Acer Iconia A700 Interface and Usability
The Acer Iconia Tab A700 uses a mildly tweaked version of Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and the basic navigation and feel of Android remains in-tact. You have five homescreens you can fill with widgets as standard, and the other half of the system is the full apps menu. This holds all your apps in icon form.
The tweaks Acer has made to the Android basics are mostly inoffensive. The icons on the nav bar have been changed to look smoother and friendlier, there’s a custom lock screen and an Acer-specific button in the nav bar, which launches a quick-fire menu overlay.
Both the lock screen and the new nav bar menu use circular feature wheels to give you quick access to frequently-used functions. The lock screen lets you head straight to one of four apps, while the nav bar interface features these app shortcuts and also lets you take a screenshot, control volume and head to any of your key browser bookmarks.
It is a bit of a pity that the nav button is bright green, though, pulling focus in a manner that’s unnecessary – if in-line with some of the tablet’s other questionable aesthetic choices.
The Acer Iconia Tab A700 comes with a handful of apps pre-installed, including the handy Polaris Office suite, but most importantly it has access to all the Google app basics, from Mail to Maps, and the Google Play app store. It’s a fully-certified Google product, which not all tablets are, and it has GPS too, enabling proper mapping using Google Maps and Navigation.
Acer Iconia A700 Browser
As an Android Ice Cream Sandwich device, the Acer Iconia Tab A700 comes with the stock Android browser pre-installed. Google has since switched to using the Chrome browser as its app of choice, but if you prefer this it’s available from Google Play as a free download.
Even without this new software, the Acer Iconia Tab A700 offers a great browsing experience. The high-resolution screen makes even small text appear sharp and readable, while the screen is of high enough quality to make the white backgrounds of sites look solid white rather than a mottled mess as they do on some lower-quality displays.
Like any self-respecting Android tablet in 2012, the touchscreen fully supports multi-touch input, letting you whiz in and out of web pages with fluid ease. Nowadays, though, the Android browser does not support Flash, which was once an Android calling card.
Adobe discontinued support for the web standard on Android earlier this year, and now the former Adobe Flash Android app isn’t even available to download from Google Play. However, as this is the state of play across Android, you’ll need to switch over to a Windows 8 RT tablet like the Microsoft Surface if you’re after Flash support.