Acer Iconia Tab A100 Review

August 22, 2011
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Acer has recently released their newest device in the Android tablet game and that is the Acer Iconia A100. Acer was one of the first to market with a Honeycomb tablet in the A500 (see our review) and this time around they are first again. This is not only the first 7" Honeycomb tablet, but the A100 is also the first device to ship with Android 3.2 Honeycomb on board stock. We've been enjoying this little portable tablet for the past week or so and today we have a few more details and pictures for you all to enjoy.

While the A100 isn't the thinnest or the prettiest device, it wasn't really designed for that most likely. It's a great product in a small form factor while keeping performance high and price low. Thanks to the NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1 Ghz processor under the hood the performance is plenty fast and stable. First off here is a quick hands-on video with the tab for a better idea of the hardware.

Hardware

As for the hardware we have a similar design and overall build quality to the big brother in the Iconia A500. While the A500 had a aluminum body that almost felt too thin and cheap the A100 has a nice sturdy feeling to the design but it is wrapped in plastic rather than aluminum. It does feel better in the hands so that is a good thing. The A100 features a 7" 1024x600 resolution display as well as the all famous NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core CPU, 512MB of ram and this flavor comes with 8GB of internal storage. While it's not as thin as a Galaxy Tab 10.1 it is closer to the Xoom and comes in just under a half an inch thick.

For an idea on thickness here is the A100 and A500 sitting together

We also have a 5MP rear camera with LED flash, a 2MP front for video chat, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and even a SIM slot for GSM 3G connectivity. It also features a micro SD slot for up to 32GB of expanded storage for those in need.

On the top of the device we have the power and wake/standby button with a nice LED light to show when powered on, as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack and then some gibberish and FCC warning labels.

On the bottom of the device we have a dedicated charging port, stereo speakers, a micro HDMI port, micro USB, and a 30 pin dock connector for accessories and docks. The top has the volume rocker and portrait/landscape screen orientation lock.

Before we move on my only real complaint regarding hardware was the device could be a little thinner and then the viewing angles. The screen is nice and vibrant and the 7" form is really nice to carry around and take in the car but the viewing angles were quite poor.

Software and Performance
As far as software goes, we have Android 3.2 Honeycomb here, the latest iteration of Google's tablet OS and personally I feel 3.2 has finally made Honeycomb perform how it should. The update for 3.2 on the Xoom also made it just that much more smooth and added some overall stability. The Acer Iconia A100 running 3.2 Honeycomb has been a very smooth, fluent, and good experience and 3.2 really makes a big difference if you ask me.

The A100 did have a few apps pre-loaded for cloud services and things of that sort. Documents to Go, Media Server, AUPEO! a radio app that’ll allow you to utilize your FM radio embedded in the device with ease and a few other fancy apps. Other than those you have the standard Google apps and programs we've come to expect from an Android device. Gaming on the A100 was smooth and performs well thanks to the dual-core Tegra 2 CPU. The only THD specific game was Solitare SE but the Tegra Zone app offers plenty of Tegra HD specific.

Performance was decent and as always we've ran a few benchmarks for you to enjoy and compare to anything you may have at home. For a full rundown of all the benchmarks check out our Acer A100 Benchmark overview.

CF-Bench

Vellamo Web Benchmark

Quadrant

Linpack

and last but not least, Smartbench

Camera and Battery Life
Before I complain about the battery here are a few pictures of the beastly camera lens on the rear, and how well it performs.

The camera is 5MP and takes pretty great photos as well as 720p HD video recording. I didn't test the front facing camera as we've all seen how those look for now until we get some better cameras in the front.

Battery... Where do I even start? Acer was nice enough to throw in a 1530 mAh battery with the Acer Iconia A100 Tab. Yes I said a 1530 mAh battery, compare that with 4000 mAh on the 7" Galaxy tab and around 7000 on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 you've got to wonder why they went with such a small battery. It wasn't to keep the design thin and lightweight that is for sure. My Nexus One and HTC Sensation and most smartphones have around 1500-1700 mAh batteries as of late.

Even though the battery was small it did seem to perform fairly decent, so I guess I can't complain too much. The 7" screen size as well as the highly optimized and efficient Android 3.2 might have helped out but it seems to last about 8-10 hours from what I'm seeing. The Acer spec sheet does mention 5 hours of web browsing but that is with continuous use. A nice 3200 mAh battery like the original A500 had would have really gave this amazing battery life and truly made it a portable device because as is now, it's portability is slightly hindered by the battery life.

Wrap-Up
The Acer Icona A100 does have a lot to offer those looking to purchase it. Being the latest and greatest OS, a small and portable 7" form factor, a great price and a super powerful dual-core processor what else do you need? If you aren't looking for a larger 10" tablet and don't want last-gen hardware in the Galaxy Tab 7" this is the ideal purchase. While not everyone wants the portability of a 7" tablet those that do will not be disappointed with the A100.

Being smaller than any other tablet on the market while not sacrificing performance this dual-core Honeycomb tablet is just what any traveler needs. It may not be the prettiest but for what you are getting, and in the size you are getting it, I'm sure most would be happy to carry this bad boy around and play a few occasional games. The Honeycomb experience is nice on the 7" factor but maybe I'm just now used to it on a larger screen since I've used so many 10" tablets in the past. I kept finding myself reaching for my Galaxy Tab 10.1 instead of the A100. If I was headed out of town or on a camping trip this little Iconia A100 would be my first choice though that is for sure.

Make sure to click on all the photos below to see them in their full size glory to get a better view.

[device id=973]


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  • oGsSTC

    HP has killed the non-iPad tablet market. Why spend $300-$400 on this device, when you could get a Android ported Touchpad that has basically the same hardware specs – Dual Core, 10″, Camera, for way cheaper?

    • Ererr

      Don’t even try the Chinese designed and built tablet…..they simply are not worth the money!!
      Tried it and been burned!!!

      • 123

        BLOW YER KNOSE DUDE!!!!

    • http://profiles.google.com/diknak Keith Hill

      This is my favorite post.  HP has killed the non iPad tablet market?  You must live under a rock or something because HP has pulled the plug on the Touchpad because of its failure.

      And why would you want a ghetto rigged tablet with no official support or updates.  No thanks, I will stick with a company that actually supports their devices.

    • http://profiles.google.com/diknak Keith Hill

      This is my favorite post.  HP has killed the non iPad tablet market?  You must live under a rock or something because HP has pulled the plug on the Touchpad because of its failure.

      And why would you want a ghetto rigged tablet with no official support or updates.  No thanks, I will stick with a company that actually supports their devices.

  • frens

    nice post

  • Curmudgeon

    A 7-inch tablet (any 7-inch tablet) is the electronic equivalent of a two-inch penis; it’ll do what it was designed for but no one will be satisfied.

    • dtray

      Blazing fast, works flawless. Perfect size and beautiful graphics. Matter of fact my Xoom (which replaced my ipad2 )is now on e-bay.

      P.S. Sorry to hear about your penis.

    • http://profiles.google.com/diknak Keith Hill

       lol, spoken from someone with a 2 inch penis?

      7 inch is the perfect form factor for me because it is super portable and still has a great screen for watching movies and surfing the net.  Can you fit your iPad in your cargo short pockets?

    • Anonymous

      What a lame comment. 

  • Curmudgeon

    A 7-inch tablet (any 7-inch tablet) is the electronic equivalent of a two-inch penis; it’ll do what it was designed for but no one will be satisfied.

  • http://twitter.com/nishantubc nishant kumar

    The slimmest devil I would say and is going to take the market by storm. The product is evidently a great tab to own. My friend has, my cousin has it but I have not been able grab my hands on it, though used it through them.  I find it awesome to use it.    

  • http://twitter.com/nishantubc nishant kumar

    Its
    my pleasure to look at your page and to enjoy your excellent topics, I
    appreciate it very much. I feel great that about these articles, as all
    of them make sense and are very useful. 

    http://www.bestofferbuy.com/cables-video-cableshdmi-and-vga-c-12_22_599_636.html

  • Lynne552

    You can’t run netflix on it and that is very disappointing to me, though I’m happy with everything else about it so far. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000150054754 Elizabeth Volkmer

    awesome review!   I really wish Target or Best Buy had this….but its still a no show almost three weeks after release.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5NFQ5APMIYG3DOXIQB5LBCBMLI Niclas

    please use another video camera or change the focus settings in video review, i get seasick and my head hurts when the focus keep changing every second.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5NFQ5APMIYG3DOXIQB5LBCBMLI Niclas

    please use another video camera or change the focus settings in video review, i get seasick and my head hurts when the focus keep changing every second.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5NFQ5APMIYG3DOXIQB5LBCBMLI Niclas

    please use another video camera or change the focus settings in video review, i get seasick and my head hurts when the focus keep changing every second.

  • Eshraq

    hi, is there anybody call tell me does skype video calling work on  Acer Iconia A100 7 inch(Android 3.2 Honeycomb)?

    • http://www.facebook.com/sean.kerwick Sean Kerwick

      My son used it Sunday to talk to his grandparents in Florida without a flaw.

      • http://www.facebook.com/serl0p Sergio Lopez

        He Sean, I have just bought this tablet, and I’ve download the Skype application, but it doesn’t work the video call feature, or at least I couldn’t find it. Which application do your son use? Or how did you do it?. Thanks for your help.

    • Lamont Montgomery

      yes it works

  • Anonymous

    I thought this had 1GB of RAM?

    • Mongrcfreak

      768 mb

  • http://www.mydiscoutlet.com CD Replication

     Great job. The pictures of the post has become more complete with this article. Thank you.

    http://www.mydiscoutlet.com

  • Anonymous

    “a radio app that’ll allow you to utilize your FM radio embedded in the device…”
    What FM Radio embedded in the device?

  • Mongrcfreak

    the ram is 768 mb not 512 mb

  • greg

    The ram is 1 gig, people. Look at the picture of the back of the box. 

  • Harshal_patilus

    I bought it for 189 in best buy….awesome deal….only complaint if you buy at regular price is the screen display is too bright and auto adjust does not work as good…but I can’t complain for the price

  • Isamb3

    I have a Acer a100 and I brought it to Bahrain and the application download does not let me download and it says download not available for your country- can some one help me. I got this from best buy.

  • wilbert

    Here is my concern….it only has a 4.5 hour batter life….. that is terrible… I bought mine for 180.00 @ best buy, but considering returning the unit… heck… with that small about of battery life…I need to have it freaking plugged in the whole time… that is a terrible metric for the battery….anybody out there  having issues with such a limited battery life?  

    • wilbert

      Only good thing I can say about this tab… bought it at BestBuy for their Black Friday sale.  I paid 189.00, took it home and read the reviews….never opened it…. sold it on ebay for 279.00.  took the money + 90.00 and purchased the Samsung galaxy tab 7 plus…. the best decision I have ever made..

  • http://www.mohamedbhimji.com Mohamed Bhimji

    GSM???  I don’t think so.  The GSM slot is covered up, everything I’ve read says that there is NO GSM on the device.  Please double-check and correct the review.

    • wilbert

      I never said that this product has GSM capability….it does not… they have that slot blocked out…this item sucks.. hated it… get a samsung galaxy tab 7 plus, or the new one that will be comming out after christmas for 100.00

    • wilbert

      mr.  Bhimji.. I didn’t say that it has a GSM slot… I think you are confusing my post with another person…

  • http://www.mohamedbhimji.com Mohamed Bhimji

    GSM???  I don’t think so.  The GSM slot is covered up, everything I’ve read says that there is NO GSM on the device.  Please double-check and correct the review.

  • B Stolk

    The a100 is a decent device, but has some drawbacks:
    – inaccurate touch, I often press the wrong button, which never happens on my iPhone or iPad.
    – horrible discolourizations depending on viewing angle. The effects are NOT symmetrical… Different colors show up when looking from 20 degrees left compared to looking from 20 degrees right.
    – very bad battery performance.

  • Yahoo

    1gb ram, it is right on the box.  The third bullet states “8 GB flash memory, 1GB RAM”  Where do you get 768?

  • Yahoo

    1gb ram, it is right on the box.  The third bullet states “8 GB flash memory, 1GB RAM”  Where do you get 768?

  • Tmbrwlf

    Acer says Battery is 1520mAh X2. I might be wrong, but dosn’t 1520×2=3040? 

  • Alicia

    abysmal battery life, last like only 4 hours, then you have to charge it again… It even consumes battery while in sleep mode!!!

  • Elijah Jung

    Just saying for the battery life problems, if you update the tablet to ICS with the leaked ROM, you definitely get an increased battery life. The leaked ROM is stable but some apps like google chrome will crash when entering the settings. This is only for beta apps. 

  • Donna B.

    Great write up ~ thanks much – you put so many apps, desripts and explanations into a much more brief, understandable view for my ‘diminished tech-challenged’ mind…

    Now, one thing I had not noticed, or may be too ignorant to realize for myself – can I use Skype with the Acer a100?  … and if so ~ would/should that be operable in China? (am going to teach for another 2 yrs there)…

     Thanks again for your time and help ~ !