Acer Iconia A510 – Initial Impressions


The 10″ Android tablet market just got dumped on its head recently. As with the other current Nexus devices Google are offering them direct to customers rather cheaply. This move makes selling a tablet difficult as the other OEMs have to cut corners to keep the prices low. Acer have sent us a 10″ Tegra 3 touting tablet and we’re going to put it through its paces over the next few weeks. It’s even going on holiday with me this week.

As I like to do when I get a device to review I put up a quick Initial Impressions article starting with good and bad points about the device.

Good Points

  • Tegra 3 CPU / GPU means a whole host of great games are available
  • MicroSD slot
  • Micro HDMI port
  • Some custom Acer widgets and tweaks
  • Budget pricing
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dolby Digital sound

Bad Points

  • Plasticy build
  • Rather chunky
  • Jelly Bean upgrade may be a long way away
  • Quite weighty

Hardware

Tablets all seem to follow a shared hardware spec sheet and the Iconia A510 is no different. Packing a Tegra 3 SOC, 16GB memory, MicroSD slot, Micro HDMI port, Ice Cream Sandwich, etc etc. Here is the rest of the spec:

  • Processor – NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30S 1.30 GHz Quad-core
  • Memory – 1 GB LPDDR2
  • MicroSD
  • Memory Capacity – 16 GB (32GB also available)
  • Display – TFT Colour LCD 16:10 WXGA 1280 x 800 Backlight LED
  • GPS
  • HDMI
  • Battery – 2-cell Lithium Polymer (Li-Polymer) 9800 mAh 36.26 Wh
  • Dimensions – Height 11.0 mm, Width 260.0 mm, Depth 175.0 mm

Design

Design wise the Iconia A510 is an odd one. Acer were one of the Olympic partner companies and because of that they decided to brand the A510 with the Olympic rings. The rest of the device is a mix of silver plastic, a few bits of metal and the nice big screen. The overall thickness is quite thick which leads to it being a little weighty.

As regards buttons there is one little thing that differentiates itself from other Android tablets. That one thing is a manual mute switch which is much like the iPad one. A nice touch that saves you having to hunt through menus to turn off individual audio channels.

Software

The Iconia runs Ice Cream Sandwich and Acer have added their current range of clock and weather widgets. I like these, having seen them on the Liquid Gallant Duo and the S500 Cloud Mobile. They have also added something else, something that at first I wondered what it was.

Basically along the bottom bar is a green dot. It is visible most of the time. Once I had plucked up courage to press it up popped a big widget, containing a few shortcuts and what looked like a huge swipey scrolling list of bookmarks. It is really useful as you can set what apps appear on this widget. Acer have also tweaked the lockscreen allowing you to add app shortcuts to the lockscreen. Little touches like that really make Acer devices nice to use.

Initial Conclusion

My initial conclusion is that the Iconia A510 is a great tablet, it has some nice software tweaks and some nice hardware features. I plan to fully test the Iconia out over the next few weeks and in preparation for my holiday I have loaded it up with books, games, movies, music and some travel apps that will work offline. I feel the Iconia is going to handle whatever I throw at it.

So if you’re interested and you would like something specific testing out on the Iconia A510 leave a comment and I’ll do my best to try it out.

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  • Anonymous

    I have this tablet, the Acer A510. I really like it. It has a really good battery life. Basically I can watch videos for almost 10 hours without needing a recharge. The only drawback is that it’s a bit heavy. Hopefully the Jelly Bean update comes soon; apparently Acer already is doing the upgrades in batches, and has already done Spain. Maybe your country will be next?