The Acer Iconia Tab A700 is the first 1980 x 1200 Android tablet to hit the market. That's slightly higher than 1080p resolution thanks to the 16:10 vs. 16:9 aspect ratio used for 1080p TVs. Call it Android's answer to the new iPad: you get a powerful tablet with extremely high resolution packed into a 10.1" tablet.
The Iconia Tab A700 runs on a 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad core CPU (actually 4+ 1 companion low power core). Interestingly, ours benchmarks nearly as fast as 10.1" Tegra 3 Android tablets that are only pushing the usual number of pixels (1280 x 800). The unit scored 3646 on Quadrant and 58 fps in GLBenchmark's Egypt offscreen test. In comparison, the Acer Iconia A510 (the standard resolution counterpart to the A700) scored 3807 on Quadrant and 69 fps on GLBenchmark.
The Acer A700 is basically the A510 with a higher resolution display, though we noted one important improvement: the Iconia Tab A700 doesn't get as hot when gaming. It has the same set of ports including HDMI, micro USB with host capability for USB peripherals (host cable included) and 3.5mm audio. The charging port is still at the bottom and doubles as the micro USB host port so you can't charge and use USB peripherals at the same time, but the good news is that the charger connector now has a right angle bend so the cable won't bump into the table when using a stand.
How's the display? Sharp! Colors are rich and balanced and whites are wonderfully neutral. Videos look more natural, photos pop and eBooks are easier on the eyes. Is it an earthshattering difference from standard Android tablets? No, but at $449 for this better than 1080p tablet with a fast CPU and 32 gigs of storage, we bet a lot of folks will jump on it. Acer has priced the A700 similarly to several standard definition 10.1" Android tablets on the market, making the 1080p move enticing. The Asus Transformer Infinity TF700 running at the same resolution is due out (hopefully) by mid-July in the US for $499, and it will provide serious competition.
Our only complaints so far? The touchscreen requires a firm touch and the Android 4.0.4 ICS tablet is more crash prone. We'll be doing more testing for stability, and we have a feeling Acer may release a firmware update soon as they often do with new tablets.
10.1", 1920 x 1200 display, 10 points multi-touch, 224ppi 1.3GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core CPU with GeForce graphics 32 gigs internal storage, 1 gig DDR 2 RAM microSD card slot, compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards USB host, micro HDMI and 3.5mm audio ports Android OS 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich Single band WiFi 802.11n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR GPS 1MP front camera, 5MP rear camera
As always, great review Lisa! I was wondering if the stability issues on Acer tablets has to do with the Acer "ring" feature. While it seems like a nice touch, it also smacks of the "bloatware" that permeates the PC industry. I was wondering if you could completely disable that feature (or even remove it)? If so, it might help with overall performance and stability.
I haven't had stability issues with Acer tablets until the A700. I'd suspect a few bugs that need to be ironed out and/or the higher resolution (developers don't have 1920 x 1200 tablets to test on yet).
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview