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Acer Iconia Tab A210 review

Andrew Williams

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Summary

Our Score:

6

User Score:

Pros

  • Respectable performance
  • Decent connectivity
  • Expandable memory

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life
  • Dull screen
  • Drab design

Key Features

  • Tegra 3 quad-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Manufacturer: Acer
  • Review Price: £249.99

Introduction

Lower-cost tablets are all the rage these days. Where most budget tablets were once borderline unusable, tabs like the Acer Iconia Tab A210 can now offer fast processors, decent-quality screens and almost all the capability of more expensive devices, all for well under £300.

It may not be desirable or all that slick, but the Acer Iconia Tab A210 does tick some of the right boxes for the tech-heads.

Acer Iconia Tab A210 Design

The Acer Iconia Tab A210 is a 10.1-inch tablet. It's still the most common size among Android tablets, and while it sits happily among its 10-inch peers, it's as much a reaction to the low-cost Google Nexus 7 as rival full-size models.

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Acer's plan here is to shave off all the thrills to provide about 85 percent of what the top models offer for around 60 percent of the price. For a 16GB Acer Iconia Tab A210, you're looking at a cost of around £250. It sits half-way between the Google Nexus 7 and iPad 4.

One of the first casualties of going for an Acer tablet is style. Although the Acer Iconia Tab A210 uses a similar frame design to the higher-end models in the range, it's not particularly attractive. The textured silver back is a single piece of curved, dotted plastic, but it bulges out conspicuously and lacks grace - a bit like the lid of a budget laptop.

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The Acer Iconia Tab A210 isn't slim or light, either. At 712g and 12.4mm thick, it's a chunky beast that'll give you forearms the size of thighs if you try and hold it one-handed daily.

This is a landscape orientation tablet that you're meant to hold in two hands. However, its edges aren't smoothly curved but relatively sharp on these sides. In-hand comfort is just ok, nothing more.

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A lack of design panache robs the Acer Iconia Tab A210 of the desirability factor that's a pretty important part of a tablet. And although valuing function over form is a strategy we can respect, the added weight factor means it encroaches into what the tablet is actually like to use too.

Acer Iconia Tab A210 Specs

There are some hardware benefits, though. The Acer Iconia Tab A210 offers above-average connectivity. All the connectors bar the power plug sit on the left edge, some out on show, others under a little plastic flap. Nakedly showing their wares are the headphone jack, microUSB socket and full-size USB. It's the USB that's a break from the norm, letting you plug in a keyboard or mouse easily. A thinner tablet simply couldn't fit one in.

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Under the plastic flap on this edge there's a microSD memory card slot and a little recessed reset button. The flap isn't exactly graceful and cements the Acer Iconia Tab A210 as vice president of the tablet world's chess club, in aesthetic terms, but it helps to ensure that your hands don't rest over any of the sockets.

The Acer Iconia Tab A210 isn't a tablet most will be proud to hang out with, but there are a few thoughtful hardware tweaks like this.

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There's an autorotate lock on the top edge - which is extremely useful for extreme lounging - and there are stereo speakers on the rear, rather than just the mono you might expect in a low-ish-cost tablet. And while the back doesn't look great, it is lightly textured to give a more pleasant surface for your digits to rest upon.

The Acer Iconia Tab A210 - it's not cool, it's not sleek and it's not hugely desirable, but it doesn't make any downright wrong hardware decisions either. Aside from the dated-feeling cylindrical power socket, that is - it's so 2007.

Wes Smith

December 30, 2012, 1:17 pm

6/10 is very harsh. £199 for a Tegra 3 tablet is a bargain! Acer also upgraded the device to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Make no mistake; this is a media powerhouse! If you want a cheap device to watch jitter free 720p/1080p movies etc. then do consider buying this little gem.

courtlandkevin

January 8, 2013, 11:29 am

I have one of these A210 tablets and think it's great. Its the same price as a nexus 7 but includes the same processor and screen resolution:but adds 10" instead of 7"; MicroSD slot for cheep storage upgrades; full size USB as well as micro usb ports; cheep three year warrantee option; It' much faster than a samsung galaxy 10" tab and already runs jellybean. If you want a larger tablet and not worried about fitting it in your pocket, then this is a great choice. I must also say the screen on mine is great, so I don't know if acer have upgraded it on later devices.

Dave

January 12, 2013, 8:17 pm

I have to agree with both previous comments. 6/10 is a bit on the low side. This tablet is excellent value for money. The screen is more widescreen than the iPad and at 10.1 inch it is a perfect size for watching videos, playing games, browsing etc. It is a nippy, responsive tablet and in a world where mobile phones are rapidly approaching a 5" standard size why would you pay £200 for a tablet just 2 inches bigger when you can have this one which is a proper tablet size. It is weighty enough to feel premium and the grippy back covering is excellent (not the slippy coating on the rear of the iPad). This is a premium device for budget money. It should command a rating of at least 8/10 if not more.

pete

January 28, 2013, 7:15 pm

I do not agree that cylindrical power connector is a drawback. It is much better than proprietary connector. They often damage after a while and cost you extra money and effort to replace a charger.

Gordon Chan

March 19, 2013, 4:04 pm

The writer of this essay seems to have little knowledge about battery. mAh is NOT a correct unit for the comparison of batteries with different voltage. Wh is the right one. Get it? 3.7V 6000mAh is equal to 7.4V 3000mAh. As a matter of fact, Acer A210 has 24.1Wh, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 has 25.2 Wh, and IPad 4 has 42.5Wh total battery capacity.

flabbergasted

March 24, 2013, 10:48 pm

Wow. What a phenomenally bad review. Do Acer not buy enough advertising?

As someone who has got one of these I can honestly say this is a very good machine for the money (and the price continues to fall). The performance isn't "respectable" its v.good for a tablet at this price. The battery life is OK, not mediocre. The screen is fine. There are no "relatively sharp edges". And no its rivals aren't the Nexus 7 ( you know 7 i.e. smaller i.e. different) or the Ipad 4 (a LOT more expensive), its main rivals are similarly sized Samsung tablets, which more, can have way poorer spec and garbage build quality. But, Samsung do do a lot of advertising.

Trusted Reviews? No, "mediocre" and unbelievably biased, definitely (and this isn't the only one)

androiddeveloper216

May 31, 2013, 7:43 pm

Just bought this tablet last week. Great buy. Great spec for the price and very solid high quality build. Highly recommend.

Gerry Murray

June 10, 2013, 8:39 am

Just bought this Tablet, and I cannot wait for it to get here. I have used a friend's unit, and for the money, it's quite simply the best budget model out there. This and other reviews on the A210 are poor. I have to agree with Flabbergasted here. The machine deserves a MUCH better review and deserves the correct comparisons. I'd give 8/10. I won't be coming back here for another review, thanks.

Some Dude

August 23, 2013, 6:43 am

Kudos for the comprehensive review, but I've owned this tablet for several months now and find the author's final scores a bit harsh. This tablet isn't competing for king of the hill, but it delivers outstanding value. Snappy performance, runs Jellybean, runs well with anything I've thrown at it, and nice expansion and connectivity (though it has no HDMI unfortunately). If it were to cost the same as a Nexus 10 or iPad, then yeah - a 6 rating is fair. But I'm in agreement with others that this tablet offers tremendous bang for the buck. I'd give it a solid 8 or 9 for what it is.

mummarzie

August 26, 2013, 4:42 pm

I have had my Tablet for almost 8 months and I couldnt be happyer for the price I payed it works for what I need and then some... Only problem I have had is my auto rotation going off and not being able to get it to come back on... other then that its great..

Storme

October 30, 2013, 6:42 pm

I'm stuck between this and the Hisense Sero 7 Pro - which do you think is better?

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