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Acer Tablet Portfolio Case review: Acer Tablet Portfolio Case

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While Acer's 10-inch Android tablets have always been capable devices, the company has definitely played it safe when it comes to offering something that really gets consumers excited.

Acer Tablet Portfolio Case
6.8

Acer Tablet Portfolio Case

The Good

The <b>Acer Portfolio Case</b> is sharp-looking, snug-fitting case with two different kickstand levels, that easily allows access to most ports.

The Bad

The tablet's kickstand collapses too frequently, the flap gets in the way of typing, and the power charge Micro-USB port is blocked when the case is closed. Also, the case's outer material gives me the willies.

The Bottom Line

The Acer Portfolio is a sharp-looking case with dual kickstands, but its weird-feeling texture and lack of an opening for the power charger makes it a stopgap at best.

Luckily, that kind of restrained philosophy has only marginally affected its tablet case design. The Portfolio case offers two different stand heights and a snug fit, but its downright weird-feeling texture and design misstep of covering the charging port makes it a less appealing and useful case than it could have been.

Design
When you first open the Portfolio, you're greeted to a large plastic strip covering an equally large adhesive. Peeling off the plastic strip reveals a sticky panel the tablet adheres to when placed in the case. There are no additional straps to lock it in place, but the adhesive has no problem holding it firm.

Take your Acer tablet and slap it on this. That's more instruction than Acer provides concerning how to attach the tablet to the case. Josh Miller/CNET

The case is compatible with all Acer 10-inch Android tablets, but I used the Iconia Tab A510 for this review. Sticking the back of the tablet to the adhesive requires that you line the edge of the tablet with the creases on the inside of the case. This took me a few tries to line up properly and unfortunately, there was no indication as to what the proper orientation of the tablet in the case should be.

Once the tablet's in the case, the opposite cover is folded over the screen and the flap from the adhesive-side cover folds over that. Now you have a sharp-looking case that resembles something you'd secure a few particularly important legal documents in.

Sharp. That's how I'd describe the Portfolio case. Sharp and important-looking. The material is also kind of skeevy-feeling. So, yeah, sharp, important-looking, and skeevy. That's it. Josh Miller/CNET

The cover is dark gray and the material of the case feels like cheap polyester, leisure suit pants -- grippy leisure suit pants that just feel weird in my hands and weird me out to touch.

When closed, all ports can be accessed easily. The one problem is that you can't enclose the tablet in the case and charge it at the same time as the flap covers the Micro-USB port that doubles as the charging port.

Features
The flap covering the screen can be folded back and used as a kickstand for the tablet, propping it up at just the right movie-watching angle. The fold rests on its edge and and for the most part remains stable, but the degree of error is small and if it angles just a small degree off, the stand can easily crumple.

Open it up and then you can use it. How's that for a caption? Josh Miller/CNET

However, if you're more into typing than movie-watching, the kickstand can be laid flat and the back section folded up, propping up the tablet at about 30 degrees: a position much more conducive to typing. Here, the degree of error is much more forgiving and thankfully the stand doesn't buckle as easily. However, the flap in front still curves upward and covers the bottom of the tablet. Not enough to block the actual screen, but definitely enough to completely annoy me while I was attempting to type.

Also, while the kickstand is up, the back camera is unfortunately covered by the bottom of the case, and unlike the iPad's smart case, the screen does not shut off as it's covered.

The side edges are exposed (thankfully), but the Mini-USB port is blocked with the case closed, which is why you don't see it here. Josh Miller/CNET

Performance
The case seems to provide adequate screen protection; the corners are covered and the material extends enough over the tablet's edge to afford it additional protection in case (heh...ahem) it falls.

Conclusion
In all, the Portfolio complements the the full-size Acer Iconia Tabs nicely. The tablet fits snugly and the two kickstand options are welcome features. It's a solid case for the tablet, but here's hoping Acer makes the next version a bit more sensible in its design. Just saying, being able to charge the A510 or A700 with the case closed would be nice, and that annoying flap is, well, annoying (if I haven't mentioned that already). And a less willies-inducing material would be welcome. But, a $40 (most e-tailers sell it for closer to $25), it's a good investment if you have a 10-inch Acer tablet.

Acer Tablet Portfolio Case
6.8

Acer Tablet Portfolio Case

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7