Acer Iconia Tab A110 review
Not a terrible tablet, but the Nexus 7 is superior in almost every way – and cheaper
Review Date: 5 Oct 2012
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £150 (£180 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Ever since Samsung released its low-cost 7in Galaxy Tab 2 earlier this year, manufacturers have been falling over themselves to release low-cost compact tablets. First there was the excellent Nexus 7, then we saw the Amazon Fire HD, and there are more launches just around the corner.
All of a sudden, there’s an awful lot of competition in the sector, something Acer may not have been anticipating when it decided on the price for its Iconia Tab A110. Last year £179 for this tablet would have looked quite good; now, it looks pricey next to the £159 Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD.
That wouldn’t be a problem if it was a brilliant product. Alas, there are several areas where the A110 loses out to its cheaper rivals. The most obvious of its weaknesses is the screen, which is poor by any standards. Measured with a colorimeter, its maximum brightness tops out at 208cd/m2, which for a laptop might be just about acceptable; for a compact tablet you might use as a reading device or for gaming on the commute, it simply isn’t bright enough.
Viewing angles are poor: hold the A110 in landscape orientation then tilt it back and forth, and you’ll see the colours shift distractingly. And with most recently announced budget 7in tablets now hitting 1,280 x 800 or higher, the A110’s resolution of 1,024 x 600 is doubly disappointing. We’re distinctly underwhelmed, and the chunky, 11.5mm-thick chassis and hefty 384g weight don’t help with the overall impression.
There is some redemption, though, and it comes in the form of a powerful CPU. Beneath the Acer’s rather dowdy exterior, lurks the heart of a beast, with a powerful 1.2GHz quad-core Tegra 3 T30L CPU and 1GB of RAM. Storage isn’t so good at 8GB, but you do get a microSDHC slot capable of taking another 32GB, something the Nexus 7 can’t offer.
This core hardware helped the A110 produce scores of 1,759ms in SunSpider and 4,208 in Quadrant. For performance, it holds its own with the Nexus 7, which achieved a similar SunSpider score and was slightly slower in Quadrant. Games, from the demanding Asphalt 7 to Shadowgun and HD movies (streaming or local) didn’t cause it any trouble at all, and the Jelly Bean front-end responds as quickly and smoothly to the touch as any tablet we’ve tried.
It’s no surprise there isn’t a rear camera – most other tablets at this price sacrifice that feature – with only a front-facing 2-megapixel unit capable of 720p video. It’s better than the Nexus 7’s 1.2-megapixel camera, though, and although the battery is smaller at 3,420mAh, the A110’s stamina is still acceptable. It lasted 7hrs 3mins in our looping video test with the power profile set to “High performance”; the Nexus 7 achieved 8hrs 48mins in this test.
The trouble the Acer Iconia Tab has is that it’s beaten in almost every respect by the cheaper Nexus 7 – that microSD slot excepted. It’s the poor screen that really seals it for this tablet, though. Even if Acer did manage to match the price of Google’s Nexus 7, we still wouldn’t recommend it.
Author: Jonathan Bray
What about HDMI
You appear to have overlooked the fact that this device has HDMI out, which the Nexus 7 lacks.
By milliganp on 6 Oct 2012
Ah, there's your problem, you specify the processor is 0Mhz, no wonder it is a bit sluggish. :-P
By big_D on 7 Oct 2012
The problem with this segment, is that Google and Amazon are subsidising the price of their tablets with sales of online content.
Acer, Samsung et al can't do this. They also use the Google eco system, so they don't get a cut of the sales of apps and films etc.
By big_D on 7 Oct 2012
Dear me Big_D, you do not appear to have read the review. This states quite clearly 1.2Ghz.
By boyartuk on 8 Oct 2012
You do not appear to have read the specs tab that quite clearly states 0Mhz
By aggletonm on 11 Oct 2012
- Toshiba beats retreat from consumer PC market
- Google to follow Apple with device encryption
- U2 and Apple working on "new music format"
- Ellison steps down: but who's really running Oracle now?
- Audioboo to become Audioboom in app revamp
- Apple slaps down Google and police, as it takes high ground on user privacy
- Amazon releases high-end Kindle Voyage Touch
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Virgin carpeted again for broadband speed claims
- Microsoft set to make more job cuts
- How to check your identity hasn’t been sold to the hackers
- Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s
- Westminster wins the .London battle
- 20 years of PC Pro: from deep pan pizza to virtualisation
- Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold
- Apple Watch, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus: Tim Cook's Apple back with a bang?
- BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed
- 20 years of PC Pro: one-star reviews (including "the worst tablet we've ever seen")
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- The 7 best Chromebooks of 2014
- iPhone 6 vs Galaxy S5: is the Apple or Samsung flagship smartphone right for you?
- How to install iOS 8 without deleting apps and data
- The best smartwatches of 2014: what's the best smartwatch?
- Nexus 6 (X or Shamu) release date, price and specs rumour roundup
- Best of IDF: top tech and memorable moments from Intel's tech show
- How Apple Pay works and how to use it on your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch
- Tech of the future... and the British boffins building it
- Abuse magnets: the people behind corporate Twitter accounts
- Putting people at the centre of software design
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office