The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 vs. the Acer Iconia Tab A510. This is a tough one, folks. We're looking at two fast 10.1" Android tablets running Android 4.03 ICS on quad core Tegra 3 CPUs. They're priced within $50 of each other and are established brands. If the convertible nature of the Transformer Pad with the optional $149 is on your must have list, then the choice is clear, otherwise... read on.
The 32 gig Acer Iconia Tab A510 lists for $449 and the 32 gig Asus Transformer Pad TF300 lists for $399. Both are getting occasional discounts on Amazon. The keyboard dock, as ever, is priced at $149 for the Transformer. What do you get for the $50 extra on the Acer? A much larger battery and the faster variant of the Tegra 3 CPU.
Design and Ergonomics
To my eye, neither is a stunning piece, but both are easy on the eyes. The plastic-ification of the Transformer Prime design translates fairly well in the TF300. The Acer has a clean look and a grippy soft touch back. In terms of ergonomics and sturdy port design, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 wins. In terms of thinness and weight, the Asus TF300 has a slight advantage. The Acer A510 weighs 1.54 lbs. and the Asus TF300 weights 1.4 lbs. The Acer is 0.43" thick and the Asus is 0.39".
Winner: Acer Iconia Tab A510 for better ergonomics.
The two tablets are quite close. The Asus Transformer Pad TF300 has a slightly lower clock speed Tegra 3 T30L vs. the Tegra T30 used in the Iconia Tab A510 and Transformer Prime. The TF300 is 100MHz slower for CPU speed and underclocks the GPU by approximately 200MHz. It's not much of a difference, and we see just slightly lower numbers on synthetic benchmarks (100 points on Quadrant for example). They both feel equally fast for most tasks and run THD Tegra 3 optimized games equally well. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 loads web pages a second more quickly on average and has smoother scrolling for complex desktop pages (this is likely a software optimization issue rather than a CPU issue).
Winner: On paper, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 wins since it has the faster Tegra 3 variant, but honestly you probably can't tell the difference.
Both tablets have 10.1", 1280 x 800 capacitive touch screens. Asus uses an IPS panel and Acer doesn't specify their display technology. Both have wide viewing angles and high contrast. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 has a cool color bias while the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 has a more neutral color bias. Some folks love deep blues and crisp whites, and they'll likely favor the Iconia Tab A510. I personally prefer more neutral tones when watching movies because flesh tones are warmer and more pleasing.
Both tablets have bright displays, though not wildly bright like the Transformer Prime TF201 with its IPS + display. Both the Acer A510 and Transformer TF300 have comparably bright displays (the Acer looks a tiny bit brighter on max brightness) and colors are a little bit more saturated on the Acer.
Winner: Asus Transformer Pad TF300 for more natural colors and IPS technology.
Easy winner here. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 has a huge 9800 mAh, 36 Wh Lithium Ion battery vs. the Asus Transformer Pad TF300T's 22 Wh battery. The Transformer Pad has decent battery life that's so far averaged 7.5 hours of mixed use. The Acer Iconia Tab A510 is hard to kill, and we've done better than 10 hours on a charge. If you factor in the optional keyboard dock for the Asus Transformer TF300T, then you're looking at comparable battery life again. But tablet to tablet, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 wins.
Asus Transformer Pad TF300 vs. Acer Iconia Tab A510 Comparison Smackdown video: