Review Price £249.99
The aspect of budget tablets of old that suffered the most from cost-saving cuts was the screen. Rubbish TN panels would become a veiled mess as soon as you turned the tablet the wrong way, and thankfully the Acer Iconia Tab A210 is nothing like those old dogs.
There's a loss of brightness when the Acer Iconia Tab A210 tablet is viewed from an angle, but you can still see fairly clearly what's on screen - there's no show-stopping contrast shift here. And at 10.1 inches across, you could just about squeeze a couple friends around the tablet to watch a film.
The Acer Iconia Tab A210's screen resolution is on-par with leading Android tablets of 2011 like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - 1,280 x 800 pixels. In these days of Retina displays and Full HD tablets, it's not impressive, and is only on-par with the 7-inch, cheaper Google Nexus 7.
Much like its design, the Acer Iconia Tab A210 screen is functional but little more. Colours look washed out and the pixel structure is quite visible, making it look like there are tiny little lines etched into the display if you set your critical gaze to full beam.
Top brightness isn't too hot either, which will be a problem if you intend to use the tablet outside, as its finish is highly reflective. The screen is best described as pedestrian.
The Acer Iconia Tab A210 uses a modified version of Google's Android OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich version. Acer's custom user interface doesn't fiddle with the system's basics too much, and you still have the standard five home screens to fill with widgets, shortcuts and the like.
Thanks to the quad-core Tegra 3 1.2GHz processor, general performance is good but - like any Ice Cream Sandwich-based tablet - it could really do with an upgrade to Android Jelly Bean. This version is much faster, and while the Acer Iconia Tab A210 doesn't suffer from major lag, there are occasional creaky transitions and pauses.
Changes made by Acer are mostly superficial, but there are a few noteworthy bits. The Acer Iconia Tab A210 has a custom "ring" lock screen that lets you launch into one of four pre-selected apps. An extra button has been added to the persistent nav bar at the bottom of the screen too, which accesses the Acer Ring overlay menu.
This again lets you launch a few favourite apps, as well as change volume, take a screenshot or access your web bookmarks. It's a neat addition, but we wish it wasn't announced on the nav bar with a bright green button. Like the hardware itself, it suggests the Acer design studio could do with an injection of taste serum.
The Android notifications pop-up menu and the nav bar icons have been re-designed in the Acer Iconia Tab A210 too, without any lime green issues. The notifications menu provides big buttons that let you turn off features like GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth quickly, which will help when you're trying to conserve battery life.
What's more useful, though, are the bespoke music and video apps, which we'll get onto later.
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