So how important is a back-facing camera to the overall tablet experience? Acer seems poised to have that question answered with the announcement of the Acer Iconia Tab A200.
Acer refers to the A200 as a full-featured tablet and for the most part, that is indeed the case. It sports a 10.1-inch screen, with a 1,280x800 resolution, plays 1080p video, and comes packed with Honeycomb 3.2.
Also, in mid-February you'll be able to upgrade to Android 4.0 via a free Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade. We assume this'll be an over-the-air update, but Acer didn't confirm the manner in which it'll disseminate it just yet.
You'll also get a full USB port, one micro-USB port, and a microSD slot for memory expansion. Although a gyroscope was mentioned as an included spec, an accelerometer was not.
The 1.5 pound tablet will include a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, but unfortunately, there's no mention of a rear-facing camera. This kind of begs the question, how full-featured can a tablet be, if it's missing features?
While the importance of including any camera on a tablet can be debated, at this point in the game, a rear-facing camera is something I'd argue most people expect to see on their devices.
Acer does seem to be passing the savings on to you however, at least at first glance. The A200 will be available starting at $329 for the 8GB version and $349 for the 16GB unit. And while that's at least $100 lower than what the A500 launched at in April 2011, the A500 has since been heavily discounted and is available at Best Buy currently for $359, with two cameras.
At that price, it's no surprise Acer housed an Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU inside instead of a newer, faster, and likely much more expensive Tegra 3.
Aesthetically, the A200 looks like a somewhat sleeker version of the A500 and sports a soft-to-the-touch gray or--what looks to be a strawberry red--backside.
The A200 will come with Acer's Clear.fi media aggregator and the Acer Ring feature, which allows users to place commonly used apps in an easily and quickly accessible spot.
While it's encouraging that Acer is releasing the Iconia Tab A200 at a fairly attractive price, it is sacrificing a camera to do so. No doubt disappointing to those who've come to expect such things on their tablets.
Still, if you feel the idea of a camera on a tablet is ill-conceived anyway and anyone who would spend any amount of time writing about such things is a myopic loser, then you probably stopped reading this a while ago.