A capable, if forgettable, tablet.
The Tegra 3 platform that Acer’s latest Android tablet is based on is stellar -- not only because of its blazing-fast performance, but also because of its battery life.
The Iconia Tab A510, with its 32GB storage and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS, is one of the most capable tablets available. On paper, in fact, it’s as impressive as it can be at this price point, ignoring the lack of a 3G modem. Only, it hasn’t tried to do anything more than look good on paper. The cheap, almost hollow-feeling plastic back is a testament to this.
We welcome the fact that Acer hasn’t tried to differentiate itself by creating a whole new launcher (à la Samsung’s revolting TouchWiz interface), but perhaps the best way to stand out among the Android competitors is through industrial design. The sole hardware choice that made us smile -- the addition of a screen orientation lock switch -- is nice to have, but not enough to make it compete against others in a crowded market.
The small software changes that Acer has introduced, however, are useful. The unlock screen has the familiar Honeycomb/Ice Cream Sandwich slide-to-unlock circle, only now you can also slide to open any of four chosen apps. Additionally, there’s also a little green button (the ‘Acer Ring’) in the middle of the menu bar that brings up volume adjustment, search and access to any four apps of your choice. Having this available from any application is wonderful.
At $549, it’s not unreasonably priced, and it’s a solid performer, but it doesn’t have that special wow factor, either.
Special features :
- Quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor
- 32GB storage
- 1MP/5MP cameras
Pros : Blazing-fast processor.
Cons : Lacklustre design.
Verdict : 7 out of 10.
Available from Acer, retailing for $549.