it. Also, ICS is coming soon!

  • Mich

    I just purchased a refurbished A100 after spending a month using a Samsung Tab 10.1.  The Samsung was limited at 16 GB of memory and seemed to take a long time to boot.  The A100 on the other hand seems quite responsive, is expandable (got a 32 GB SD card in it at the moment).  Loaded the XDA Developer ICS and other than it can’t be rooted it is running very well, games seem quicker, playing movies is a lot smoother and getting WiFi connections.  Find there is a lot of A100 accessories available at reasonable prices.  For the $200 price point I paid it definitely is going to meet my day to day internet browsing and movie watching needs.

  • Eric Zaba

    Go ICS yay. I love my android I’m typing with it now

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