Acer’s tablet sports a fast processor considering its low price, and plenty of other plus points
One of the things Acer has had to compromise on to meet its Iconia A210 price is hardware design. This is a heavy tablet at just over 700g, and you will really notice that in your hands even after a short time. None of the other tablets in this group weigh more than 600g.
Image source pctabz.com
Another compromise area is the general chassis design. Seen from the front the Iconia A210 looks standard enough. The rounded corners and black and silver colour scheme are both comfortingly familiar. But the tablet is more than 12mm thick, while none of the others in this group go over 9mm. This makes a big difference in that the Iconia Tab looks a lot less sleek than its three competitors.
Meanwhile the backplate is obviously made from plastic and bows slightly if you press it. The stippled finish isn’t the greatest looking either, but it does help make the Iconia A210 grippy. A glance at the backplate also reveals the lack of a rear camera. The two-megapixel front camera will have to suffice. We aren’t fans of the small round pin charging port either. If you can live with all this you do get a fair amount of punch for your money. That processor is a big deal.
A quad-core engine room, albeit one that’s slower than the very top-end of the quad-core brigade, works well. The standard micro USB is accompanied by a full-sized USB port that can accommodate a mouse or keyboard and read from a USB stick or hard drive. A large, and quite ugly, hinged cover protects a micro SD card slot and, unusually, a reset button. We like the rotation lock switch, and there are stereo speakers on the back that deliver good quality sound.
On the software front, additions include a neat application picker you can call up at any time, which also includes a volume slider, screen grabber and shortcut to web bookmarks. There is also a video player that supports plenty of formats and a music player that makes the most of the big screen.
Thick, heavy and with a slightly springy plastic back, Asus doesn’t do the Iconia A210 any favours with its physical design and build quality. You will have to look underneath the hood to find the good stuff.
The quad-core processor ensures things trip along nicely, and we can’t complain about the screen’s responsiveness. Battery life left a bit to be desired though, and we wouldn’t want to go too far without that power cable in our bag.
The 10.1-inch screen offers an unsurprising 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution. It doesn’t go especially bright, so using the tablet outdoors isn’t great, but inside it is fine. If you’re looking for a decent camera, look away now.
With micro USB built in you’d think you could charge easily, but a proprietary round pin charger is required. We do like the full-sized USB – this responded to our test mouse and keyboard perfectly.
Compromises have been made to meet a price but that’s countered by some surprisingly good features
Karim is a professional writer and has focused his work on gadgets. He is currently writing of an iPhone SIM only deals website. The site includes many operator deals including plans with unlimited internet when comparing 3 iPhone SIM Only deals.