Review Price £249.99
The Acer Iconia Tab A210 uses the stock Android browser rather than the snazzier Chrome, which became the standard for Android tablets following the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. You can always download Chrome from Google Play if you fancy, though.
A 10.1in tablet like the Acer Iconia Tab A210 offers a great browsing experience. With a nippy-enough processor, responsive capacitive touchscreen and large-enough display, it's a great device to lounge about on the sofa with, surfing idly. Android no longer supports Adobe Flash, which is a shame, but otherwise it's a browsing star - like every half-decent tablet.
While the browser is generic, Acer has put some real effort into upping the multimedia skills of the Acer Iconia Tab A210. There are non-standard video and music players pre-installed.
The most useful is the video player. This increases the native video skills of the tablet hugely. Without any extra tweaking, many Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices can only play basic video types like H264 and MP4, but the Acer Iconia Tab A210 can handle just about anything you'd care to throw at it.
Its quad-core Tegra 3 1.2GHz processor has no problems with most HD video content, only dropping the occasional frame. Video tends to highlight the limitations of the so-so screen, though, in particular the dull colours.
The music player app is good too, with an interface that's been designed with the screen dimensions of the tablet in mind. It's not outright beautiful, but lets you flick through a large music library quickly. Music file support is also worth a nod, with audiophile favourite FLAC supported alongside more commonly-used formats like MP3 and AAC.
The internal speakers sit on the bottom of the tablet's rear, providing stereo sound. However, sound quality isn’t too hot. It's a little harsh at top volume and there's not a great deal of body to it.
When you have the Google Play app store and its 700,000-odd app catalogue at your fingertips, non-exclusive pre-installed apps don't matter a great deal in tablets like the Acer Iconia Tab A210. However, Acer does include Polaris Office, a Microsoft Office-style suite that you normally have to pay for.
The Acer Iconia Tab A210 also comes with integrated wireless printer software, but the rest of the pre-installed goodies can easily be found with a quick trip to Google Play. However, the solid multimedia apps and the Polaris Office suit amount to an usually good crop of extras - no annoying fluff and some worthwile additions.
There's just one camera on the Acer Iconia Tab A210, a user-facing sensor that's there to provide video chat functionality. It's a 2-megapixel sensor, which is quite high-resolution for a front snapper. You can take stills or record HD video, although it's only really there to let you chat over Wi-Fi as captured images are low-quality. Skype doesn't come pre-installed but it's just a few taps away.
The Acer Iconia Tab A210 has a 3,260mAh battery, which is very low-capacity for a tablet of this size. Compared to the 7000mAh unit of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 or the mammoth 11,666mAh unit of the iPad 4.
We left the Acer Iconia Tab A210 running a looped video with brightness set to 50 percent and it lasted for six hours. It's enough to keep you entertained on non-transatlantic flights, but in the tablet world it's a pretty poor performance. We expect to see at least eight hours of stamina from a tablet this size.
It doesn't miss out on too many other features you can't see, though. It has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, only missing out on NFC, which is a wireless standard used for mobile payments in places like the EAT café chain. There's no 3G option available, so you're stuck with Wi-Fi with the Acer Iconia Tab A210.
The Acer Iconia Tab A210 is a partly-successful attempt at a low-cost Android tablet. It avoids the most serious pitfalls of early lower-cost Android tablets, but its pricing isn't aggressive enough to compete with the stars of the quickly developing budget market. The screen isn't great, the design won't get many excited and battery life is poor.
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