Clear full HD screen, lots of storage space, impressive battery life
Some slowdown, chunky chassis
The Iconia Tab A700 has a 10.1in display, which is great for films. It is quite heavy and chunky and despite its quad-core chip, is prone to the odd slowdown. However, for watching films and playing games it’s a good choice.
It sounds like the Iconia Tab A700 has a lot to offer – quad-core power, impressively sharp Full HD display, and Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but is it enough?
To look at, the A700 looks like any other Acer tablet – it has a glossy black front, with a border around the screen, with a rim made of rubber and plastic. The corners are protected from knocks by rubberised edges, and there are ports on all four sides, The microSD slot is hidden, plus there’s a mini HDMI slot if you want to share pictures and films on a TV (you’ll need to buy a cable separately though). The Micro USB port is there to allow you to connect the device to a PC.
There is a bit of give if you push on the back of the device, but otherwise build quality is solid. The rear is bevelled and is soft to touch, which makes it nice to hold, and ensures it won’t go sliding off the table if it gets nudged.
It’s hefty – at 66g it weighs about the same as the iPad, but less than the Iconia Tab A200 and Iconia Tab A510. It may feel hefty to some, but we were happy to use it on our commute.
Lurking under the hood is a quad-core chip that will keep app fans and gamers happy – we found it ran the latest releases with no problems, and could handle complex tasks too. Mind you, there was the odd stutter at time – closing and opening apps, for instance. It’s a pity when the Nexus 7 managed to achieve perfect performance at a much lower price.
What is a great improvement on its predecessors is its Full HD 1080p display. Films and photos looked sharp and colourful, and the 32Gb of onboard memory means you have room for plenty. It’s not terribly bright though, so looking at it in direct sunlight is not easy. You’ll really want to use this device indoors.
Have a sandwich
The A700 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich, which has had a few Acer touches added. There are five desktops that can be customised with widgets (lots have been pre-loaded) and apps. The display switches from portrait to landscape as you rotate the device, although it does take a while – it is also possible to switch this off should you wish.
The touchscreen is very responsive, which is useful if you’re browsing the web or playing games. Pages loaded speedily and are easy to scroll through. Updating happens quickly when zooming in and out.
We do like the fact that the A700 allows the user to take a screenshot – and we like the fact that the ring on the unlock screen lets you fire up four apps of your choice without having to unlock the tablet first. What we’re not thrilled about seeing again is Acer’s Ring – it’s supposed to act as a shortcut tool for your favourite sites and websites, but we can’t really see the point of it as you can just add shortcuts to the desktop.
The notifications bar has some useful shortcuts that let you toggle on and off GPS, Wi-Fi and other features that drain the battery’s juice.
In the picture
If you want to take photos with your tablet, there’s a five-megapixel snapper on board, which features a decent autofocus – handy for action pictures. In daylight, images proved sharp, but with no flash included, taking images in low light is tough. Interior shots are marred by a pink cast. Other facilities include panoramic shots, sharing images over social networks – and the ability to grab video footage.
The front-facing lens is useful for making Skype calls – if you have a Wi-Fi connection. It’s surprisingly sharp for a one-megapixel model and there is no lag whatsoever,
Battery life is also impressive – if you’re just going online you should get a full day out of it, and if you’re messing around with apps and watching movies expect around seven or eight hours. Better than your average tablet of this size.
The Acer’s Iconia Tab A700 has a sharp Full HD 10.1-inch display, which is great for watching films, It is a bit heavy, a bit chunky and does have some slowing down issues at times, but it’s still a good choice if you want to play films or games on the go.
|Type of device||Tablet|
|Operating System||Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|Processor speed||1.2 Quad-Core|
|CPU||nVidia Tegra 3|
|Screen size||10.1 inches|
|Memory card slot|
|Secondary camera||1 megapixels|
|Special camera features||Auto-focus|
|FM Radio description|
|Handsfree speaker phone|
|What's in the box||Charger|
|Battery life multimedia||8 hours|
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