The Acer Iconia Tab A200 is Acer's latest 10.1" Android tablet, and it's very affordable at $349 for the 16 gig model and $329 for the 8 gig version. In fact, we're pretty impressed at what you get for the price: a sharp and colorful 1280 x 800 capacitive touch screen, a dual core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, a gig of RAM and 16 gigs of storage (in the more commonly available 16 version that we recommend). Basically, you get a 2011 Android 10" tablet with a full set of features at a low price for 2012. The tablet ships with Android OS 3.2 Honeycomb but Acer promises a mid-February upgrade to OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (there's a sticker on the box stating it's ICS upgradable).
Since 80% of Americans are still tablet-less, there's definitely a place for the Iconia Tab A200. Folks who are new to tablets and aren't sure they want to spend $500 or more and those on a budget. If that's you, do check out the A200 which offers a lot of bang for the buck.
The A200 is a slimmer and lighter version of the Acer Iconia Tab A500, and to our eye the display has improved. Video playback performance of MPEG4 content is most definitely improved, as you'll see in our video. And you get that Acer special touch: a full size USB host port that works with USB peripherals including keyboards, mice, flash drives and external hard drives (NTFS too!). Acer does a nice job of adding USB support to the OS and external storage items like videos and photos appear in Gallery, while music appears in the Music app (if you have a large drive with lots of files this can take a minute or two). There's also a microSD card slot, so storage possibilities are good here.
This is a WiFi only tablet with single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and a GPS (that works). It has the full suite of Google apps including the Android Market, Maps, Navigation, YouTube and Google Talk. It weighs 1.5 lbs. and is 0.48" thick and has a rubbery, easy to grip back.
What's missing from last year's Iconia A500 that launched at $449? There's no rear camera and no HDMI port. There's a good 2 megapixel front camera that works well with Skype and Google Talk video chat, but no rear shooter. There's also no HDMI port, so you'll have to rely on DLNA wireless streaming to get the tablet's contents to play on your TV.