It runs Android 3, it’s small and handy, but it’s flawed
Tablet computers running the Android operating system started to appear after the Apple iPad but they were flawed – the older Android 2 was designed for phones, not tablets, and so the tablets running it just weren't much good.
Android 3 (‘Honeycomb'), on the other hand, is only available on tablet computers such as the Acer Iconia Tab A100. There are several A100 models available – we reviewed the A100-07U08, which has 8GB of storage for photos, apps, videos and music. It can connect both to wireless networks and to mobile networks, though for the latter you will need to insert a Sim card with a suitable talk plan – one isn't supplied as standard.
It's smaller than the other Android 3 tablets we've looked at so far, with a 7in screen. That makes it easier to carry around, but portability is hampered by the A100's weight. At 450g it's relatively heavier and it's thick too – at 13mm it's thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which is 8.6mm).
Features-wise, it's impressive. It connects to Bluetooth devices, has a GPS receiver for navigation, a decent five-megapixel rear camera that shoots high-definition video in the resolution of 720p, and a front-facing camera for video chat.
The screen was fairly good for watching video and reading text, and sound from the device was surprisingly good through the built-in speakers or by plugging in headphones (speakers a bit tinny - heads much better). It's fast – the Nvidia Tegra 2 processor inside it is one of the fastest currently available, and apps were swift to open and run.
We're not entirely convinced about the usefulness of a 7in tablet computer. For games such as Angry Birds and for reading email and ebooks it was fine, but web pages looked a little small. The A100 can connect to the Android Market for app downloads, however, so buyers will have access to the full, growing collection of available apps.
The Acer Iconia Tab A100 is a decent tablet that works well and is priced competitively, but for such a small screen it's really far too bulky and heavy.
Unless you really need a 7in tablet computer now, it's worth waiting for something better to come along.
Read more reviews
It performs well and isn't expensive, but the A100 is a little too bulky to make it good value
Fast and responds well; good for watching video; decent camera
Relatively heavy and too thick; 7in screen doesn't work well for browsing and some apps
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