Acer Iconia A3 is a cheap and cheerful 10-inch Android tablet

Read on for all the details on Acer's latest slate, which goes head-to-head with the iPad and Google Nexus 10.

Luke Westaway

Luke Westaway

Senior editor

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

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BERLIN -- If you thought the days of larger, 10-inch tablets were gone -- think again. Despite the popularity of gadgets like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini, Acer is carrying the torch for larger slates with its new Iconia A3.

Revealed just ahead of the IFA tech trade show in Berlin, this 10-inch device goes head-to-head with the larger iPad and Google's Nexus 10, though it has a 1,280x800-pixel display, which isn't as many pixels as you'd find in some of its rival devices.

In our short hands-on time at IFA, that seemed to be this tablet's main downside. With such a large screen that resolution is stretched so thin you can easily make out individual pixels. It's colourful and contrasty, though, and a short video clip looked fine in the dim room where we played with it.

Another downer is the A3's build quality. Its white plastic back and metal-effect plastic front are not what you'd call classy, and there was a disctinct creak to it when we applied just a little pressure.

Acer Iconia A3 is a 10-inch quad-core Android tablet with a reasonable price (pictures)

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Inside you get a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, so hopefully we won't have to worry about sluggish performance, and graphically demanding games can remain on the menu. We'll look forward to testing that thoroughly in our full review.

Elsewhere there's a Micro-HDMI port for hooking this tablet up to your TV, and a microSD card slot to bump up the onboard storage. A 5-megapixel camera lurks on the back, though holding this chunky tablet up to take photos is unlikely to boost your street cred.

On the software side, you get Android version 4.2 Jelly Bean, and an Acer tweak called -- brilliantly -- Intellispin, which lets the tablet know which way its user is, even when it's lying flat. This worked as advertised -- we plopped the A3 flat on its back and easily switched between portrait and landscape modes, just by spinning it round.

All about the money
The best bit of news is that this tablet's going to be quite cheap. The Wi-Fi version of the A3 will cost 249 euros when it launches in October, and the 3G version, set to debut a month later, will cost 299 euros.

That equates to roughly $330 and $395 respectively, though for now the A3 is only confirmed to arrive in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

What do you think of Acer's latest offering? Let us know in the comments below. Finally, don't forget to point your peepers at more of our stellar IFA coverage.

Editors' note: This first take was updated on September 3 with hands-on photos and impressions.

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