Editor's note: As of May 2012, the Acer Iconia tab A100 is upgradable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). For details on the advantages Android 4.0 offers over Honeycomb, check the Android 4.0 section of the Asus Transformer Prime TF201 review.
Editors' note 2: Thanks to the release of recent, high-quality tablets, the overall score of the Acer Iconia Tab A100 has been adjusted down from 7 to 6.5.
As one of the first 7-inch Honeycomb tablets, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 attempts to make a case for the viability of 7-inchers, but does the fact that larger tablet alternatives are less than a hundred bucks away diminish its appeal?
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 looks a lot like the A500 we reviewed a few months ago. From its sloped edges to the placement of its front camera and SD card implementation, it's clear that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. However, due to the smaller form factor, the A100 has to settle for micro versions of ports instead of the full-size versions included on the A500.
On the bottom edge of the tablet sit the bulk of its ports, including a recessed reset button, Micro-HDMI, Micro-USB, a power adapter port, and a port for connecting to a dock accessory. On the opposite edge, from left to right, are the headphone jack, the power button/screen lock, and a microphone pinhole. On the top edge are the volume rockers, lock switch (which keeps the screen from rotating), and a compartment that opens to reveal the microSD card slot. The front left bezel houses the 2-megapixel camera with an iPad-like hardware home button located on the far right side of the bezel. On the back near the top edge sits a 5-megapixel camera with a flash bulb.
The Acer Iconia Tab A100 sports a glossy screen and piano-black bezel that attract fingerprints like a "CSI" crime scene. The back panel is gray with a silver Acer logo embossed in the middle and some wire-frame swirl designs to style things up a bit.
Though it weighs only 0.88 pound, the Acer Iconia Tab A100 feels fairly substantial in our hands. Its proportions are about on par with other 7-inch tablets, but instead of writing a bunch of boring text about dimensions, I've instead slapped together a well-researched table showing how the A100's measurements stack up against other popular 7-inch tablets, with an 8.9-inch tablet thrown in for good measure:
|Acer Iconia Tab A100||BlackBerry PlayBook||HTC Flyer||T-Mobile G-Slate|
|Weight in pounds||0.88||0.96||0.94||1.38|
|Width in inches (landscape)||7.7||7.6||7.7||9.6|
|Height in inches||4.6||5.1||4.7||5.8|
|Depth in inches||0.5||0.4||0.5||0.5|
|Side bezel width in inches (landscape)||0.8||0.8||0.8||0.8|
Holding the tablet in landscape mode felt comfortable enough, although the power button on the left would be better placed in a higher position along the edge. In our use, we were prone to accidently pressing the power button, especially while attempting to take pictures with the device.
The chassis feels like plastic and unfortunately can't match the expensive feel of the BlackBerry PlayBook.and doesn't feel as solid as the
The Acer Iconia tab A100 has a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and 1GB of RAM. It also boasts 802.11n Wi-Fi, support for Bluetooth 2.1, and an accelerometer, a gyroscope, GPS, a digital compass, and memory expansion via microSD.
The A100 sports a 7-inch, 1,024x600-pixel-resolution Twisted Nematic (TN) display. Onboard storage options include 16GB and 8GB integrated, with a microSD card slot compatible with up to 32GB cards.