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Acer Iconia Tab A100 hands-on photos: It just came apart in our hands, honest

We wanted to write an expert hands-on preview of the Acer Iconia Tab A100, but instead we broke it. Click here to see the pictures.

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Richard Trenholm

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If there's one thing we like better than gadgets, it's accidentally breaking gadgets. Why, just today we pulled the headphones out of an Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet, and broke the case. Needless to say, we spent several minutes giggling like a naughty schoolboy, then popped it back and ran off to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot to tell you all about it.

In Acer's defence, the A100 we saw was a pre-production version, and had probably been manhandled more times than an ageing courtesan: it was a demo version of the forthcoming 7-inch Android tablet being shown off to attendees at phone trade show MWC in Barcelona, and from the looks of them they're probably not very gentle.

Breakages aside, the A100 looks like a neat little tablet on paper. It's packed with features and connections, including HDMI, USB and mini-USB. It can output high-definition video to your TV and is powered by a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.

This dual-core 7-incher takes on the similarly sized Samsung Galaxy Tab. If the 7-inch size is too small for you, the A100 has a very similar bigger brother, the 10-inch A500.

The A100 packs a 1,024x600-pixel, 16:9 screen. It looked clear and bright to us, and the dual-core processing power kept things speedy during our brief play with it.

There's not one but two cameras to play with: a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, and a front-facing 2-megapixel snapper for video calls.

The A100 will launch with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the first version of Google's mobile operating system specifically designed for tablets. It takes advantage of the extra room on screen with redesigned, roomier versions of apps, and fancy 3D carousels for searching through photos, apps and other bits and pieces. Sadly, the sample we tried only packed Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which is designed for phones.

Then we broke it. You can't take us anywhere.

We won't leap to conclusions about the A100's build quality based on this one mishap, but it was a result of an everyday occurrence. On top of that, just a few feet away we discovered that a sample of the Acer Iconia Tab W500 had encountered the exact same problem -- the edge casing peeling away from the rest of the frame -- but again, in all fairness, that was because MWC attendees had been trying to fold the poor thing in half.

Click through our photos to see more of the A100. It's available in the UK towards the end of April, but the price is yet to be confirmed.

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The volume and lock buttons.
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Look at all those connections!
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Oops. We did this just by taking out the headphones.

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