Costs less than £200; Quad-core nVidia power; Decent build quality; Android Jelly Bean OS
Dim display; Chunky
Acer’s Iconia Tab A110 has plenty to offer, including its quad-core power and latest version of the Android OS. It’s just a pity the 7in display is a bit of a letdown.
This is one of the smallest tablets we’ve seen to date – measuring just seven inches and with a suitably small price tag of less than £200, Acer is definitely trying to compete with the whole gamut of budget devices that are hitting the market. Yet we’ve already seen the Asus Nexus 7, which managed to get five stars from us – and the Apple iPad Mini is on the cards – so can the Iconia Tab A110 offer enough to make it stand out from the crowd?
The buttons and ports have been well distributed around the edges of the device. The volume and power keys are easy to get to, and the Micro SD and Mini HDMI ports sit on the opposite edge. There’s a Micro SD slot too, should you wish to expand on the 8GB of onboard storage.
Mostly, the Tab A110 feels well built – although there is a bit of creaking if you squeeze the left edge. It feels like it could be tossed in a bag, without suffering much in the way of scratches on its brushed silver body. It’s quite chunky feeling, which is down to the rectangular design. It has a decent heft to it, and because it is small it is easy to hold – it’s a pity it doesn’t have a rubber back panel like the Asus Nexus 7, though.
Under the hood sits a quad-core nVidia Tegra 3 chip, which manages to cope with the latest games with no ill effects apart from a couple of judders. The screen proves responsive too, which is good news if you like playing actions games. Acer has included two games with the device – Real Football 2012 and Ice Age football, and of course you can download plenty more from both the nVidia TegraZone and Google Play stores.
It’s a pity the screen is rather dim though, as it means it is not easy to see in bright daylight. It’s very reflective too, which doesn’t help is you have bright lights overhead. Having said that it is sharp enough to make a good job of videos. And you’ll get around five hours out of a fully charged battery if you’re streaming movies. Up that to six or seven hours for moderate use such as playing with apps and surfing the net. The battery life is better on the Nexus 7 though.
Android Jelly Bean
The good news is that the A110 runs on the latest version of Android – Jelly Bean 4.1. Acer hasn’t done much with the interface apart from adding a shortcuts bar so you can head to your favourite apps. The bar remains at the bottom of the screen. The OS runs smoothly and you can customise screens with your choice of widgets and apps. It’s a shame that the bar that shows which desktop you are on is rather hard to see.
Lose the snapper
To keep costs down, Acer has done away with a rear-facing snapper. It’s not easy to take snaps with a tablet, so in our eyes it’s a wise move – you’re more likely to use a phone or small digital camera anyway. However, there is a front-facing lens so that you can make Skype calls – far more useful.
Acer’s Iconia Tab A110 is one of the latest in a long line of budget devices to appear. It’s good value at less than £200 for a device with a quad-core chip. And with the latest version of Android and the ability to play the latest games, it seems like a good deal. But the display cannot compete with that on the Nexus 7, which is even cheaper, and has superior battery life – so if you want a media and gaming device, we think the Nexus 7 just beats it.
|Type of device||Tablet|
|Operating System||Android 4.1 Jelly Bean|
|Dimensions||193 x 127 x 11.4mm|
|CPU||Quad-core Tegra 3 processor|
|Screen size||7 inches|
|Resolution||WSVGA (1024 x 600)|
|Display type||WSVGA (1024 x 600)|
|Memory card slot|
|Secondary camera||2 megapixels|
|Special camera features|
|FM Radio description|
|Colors (Standard)||Black and Silver|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box|
|Battery life multimedia||5-6 hours|
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